Senator Laura Ellman speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) passed a bill today to repeal a decades-old law that prevents Illinois from taking action to address harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

“The Kyoto Protocol Act should never have been signed into Illinois law. It only served to limit our state’s ability to make decisions and prepare for the future,” Ellman said. “By repealing this legislation, the General Assembly is signaling that Illinois is ready to get serious about tackling emissions that cause climate change.”

House Bill 3481 repeals the Kyoto Protocol Act of 1998, which was intended to prevent the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Pollution Control Board from proposing rules to reduce greenhouse gases to address climate change.

“The 1998 law is basically a gag order designed to prevent Illinois from taking important action to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change,” Ellman said. “Repealing this outdated law will allow us to consider options to curb greenhouse gas emissions and protect our environment.”

The Kyoto Protocol Act expressly prohibited Illinois from reducing carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions beyond the goals set for the United States in the Kyoto Protocol. In 2001, the U.S. withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol, leaving Illinois tied to goals that the federal government no longer intended to meet.

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