At a Legislative Energy Town Hall sponsored by the Illinois Freedom Caucus on Aug. 11, Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) drew attention to what he sees as shortcomings in the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

“So what are some of the highlights you're seeing, or low lights that they may be? Eminent domain,” Caulkins said during the event. “(The Clean Energy Jobs Act) is the first bill that's given the right of eminent domain to a private company to run electric lines across our farmland here in central Illinois; never happened before should never have happened.”

In May, Caulkins blamed politicians for rising energy prices.

“We are facing an immediate manmade crisis as politicians destroy Illinois’ robust energy market and unnecessarily endanger our once-reliable and clean and low-cost power,” he said. “I sat through hours of alarming committee hearings today. Here’s what is obvious: Democrats knew the passage of the CEJA would result in increased costs and unreliable power. At this hearing back in April 2021, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association said that if the Clean Energy Jobs Act passed, they would not know how Illinois' energy needs would be met. This is a manmade crisis by politicians focused on ideological goals of unreliable renewable energy at the expense of real solutions. What was also obvious from the testimony was a total lack of planning and foresight by multiple bureaucracies that are supposed to work together in ensuring we have the energy we need. Make no mistake, this problem is decades in the making.”

Rep. Adam Niemerg (R-Teutopolis) was also a participant at the town hall. He relayed the story of a constituent who emailed him asking for something to be done when the amount due on his energy bill tripled.

"One of my constituents down at Marshall sent me an email the other day," Niemerg said. "He made the comment that his energy bill in round figures went from $200 a month to $600 a month and he said I can pay it this month but I can't pay it next month. So you know it's important for us to be able to work through this process and see what we're dealing with.”

Caulkins was first elected to the Illinois House in 2018. His legislative experience includes serving on the Public Utilities and Prescription Drug Affordability committees. Caulkins resides in Decatur.