Illinois' largest public utility will now be overseen by a mayor who pledged to keep renewable energy as part of its energy mix.
Springfield's Democratic Mayor-elect Jim Langfelder deserves credit for talking about clean energy. Some candidates avoided the topic because it's controversial after a wind power contract became more costly than expected. With most local news outlets focused on utility finances and rate increases, Langfelder could have avoided taking a clear position on where our power comes from.
But voters were given a real choice between a modern energy mix with renewable energy or “we've always done it that way.” Scare tactics about clean energy causing rate increases didn't work this time. Springfield is already a better clean energy leader than Chicago and now the progress can continue.
Coal was being mined in Springfield when Abraham Lincoln represented the city in the state legislature. But this year, a new clean energy future was a winning issue in a coal-country election.