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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:30pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Illinois Officials, Enviros Gear Up For EPA’s Power Plant Carbon Emission Rules

President Barack Obama is set to unveil federal regulations on Monday to cut carbon pollution from existing U.S. power plants. Progress Illinois takes a look at the potential local impact of the proposed carbon pollution standards and what comes next.

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
3:59pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Marktown Residents, Supporters Rally Against Keystone XL Pipeline (VIDEO)

Nearly 200 demonstrators gathered in Marktown Park, a neighborhood in East Chicago, Indiana, as part of a nationwide day of action that took place in more than 100 cities to protest the use of fossil fuels and to urge President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Demonstrators say they chose Marktown, which rests in the shadow of the BP Whiting refinery, because of the recent spill into Lake Michigan and an expansion project that will level the small community.

The demonstration was organized by 350.org, the Sierra Club, the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands, the Northwest Indiana Federation of Interfaith Organizations and other groups who say the $3.8 billion expansion of the BP Whiting facility threatens the health of the community.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:30pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Illinois Residents, Environmental Groups Sound The Alarm On Coal Ash Dangers

Illinois environmental groups and residents say the state's proposed draft rules for coal ash pits at power plant sites fall short when it comes to protecting the public from a "coal ash catastrophe." Progress Illinois details why environmentalists are calling for stronger coal ash regulations at the state level.

Quick Hit
by Anthony Burke Boylan
11:19am
Wed May 14, 2014

Quigley Tours Chicago Petcoke Sites With Environmentalists, Affected Residents

A group of activists took U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL-5) through the environmental mire that is Chicago’s South Deering community as well as adjacent neighborhoods. During Tuesday’s tour, the environmentalists and area residents pointed out the towering, six-story piles of petcoke that are ruining their health and quality of life.

Locals have long referred to the area as Slag Valley — so named for the waste produced by the steel mills that defined the community for a century before leaving disappointment and economic blight. While the mills polluted the air and water, at least they provided jobs, residents say.

Now, they talk of the pollution that, they say, is as bad or worse than what was created by the steel mills, adding that the petcoke piles cause eye irritation, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and more. And, they noted, there is no economic benefit to the residents, who walked Quigley through the KCBX Terminals storage yard, even as they suffer from the presence of petcoke in their neighborhoods.

“The long-term solution is to move away from tar sands and dirty fuels,’’ said Quigley as he surveyed huge mounds of black petcoke at the Koch Brother-controlled KCBX storage yard. “The short-term solution is to get these piles of petcoke covered and lessen some of the immediate health concerns.’’

Quick Hit
by Anthony Burke Boylan
9:32am
Wed May 14, 2014

Gore Talks Climate Change, Supreme Court Rulings In Chicago (VIDEO)

Earth and all of the life it sustains is in imminent danger from global climate change and from the “enforced orthodoxy’’ of its deniers, but there is still time to act and reason for hope, former Vice President Al Gore said at the University of Chicago Monday evening.

In discussing the political problems holding back environmental reforms, he spoke directly to comments made at the same University of Chicago Institute of Politics forum two weeks earlier by Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, who claimed scientists only have 100 years of “real data’’ at which to look when assessing climate change. Even as he argued against a “dumbed down” debate, his calculus suggests scientists can’t use other evidence to study historical changes in the planet that include weather and energy patterns, something with which nearly all experts disagree.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:25pm
Mon May 12, 2014

National Nurses United, Southeast Siders Rally For Chicago Petcoke Moratorium At City Hall

Registered nurses and community activists rallied at Chicago’s City Hall Monday afternoon, demanding that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and council members install an immediate moratorium on all petcoke operations in the city.

Chanting “Moratorium now!”, dozens of Southeast Side residents, members of National Nurses United and other allies delivered a letter to the mayor’s office, urging Chicago’s elected officials to “cease all petcoke operations, transport and storage within the city until it is learned what impact petcoke has on the health of Chicagoans or until the piles are enclosed.”

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.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:00pm
Tue Apr 29, 2014

Chicago Petcoke Ordinance Passes Key Hurdle

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s revised ordinance to regulate petcoke stored in Chicago cleared the city council's zoning committee Tuesday, despite an outpouring of objection from residents who want nothing short of a complete, citywide ban on the material. Progress Illinois was there for the hearing.

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