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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:33pm
Thu Jul 28, 2016

Report: U.S. Utility Companies 'Have Become Expert Tax Dodgers'

Profitable U.S. utility companies are not paying their "fair share" in taxes, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:35am
Wed Nov 26, 2014

Report: Walmart A 'Massive' Coal Consumer In Illinois

Nearly 292,000 tons of coal are burned each year to power Walmart's facilities in Illinois, producing 539,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, shows a new report examining the carbon footprint of the nation's largest retailer.

Out of all U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Walmart's coal consumption is the second highest in Illinois behind Texas, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's (ILSR) report titled, "Walmart's Dirty Energy Secret: How the Company's Slick Greenwashing Hides Its Massive Coal Consumption."

Walmart is one of the country's biggest users of coal-fired electricity overall, with its U.S. stores and distribution centers collectively responsible for the annual consumption of 4.2 million tons of coal, resulting in almost 8 million metric tons of carbon pollution each year, the report found.

"If you put all of that coal into rail cars, you'd have a train 43,000 rail cars long that stretched for over 420 miles," report co-author Stacy Mitchell, a senior researcher at ILSR, said on a conference call with reporters.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:42pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Report: 40 percent Of Low-Income Working Families In Illinois Headed By Women

A recent report shows that women headed up 40 percent of Illinois' more than 404,100 low-income working families in 2012.

Nationwide, women were the main providers for 4.1 million low-income working families in 2012, with 163,341 of those households being in Illinois, according to the report from the Working Poor Families Project, a national initiative focused on strengthening state-level policies to help working families attain economic security.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:47pm
Wed Apr 30, 2014

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.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:04pm
Thu Apr 24, 2014

Chicago Plastic Bag Ban Clears Committee, Heads To Full City Council

A long-stalled proposal to crackdown on plastic carryout bags in Chicago unanimously passed out of the city council's environmental committee Thursday despite objections from industry groups that say the move will hurt businesses.

Approval of the Ban-The-Bag measure, spearheaded by Ald. Joe Moreno (1st), followed a comprise at City Hall this week to revise the ordinance so that restaurants and mom-and-pop stores can continue using plastic bags at the point of sale. Previously, the ordinance would have applied to retailers of all sizes.

Under the measure, Chicago restaurants and small, independent stores less than 10,000 square feet in size would be exempt. Small retailers, however, would have to comply with the plastic bag ban if they are part of a chain with at least three stores. 

"I'm very open to re-looking at this and adding even more players into it, but this is a huge step today for the city of Chicago," Moreno told reporters after the vote. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:13pm
Fri Mar 28, 2014

Foster Launches Local Initiative To Promote Job Creation, Economic Development

Illinois public and private sector leaders are joining U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL,11) in an effort to help boost jobs and economic development in Will County and the Chicago region.

Foster kicked off his "Project Growth" initiative at a panel discussion in Joliet on Friday. The endeavor is focused on four key issues: education, manufacturing, strengthening the middle-class and transportation.

“My goal in launching Project Growth is to do deep examinations of what’s working in our communities, what isn’t working, and what we can be doing to better support job creation and more economic development,” the congressman said at the launch of his new initiative.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:34pm
Tue Mar 25, 2014

Debate Over Chicago's Proposed Plastic Bag Ban Heats Up

Chicagoans are up in arms over a proposal to crackdown on plastic carryout bags in the city.

The Chicago City Council's Committee on Health and Environmental Protection held a two-hour subject matter hearing on Ald. Joe Moreno's (1st) long-stalled plastic bag reduction ordinance Tuesday and debate over the proposal was fierce.

Moreno's ban-the-bag measure, which failed to move forward last year, originally looked to outlaw plastic bags in stores with more than 5,000 square-feet of retail space. But the new ordinance, introduced in the city council earlier this month, would apply to retailers of all sizes. Adding small stores to the mix was seen as a way to garner more support for the measure. 

Ald. George Cardenas (12th), who co-sponsored the new ordinance and chairs the environmental committee, said the proposal, which will likely see some additional tweaks, is slated for a committee vote on April 15.

"I think we're on the right side of being pro-environment," Cardenas told reporters. "I think we have to be on the right side of pro-business, and that's a balancing act." 

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