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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:22pm
Thu Jan 21

It's Time To 'Accelerate Climate Change Solutions,' Say Enviros In Reaction To 2015's Record High Temps

After 2015 was officially declared the hottest year on record, environmental experts say it's time to step up climate action efforts. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:58pm
Thu Jan 14

EPA Climate Regs To Be 'Big Fight' In State Legislatures This Year

As 2016 state legislative sessions gear up across the country, including in Illinois, expect new environmental regulations outlined under the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan to be a key issue debated in the nation's state houses this year.

The Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, finalized in August, looks to slash carbon emissions from existing U.S. power plants. The goal is to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

States, which are given flexibility to meet the plan's carbon pollution standards, have to submit an implementation plan or request an extension by September.

"There's a range of actions that states will be considering to address the rule, including cap and trade, carbon taxes, renewable portfolio standards, scaling up solar energy use, amongst other things," said Nick Rathod, executive director of the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), a group working with state legislators to advance progressive policies across the country.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:25pm
Thu Jan 7

Illinois Environmental, Labor Groups Highlight Economic Benefits Of Clean Water Projects

Every $1 billion invested in Chicago-area clean water infrastructure creates or saves an average of 11,200 total jobs and generates an 8 percent economic return over a year.

That's according to a new report, backed by the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) and the Sierra Club, that explores the economic and environmental benefits of local clean water projects, which the groups say are a "win-win-win for Illinois" because they help workers, the economy and the environment.

The report, prepared by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) and the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was formally recognized at Thursday's board meeting of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD).

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:07pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Illinois Transportation Advocates: Rauner Budget Could Mean Major Fare Hikes, Service Cuts (VIDEO)

Illinois public transportation advocates are calling attention to the potentially "devastating" effects Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's 2016 budget proposal could have on train and bus services across the state.

Spearheaded by the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, the coalition of advocates has launched a new campaign called "Grow Illinois Transit" to raise awareness about Rauner's proposed budget cuts to Amtrak, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, Pace and downstate bus services. Other organizations involved with the coalition include the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, the Illinois Environmental Council, Illinois PIRG and the Sierra Club's Illinois chapter.

Under Rauner's budget plan for the 2016 fiscal year, which beings July 1, the CTA, Metra and Pace could see their collective funding slashed by over $160 million. Amtrak faces a $16 million cut, which represents a 40 percent reduction in funding.

Speaking at a Chicago press conference Monday afternoon, transit advocates said Rauner's fiscal plan could result in significant fare hikes as well as bus and train services being reduced or eliminated altogether. 

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