One lesson of the latest scandal in Illinois politics is that "clean" energy can be just as dirty as the coal and oil variety.
Michael Madigan, who has been speaker of the House in Illinois for nearly 40 years, was blocked from extending his term in the post. The Chicago Sun-Times reports: "Madigan has been battered by the ongoing federal investigation of the ComEd influence-buying scandal in Springfield. Madigan has been implicated but not charged in the investigation, and one of his close associates has been indicted. Madigan has denied any wrongdoing."
The "statement of facts" that is part of the ComEd-Justice Department deferred prosecution agreement notes that ComEd is the largest utility company in Illinois and that "In 2016, the General Assembly passed the Future Energy Jobs Act ("FEJA"), which provided for a renewal of the regulatory process that was beneficial to ComEd."
The ComEd site promoting the Future Energy Jobs Act says it "accelerates the growth of wind and solar energy" and "strengthens Illinois' national clean energy leadership by creating an innovative zero emission standard." It also "saves and creates thousands of clean energy jobs." According to the statement of facts some of those jobs were patronage posts created for Madigan's political cronies, which maybe isn't so clean?
Longtime readers know I generally oppose criminalizing routine politics. It would be a mistake to make it a crime for a politician to help someone find someone a private-sector job, while leaving it legal to help the same person get on the welfare rolls. The accusation here is that the "job" these people were doing was just ingratiating the energy company with the politician. How is that different from just hiring a lobbyist? Good question. But principles dictate that companies and politicians promising "clean" energy adhere to the same laws we all do.