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Quick Hit
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6:18pm
Mon Jun 2

Guest Article: Gov. Quinn Should Seize the Opportunity To Put 7,200 More Illinoisans To Work In Clean Energy

The following is written by Natural Resources Defense Council analyst Becky Stanfield.

On May 16, a coalition of companies including Starbucks, the Gap, Levis, Jones Lange LaSalle, Ikea and Nike wrote to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn urging him to, “seize the economic opportunity embedded in addressing climate change.”  They explained that “the health of our economy depends on our ability to capitalize on the opportunities in front of us.” 

These companies are part of a growing chorus of business leaders who know that America is at its best when it faces challenges head-on, that ignoring climate change is costing us billions every year that we can’t afford, and that putting people to work on solutions is both the right thing to do for future generations, and the best way to grow our economy.  Read more »

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 »