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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:30pm
Wed Jan 27

Rauner's State Of The State Address Sidesteps Illinois' Blaring Fiscal Problems, Critics Say

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered his second State of the State address Wednesday, during the seventh month of the state budget impasse. Progress Illinois provides highlights from Rauner's speech and rounds up reaction to his agenda for the state.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:17pm
Fri Jul 18, 2014

Chicago Commercial Buildings In Retrofit Program Making Progress To Cut Energy Use

In the first two years of the Chicago Commercial Building Initiative, participating buildings have cut their collective energy use by seven percent compared to their 2010 baseline, officials with the city and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said Friday.

The seven percent reduction in energy use is the equivalent of avoiding 28,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, or taking some 5,800 cars off the road for a year. 

Over the past two years, the 32 commercial buildings enrolled in the voluntary program reduced their collective energy use by switching to more efficient LED lighting; installing motion sensors connected to heating, cooling and lighting systems; upgrading heating and cooling systems with better ventilation fans and motors; and improving tenants' office-space efficiency.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
8:03pm
Fri Jun 6, 2014

Renewable Gasoline From Wood: A Transportation Fuel Of The Future?

An innovative process to convert wood waste directly into renewable, high-octane gasoline has been developed successfully at the Des Plaines-based Gas Technology Institute (GTI), a non-profit that researches and develops energy technologies.

The recently-developed technology was crafted over a four-year period at GTI's gasification campus as part of a public-private pilot project supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) integrated biorefineries program.

At GTI's pilot plant, some 700 tons of woody biomass, such as mill and logging residue, were gasified and about 10,000 gallons of gasoline were produced.

"Gasification has a very checkered past," explained Jim Patel, president of the California-based biomass gasification company Carbona Corporation, a partner of the DOE-backed project. "People have made promises of gasification technology but (there have not been) too many successes. Here, we've proved that gasification works. We can clean up the gas, and the gas can be converted into gasoline." 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:50pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Report: School Closures, Charter Expansion Causing 'Catastrophic' Harm To U.S. Minority Communities

On the heels of the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, which declared state-mandated public school segregation unconstitutional, dozens of grassroots organizations across the country say the push by education "reformers" to close and privatize schools is having a devastating and disproportionate impact on communities of color. Progress Illinois takes a look at a new report on the matter released by Journey for Justice Alliance, a national network of grassroots community groups.

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