State Rep. Karen May (D-Highland Park) summed it up best, calling a statehouse proposal to include toxic tire burning in Illinois' definition of renewable energy a head scratcher. But as the Tribune reported yesterday, that's exactly what her colleague Rep. David Miller (D-Dolton) is attempting to do. The Democratic Comptroller nominee introduced a bill (HB 1470) this session that would clear the way for the operator of a pollution-heavy incinerator in an impoverished corner of his district to pull in green energy credits.
After some intense lobbying from environmental groups, Miller has taken his name off the bill. Still, the legislation cleared a House committee last week. "This is the sort of cynical legislative maneuvering that makes people question the credibility of our elected officials," Howard Learner, president of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, told the Tribune. "Burning tires is not clean, renewable energy by any credible definition." That's a point that will be hard for any lawmaker to argue against.