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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:44pm
Mon Jun 6, 2016

Environmentalists, Oil & Gas Industry Sound Off Over New EPA Methane Rules

Progress Illinois rounds up reaction to the federal government's newly finalized methane rules targeting the oil and gas industry.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:18pm
Tue Apr 19, 2016

Pending U.S. Trade Deals Could Gut Environmental Policies, Report Argues

A leading environmental group is sounding the alarm over climate threats posed by pending trade agreements, including the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

TPP is a free trade agreement among the United States and 11 other countries, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The agreement was signed in February and still needs ratification from the U.S. Congress.

In a recent report, the Sierra Club says the TPP and another proposed trade agreement under negotiation between the United States and the European Union, called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), "threaten efforts to keep fossil fuels in the ground."

"Like NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement], the TPP and TTIP would give foreign corporations broad rights, including the right to challenge new fossil fuel restrictions that thwart their 'expectations' for a stable business environment," the report explains. "The trade deals would empower the corporations to bypass U.S. courts and take such challenges to tribunals of three private lawyers, unaccountable to any domestic legal system, under a process known as 'investor-state dispute settlement' (ISDS)."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
8:01pm
Thu Apr 14, 2016

Fight For $15 Ralliers Take Aim At McDonald's, Ken Griffin & Bank Of America (VIDEO)

The Fight for $15 campaign came out in force Thursday night to protest against McDonald's, Bank of America and Illinois billionaire Ken Griffin. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the downtown demonstration. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:22pm
Thu Jan 21, 2016

It's Time To 'Accelerate Climate Change Solutions,' Say Enviros In Reaction To 2015's Record High Temps

After 2015 was officially declared the hottest year on record, environmental experts say it's time to step up climate action efforts. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:58pm
Thu Jan 14, 2016

EPA Climate Regs To Be 'Big Fight' In State Legislatures This Year

As 2016 state legislative sessions gear up across the country, including in Illinois, expect new environmental regulations outlined under the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan to be a key issue debated in the nation's state houses this year.

The Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, finalized in August, looks to slash carbon emissions from existing U.S. power plants. The goal is to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

States, which are given flexibility to meet the plan's carbon pollution standards, have to submit an implementation plan or request an extension by September.

"There's a range of actions that states will be considering to address the rule, including cap and trade, carbon taxes, renewable portfolio standards, scaling up solar energy use, amongst other things," said Nick Rathod, executive director of the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), a group working with state legislators to advance progressive policies across the country.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:25pm
Thu Jan 7, 2016

Illinois Environmental, Labor Groups Highlight Economic Benefits Of Clean Water Projects

Every $1 billion invested in Chicago-area clean water infrastructure creates or saves an average of 11,200 total jobs and generates an 8 percent economic return over a year.

That's according to a new report, backed by the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) and the Sierra Club, that explores the economic and environmental benefits of local clean water projects, which the groups say are a "win-win-win for Illinois" because they help workers, the economy and the environment.

The report, prepared by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) and the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was formally recognized at Thursday's board meeting of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD).

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