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Coal
PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:30pm
Thu May 29

Illinois Officials, Enviros Gear Up For EPA's Power Plant Carbon Emission Rules

President Barack Obama is set to unveil federal regulations on Monday to cut carbon pollution from existing U.S. power plants. Progress Illinois takes a look at the potential local impact of the proposed carbon pollution standards and what comes next.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:30pm
Wed May 14

Illinois Residents, Environmental Groups Sound The Alarm On Coal Ash Dangers

Illinois environmental groups and residents say the state's proposed draft rules for coal ash pits at power plant sites fall short when it comes to protecting the public from a "coal ash catastrophe." Progress Illinois details why environmentalists are calling for stronger coal ash regulations at the state level.

Quick Hit
by Anthony Burke Boylan
9:32am
Wed May 14

Gore Talks Climate Change, Supreme Court Rulings In Chicago (VIDEO)

Earth and all of the life it sustains is in imminent danger from global climate change and from the “enforced orthodoxy’’ of its deniers, but there is still time to act and reason for hope, former Vice President Al Gore said at the University of Chicago Monday evening.

In discussing the political problems holding back environmental reforms, he spoke directly to comments made at the same University of Chicago Institute of Politics forum two weeks earlier by Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, who claimed scientists only have 100 years of “real data’’ at which to look when assessing climate change. Even as he argued against a “dumbed down” debate, his calculus suggests scientists can’t use other evidence to study historical changes in the planet that include weather and energy patterns, something with which nearly all experts disagree. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:25pm
Mon May 12

National Nurses United, Southeast Siders Rally For Chicago Petcoke Moratorium At City Hall

Registered nurses and community activists rallied at Chicago's City Hall Monday afternoon, demanding that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and council members install an immediate moratorium on all petcoke operations in the city.

Chanting "Moratorium now!", dozens of Southeast Side residents, members of National Nurses United and other allies delivered a letter to the mayor's office, urging Chicago's elected officials to "cease all petcoke operations, transport and storage within the city until it is learned what impact petcoke has on the health of Chicagoans or until the piles are enclosed." Read more »

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:47pm
Wed Apr 30

Chicago City Council Passes Plastic Bag Ban, Petcoke Regulations

The Chicago City Council voted Wednesday to partially ban plastic shopping bags and put in place tougher regulations for petcoke facilities. Progress Illinois takes a look at the two issues as well as other highlights from the council meeting.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:00pm
Tue Apr 29

Chicago Petcoke Ordinance Passes Key Hurdle

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s revised ordinance to regulate petcoke stored in Chicago cleared the city council's zoning committee Tuesday, despite an outpouring of objection from residents who want nothing short of a complete, citywide ban on the material. Progress Illinois was there for the hearing.

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
4:57pm
Mon Apr 28

Far Southeast Side Residents Decry Compromise On Petcoke Ordinance (VIDEO)

Members of the Southeast Side Coalition to Ban PetCoke took to the streets Saturday to push back against changes to a proposed ordinance to regulate petcoke piles in the city. They say the ordinance doesn’t go far enough in protecting their community from the dust particles that are making area residents sick. Some 200 protesters converged on Ald. John Pope’s (10th) ward office and KCBX Terminals, which stores the petcoke piles on the banks of the Calumet River, over the weekend in a call for a complete ban on petcoke piles.

Petcoke is a by-product from oil refineries that contains high concentrations of carbon and sulfur. Residents say high winds often blow the fine petcoke particles throughout the community often coating homes in black soot.

“If it falls short of removing the piles, it is not a good fix for our neighborhood,” said Marianne Blye, of the ordinance sponsored by Pope and Alderman Ed Burke (14th) and backed by the mayor. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:25pm
Thu Apr 24

Chicagoans Hit BP, Koch Brothers Companies With Class Action Lawsuit Over Petcoke

As the debate over petroleum coke stored on Chicago's Southeast Side rages on, a consolidated class action lawsuit was filed in federal court earlier this month against BP and various companies — including three connected to the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch — for failing to contain mounds of the gritty material.

The class action complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on April 7, is consolidated with two other lawsuits brought last year by Southeast Side Chicagoans against BP, which produces petroleum coke, or petcoke, in its oil refining process, as well as several companies that house the powdery substance in the city. 

The 10 Chicagoans named as plaintiffs in the consolidated lawsuit brought the complaint on behalf of themselves and a class estimated to be comprised of thousands of property owners located near the large petcoke piles on the city's Southeast Side. Read more »