August 28, 2009

Obama, Madigan Sue Midwest Generation

Yesterday the Obama administration and Lisa Madigan stepped up to defend the air we breathe, and expedite Illinois transition to a cleaner energy future.

These plants have avoided modern pollution controls for too long, and hopefully there will be cleaner air on the way very soon.

August 20, 2009

Jacky Grimshaw on the CTA Board!

Today Governor Quinn appointed longtime public transportation champion Jacky Grimshaw to the board of the Chicago Transit Authority. I've known Jacky for a long time and she is very dedicated to quality transit options for all people and communities. She also understands very well the key role that good transit will play in solving global warming, and how transportation and land use planning have to be coordinated. That has often not been the case in our region, where fiefdoms and small agendas historically have often trumped regional planning for the good of everyone. There have been encouraging steps in the right direction in recent years, and Jacky's appointment to the CTA board is another big one.

Congratulations, Jacky, on recognition well deserved and long overdue. Good pick Gov!

August 17, 2009

IL Home to "Clunkers" of the Power Plant World

There's a great piece in today's Washington Post about how "the clunkers of the power plant world" (great quote by clean air champ Brian Urbaszewski of the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago!)may or may not be impacted by energy legislation before the Congress this year.

The Post story focuses on the two "clunkers" in Chicago - the Crawford and Fisk coal plants that we are currently targeting with legal actions, but they are not the only plants in Illinois. Illinois has 16 of these old plants that don't have to burn as cleanly as a modern plant.

The real fix here would be to level the playing field, and establish clean national standards for emissions that apply to all coal plants, and end the double standard that keeps these clunkers roaring throughout the state, and the country. That would correct an error in the Clean Air Act that created the double standard we are living with today, and expedite a transition to cleaner energy, create new jobs, and clear the air.

August 12, 2009

A New Voice for Clean Water at MWRD

Gov. Quinn has appointed a new Commissioner to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Last week he appointed Mariyana Spyropoulos to the MWRD seat vacated in January when then-Commissioner Patricia Young resigned her seat.

Spyropoulos very nearly won a seat on the MWRD at the ballot box in 2008, and Sierra Club supported her in that campaign. She believes the loophole allowing un-disinfected sewage to flow into the Chicago River system should close, and that MWRD should install modern pollution controls to protect the thousands of people using the North Shore Channel, Chicago River, and Cal-Sag Channel for recreation.

Congratulations to Gov. Quinn on a good choice for clean water, and to Mariyana Spyropoulos. She will now, presumably, stand for re-election in the 2010 primary and general elections.