Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lobby Day – April 26th 2018

On April 26, people from across Illinois will converge on Springfield to rally for our shared home and talk to our legislators about policies that will protect our air, water, land, and neighbors. Environmental Lobby Day happens every April in Springfield and is vital to building the political power we need to address environmental injustices today, and protect our communities for generations to come. We hope you can join!

WHAT: Environmental Lobby Day
WHERE: Illinois State Capitol Building – 401 S Second St. Springfield, IL
WHEN: Thursday, April 26, Rally @ 11 am, lobbying before + after

You can come down the night before for a reception and training, drive/carpool/take the train there the day-of, or get on bus the day of.

If you’re planning to get there yourself you can register here

If you’re planning to take a bus you can register here (buses from Chicago loop + southside, Waukegan, Schaumburg, Oak Park, and Champaign)  

  • We have a number of important issues we’ll be advocating for, such as:
    Protecting utility customers from being forced to bail-out polluting coal power plant owner Dynegy
  • Ensuring access to clean drinking water for all by making sure Illinois replaces our aging lead water lines.  Protecting your right to have a say in polluting projects happening in your community.

Environmental Lobby Day is powerful because of the residents across Illinois who show up to rally + make their voices heard with their state legislators. Please register today!


Join Sierra Club to Protect our Air

If fossil fuel interests & Governor Rauner get their way, there’ll be a lot more dangerous pollution in Illinois’ air!

Dynegy, the Texas-based company that now owns Ameren is working behind closed doors with Rauner’s administration to rewrite State air pollution rules to allow them to double the amount of dangerous pollution they can spew into our air. Join Sierra Club, our partners, and concerned community members at the Illinois Pollution Control Board meeting on March 6 to demand that our state protect people and the environment over corporate profits.

WHAT: Pollution Control Board Hearing
WHERE: 157 N Main St, Edwardsville, IL 62025
WHEN: Tuesday, March 6, 10 am-9 pm

To RSVP, click here.

For questions? Contact Ryan Hidden:

Sierra Club responds to Trump’s second attempt to cut Great Lakes funding

Yesterday, the Trump Administration released its 2019 budget proposal, which includes an approximate 90% cut to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), a fund that EPA distributes to groups doing work on the ground to protect and restore the Great Lakes and its ecosystems.

Duckworth Delivery

Senator Tammy Duckworth showing her support for the Great Lakes and EPA funding in September 2017

We saw a similar attempt last year, when Trump’s 2018 budget proposal included a complete elimination of the GLRI, and we fought back with the force of millions of Americans who know the value of a healthy Great Lakes. We showed that protecting the Great Lakes is a bipartisan issue, because we all need clean water to drink and economic drivers to thrive in our Midwest communities. We were happy to see Congress pass a 2018 budget that included full funding of the GLRI.

Our elected officials stood with us in rejecting Trump’s previous proposal to slash Great Lakes funding, and we expect they will do so again in response to this repeated senseless attempt. It is time to invest in our Great Lakes and our communities, and we will not stand for the Trump Administration trying to turn their backs on us by cutting jobs and threatening the progress we have made in restoring the health and prosperity of our region.

The proposal also calls for slashing EPA’s 2019 budget by 34% from 2017 to $5.4 billion — an even deeper cut than Trump sought last year. The EPA’s efforts to clean up toxic pollution, restore degraded ecosystems and respond to environmental threats cannot be done without sufficient funding and staff. At a time when crumbling infrastructure threatens the delivery of safe, clean water and climate change is bringing storm events at unprecedented levels, it is completely irresponsible to abandon successful efforts to protect our resources and make our communities more resilient.

We’ve seen what happens when the agencies charged with protecting our environment aren’t given the funding and resources needed to do their job effectively. Last year we saw an oil spill in the Chicago River, multiple chromium spills into Lake Michigan by U.S. Steel (a facility with numerous permit violations) and an overall drop in penalties sought against polluters in Illinois under Rauner’s EPA. Our Great Lakes and other waterways, as well as the air and land across our region, need protection against dangerous pollution that threatens our health and the future of our resources.

