The White House has named John Goss, former head of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, to be its new federal Asian Carp Director. The "carp czar" will oversee techniques for controlling the advancing Asian Carp population from entering the Great Lakes.
While scientists have not yet made a definitive link between extreme weather and climate change, former New York Times' environmental reporter Andrew Revkin argues
that today's brutal storms, heat waves, snow storms, and droughts "give
us the feel, sweat and all, of what’s to come if emissions are not
reined in." Environment Illinois (EI) agrees. Surveying the latest in
science research, the environment group released a new report
this morning documenting how global warming -- left unaddressed --
could make costly and dangerous extreme weather events, like the
Midwestern flood of 2008, more common in the future:
Already this year, the U.S. Senate has punted on a comprehensive climate change bill. Thankfully, they voted down
a "resolution of disapproval" authored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
that would have would effectively stripped the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) of its authority to regulate carbon under the Clean Air
Act. EI is asking for a commitment from Illinois' two sitting senators
to vote against legislation introduced
this spring that would impose a two-year moratorium on any carbon
regulations targeted at power plants by the EPA. During the upcoming
U.S. Senate campaign, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk should also be asked whether he would block EPA efforts to limit carbon emissions. Given his new interest in dirty energy campaign contributions, we'd be curious to hear his answer.
A new report finds that federal resources to address the home foreclosure crisis aren't commensurate with the need and argues for using Chicago's TIF dollars to convert foreclosed properties into affordable housing.
Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic nominee for Illinois' U.S. Senate seat, released his latest ad for the fall campaign today. "The Choice - Ethics," as the ad is titled, is simple and to the point, featuring President Barack Obama extolling Giannoulias' commitment to ethical government. The video is below:
Obama has taken a hit in recent national polling numbers. But the president has been able to hang on to majority support among voters in Illinois, with 51 percent approving of his job performance according to a recent Tribune poll. The ad clearly seeks to remind voters that supporting Giannoulias means supporting Obama, Illinois' home state president.
To brandish his reputation as a fiscal conservative, GOP Senate nominee Mark Kirk released a five-point platform to reduce federal spending. He should own up to his role in the growth of the nation's debt, instead.
Since the recession hit, illegal immigration has declined
precipitously across the country, according to a new report published
by the Pew Hispanic Center. Here in Illinois, however, the rate of
undocumented immigration has remained stable. In 2009, Illinois was
home to 525,000 undocumented immigrants, about five percent of the
Demographers attribute Illinois' stability to
the large percentage of families who settle here. Those households have been in the country longer and are less likely to
fall victim to the federal government's heightened enforcement
techniques or leave their neighborhoods if the economy dips. That trend should also inform
the state's public policy; while it would be ideal if everyone in
Illinois had papers, the reality of the situation is that a sizeable
portion of the state's population is undocumented and not moving
anytime soon. That means it's important for elected officials to
continue advocating for comprehensive immigration at the federal level
while keeping in place Illinois' strong protections for immigrants of every legal status. Read our post here for some background on the two gubernatorial candidates' immigration views.
State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, the Democratic and Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, are tied, with each garnering 34 percent in support in a new Tribune poll of 600 voters across the state.
If the U.S. Senate does not extend federal funding for the Temporary
Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund by the end of the
month, an estimated 26,000 workers in Illinois could lose jobs they acquired through the successful
Put Illinois to Work program.