Springfield, June 26 – This morning the Illinois House passed HR490, urging Governor Rauner to have Illinois join 12 states, Puerto Rico, and over 300 cities in supporting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and signing onto the U.S. Climate Alliance. The resolution also urges the state to develop a plan of how Illinois can achieve 100% clean, renewable energy by 2045, a goal that dozens of cities and the state of California are working towards. The Resolution passed 54-29.
In response, Jack Darin, Director of Sierra Club Illinois Chapter, released the following statement:
“Governor Rauner, it is time for Illinois to join the US Climate Alliance, and chart our own course to a clean energy future. President Trump is stepping back from the global move to clean energy, but Illinois does not have to follow him. It’s time to commit to fighting the climate change that threatens Illinois, and plan for the bold long term goal of a 100% clean energy future.
“Illinois is already on track to meet the Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets, as the clean energy boom on the way under the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) is projected to reduce carbon emissions at least equal to those agreed to in the Paris accord. A transition to 100% clean energy will not happen overnight, but the transition has already begun, and setting that as a long term goal for Illinois will guide job training, economic development, grid infrastructure, and other components of a clean energy future.”
Yesterday an invasive adult silver carp was caught within nine miles of Lake Michigan in the Calumet River. The 8-pound fish was captured in a gill net by a commercial fisherman working for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) as part of their seasonal intensive monitoring program looking for this invasive species within Chicago’s waterways. This critical work is funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which President Trump has proposed to eliminate all funding for beginning October 1. More information about current carp control efforts is available here.
The Trump Administration has also halted efforts to upgrade the Brandon Road Lock and Dam, downstream of the electric barriers, to prevent the movement of Asian carp upstream. The Army Corps of Engineers was set to release the study for public review in late February when the White House blocked its release.
Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter Clean Water Program Director Cindy Skrukrud released this statement:
“The capture of a silver carp past the electric barrier and just 9 miles from Lake Michigan is a potent reminder of how the Trump Administration is failing to address the huge problem that aquatic invasive species pose to the Great Lakes. While alien invaders are headed towards Lake Michigan, Trump and his team are halting projects to keep them out and dismantling Great Lakes protection programs. It is urgent that Governor Rauner and our entire Congressional delegation call on President Trump to release the Brandon Road Lock and Dam study that his administration is holding hostage, and demand that he commit to fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. If Trump is allowed by Congress to cut off all Great Lakes funding October 1, Illinois DNR will not be able to continue the critical work underway right now to catch and control these dangerous invaders.”
Want to take action? Here’s how you can help:
Sign the Great Lakes Protection Pledge and tell your Member of Congress to do the same
Tell your Members of Congress to support legislation to stop Asian carp
- Silver carp captured in the Illinois Waterway on June 22, 2017 below T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam.
Image courtesy of Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The Brandon Road Lock and Dam upgrade would increase protection for Lake Michigan
It’s official – our President has abandoned the community of world leaders, and indeed, all of humanity by withdrawing from the historic Paris climate agreement.
Here in Illinois, we refuse to follow Trump’s great leap backward on climate, and we need your help.
Today we redouble our efforts to move Illinois beyond fossil fuels with an unprecedented wave of new solar, wind, and energy saving projects. And we won’t stop until Illinois is powered by 100% clean energy.
3000+ braved the rain and cold in Chicago last month to rally and march to Trump Tower. Illinois will move forward as Trump tries to take us back.
We’re in this for the long haul, and we need your help to build strength for this crucial work. Please protest Trump’s shameful decision by becoming a monthly supporter of our climate and clean energy work here in Illinois.
It is crystal clear that action on climate change must come from states like Illinois, and that is our mission. We must persist, and we must be strong. Thank you for your support.
President Trump released his proposed FY 2018 federal budget today. Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter Director Jack Darin released this statement about the proposed budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
“President Trump’s proposed budget for the EPA is a plan only polluters could love. Trump wants to slash funding for enforcing clean air and water laws, shut down the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Office of Environmental Justice, and penalize states that improve environmental safeguards.
We need to kill this plan before it starts to kill us. The scientists, engineers, and other career professionals are calling this budget a “death sentence.” The Great Lakes region must unite to defend ourselves against this broad attack on our health, our resources, and our communities. We call on members of Congress, Governors, and local leaders in both parties to pledge their support for our Great Lakes environment, and their opposition to Trump’s attacks on the EPA and our environmental safeguards. As the Trump Administration steps back from their responsibility to protect our communities, states will need to step up efforts to enforce environmental laws and upgrade standards to ensure we make progress against pollution, not the great leaps backward threatened by Trump’s proposal.”
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s trip to Chicago today failed to ease grave concerns about the potential impact of unprecedented budget cuts and the Agency’s direction under his leadership.
Apparently Pruitt had time to take in a ball game this afternoon at Wrigley Field, but no time or interest in meeting with employees at the EPA Region 5 office in Chicago. He also ignored requests to meet with community groups concerned about lead contamination in the East Chicago housing project he drove past.
With rumors swirling that the EPA may completely close the regional office here, proposed devastating cuts, and Pruitt’s history of attacking the agency he now leads, it would have been a very good time to meet with employees and assure them that their jobs, and the mission of the EPA, are safe. A group of EPA workers invited Pruitt to lunch, but received no response. They gathered at the regional headquarters in case he showed up, but were met with an empty chair.
Region 5 EPA workers had hoped to meet with Administrator Pruitt during his Chicago visit
If Pruitt had taken the time to meet the women and men of EPA’s regional office here, he would have found dedicated professionals who have made it their life’s work to protect us all, but who now are worried about whether they will be able to do their jobs. Pruitt could learn a lot about the great work EPA has done in our region to clean up the Great Lakes, improve our air quality, encourage clean energy, and created good jobs in clean technologies, and how President Trump’s policies and budget proposal threaten to decimate the EPA and the communities here who depend on it. Instead, he took the afternoon off and headed to Wrigley.
You can’t beat a day at the ballpark, but Scott Pruitt is striking out when it comes to his job of keeping Americans safe from pollution.
For more on Pruitt’s adventures in our area today, see this summary.