A message from Jen Walling, Executive Director of the IL Environmental Council:
It’s Environmental Lobby Day here in Springfield and our nearly 200 environmental advocates are about to head over to the Capitol. Last night, we had 70 people for our training and reception and the rest will get to Springfield later this morning. I’m excited by all these amazing people who have joined us and I hope you’ll take a moment to support their work by contacting legislators about the issues on our agenda.
Fix the RPS! Our renewable energy portfolio standards which require 25% renewables by 2025 need a fix. Unfortunately, the 2007 statute doesn’t work well in today’s energy market and a fix is neededto ensure a stable market for Illinois renewable energy developers. Take action to fix the RPS.
End Coal-Only Education for Kids. Our state runs a coal only education program for kids. An evaluation paid for by DCEO found that this program is outdated and contains inaccurate information about energy and the environment. Further, it’s the only energy source out of the many in the state and we need to make sure our kids are well informed enough to think critically about all energyThis program is not a good use of taxpayer dollar and we’d like to see it removed. Take action to ask your legislator to end this program here.
Protect Cougars, Bears, Wolves, and Bobcats. SB3049 adds cougars, bears, and wolves to the protected species list. This bill makes it illegal to shoot these animals without cause. HB4226 allows bobcat hunting in Illinois. Populations of these animals have recovered significantly, but not all over the state. Let’s not risk their further recovery. Take action here to ask your legislator to vote against bobcat hunting.
Ban fracking on public lands. SB3424 would ban all oil and gas drilling (fracking included) on or under state and federal natural areas. This an important and common sense bill that needs to be passed before fracking regulations are complete. Action alert coming soon!
Protect all Illinois communities from pet coke. Petroleum coke, or “petcoke” is a waste product of tar sands oil refining—that is increasingly being refined in the Midwest—and blowing through communities across the state. Chicago is cracking down on the petcoke and coal storage problem on the southeast side with lawsuits by the state, regulations, and a proposed ordinance to restrict bulk petcoke and coal operations [though this legislation has some important loopholes, as noted by the Tribune's Michael Hawthorne earlier this week]. It is important that the state act swiftly in passing HB 5939 to protect communities so no person has to contend with petcoke or coal dust coating their neighborhood. Action alert coming soon!
Please take action on as many of these bills as possible by using the links to e-mail or call your legislators in support of our 200 citizen lobbyists. This is one of the days where we make the biggest gains on environmental issues and I’ll hope you’ll be a part of it.
Executive Director, Illinois Environmental Council