We again call on members of Congress and all of us who depend on the Great Lakes to stand up and do what our region has always done to show that protecting this precious resource and supporting a strong EPA should be a top priority for the entire nation, starting with the federal budget.

Sign the Great Lakes Protection Pledge to tell your legislators to stand up for the Great Lakes.


All Hands on Deck event in Chicago, July 2017


2018: Resolved to Resist & Renew

We’re thrilled to start 2018 stronger than ever after a 2017 that tested all of us.  In the face of a full frontal assault from Trump, Pruitt, and their fossil fuel allies, we started Illinois on the path to a 100% clean energy future, defending the EPA and the Great Lakes against severe cuts, marched in solidarity with vulnerable communities, and continued to build a bigger, more diverse environmental movement. We’ve added thousands of new members, built new community partnerships, and welcomed hundreds of new activists and leaders like you.
2018 is the year Illinois decides if we will step up to lead on the environment, and we are 100% in to elect leaders who share our values and will champion clean energy, clean water, nature, and environmental justice.  You can read our 2018 Platform and join us by making a new year’s resolution to be 100% in for Illinois environment.

Women’s March to the Polls

On Saturday, January 20, communities around the country will mobilize to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Women’s March, and to emphasize the importance of getting out the vote in 2018. This year will be critical for determining the future of our planet and our communities. Join a march near you to kick of 2018 with power!

Women’s March: March to the Polls
302 S Columbus Drive, Chicago
Sat. Jan 20
11 am- 1 pm

Sierra Club Chicago Meet-up
10 am @ 70 E Lake St. Suite 1500
Coffee + donuts!
Facebook event

Sierra Club Lake County Meet-up
Union Pacific UP North – Waukegan, North Chicago, Great Lakes, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Fort Sheridan, Highroad, Highland Park

Milwaukee Road North – Fox Lake, Ingleside, Long Lake, Round Lake, Grayslake, Prairie Crossing, Libertyville, Lake Forest, Deerfield, Lake-Cook, Northbrook, N. Glenview, Glenview

RSVP for either Lake County meet-up.

Women’s March to the Polls – Springfield, IL
Sat. Jan 20
12 pm- 1 pm
401 S 2nd St.
Springfield, IL
Facebook RSVP

Women’s March to the Polls – Peoria
Sat. Jan 20th 12pm-1pm
East Peoria Riverfront Park
1201 Riverside Drive, East Peoria
More info

Southern Illinois March to the Polls
Sat. Jan 20
11 am-5 pm
Carbondale Civic Center
200 S Illinois Ave, Carbondale
Facebook RSVP

Quad Cities Women’s March
Sat. Jan 20
Schwiebert Riverfront Park
1st Ave Downtown Rock Island
Facebook RSVP


No to Fossil Fuel Bailouts, Yes to Clean Energy!

No to Fossil Fuel Bailouts: Dynegy, the Texas-based corporation that owns the majority of the aging coal plants in Central and Southern Illinois, is working behind closed doors with Rauner’s administration to rewrite State air pollution rules to allow them to double the amount of dangerous pollution they can spew into our air. Tell state regulators to protect our air from corporate greed! Learn more and submit a comment to state regulators here.  

Yes to Clean Energy: This year, the Illinois Chapter will be working with volunteer leaders around the state to help push local goals of 100% clean energy for municipalities. Are you interested in launching or participating in a campaign in your city or town to build more clean energy and set bold goals for the future? If so, let us know, and fill out our survey about upcoming trainings.


Chicago is One Step Closer to a 100% Clean Energy Future

On November 21, 2017, the Chicago City Council approved updates to the 2014 Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance. These updates will improve the visibility and transparency of building energy use, while also making the information easier to understand.

In summary, the updates will create a new Chicago Energy Rating system for large buildings required to report on annual energy consumption.  Properties in compliance with benchmarking reporting will receive between one and four stars on a four-star rating system, based on their 1-100 ENERGY STAR score. Properties with one, two, or three stars will be able to earn an additional star if they have improved by at least 10 points in the past two reporting years. Building owners will be required to post their rating in a prominent location and to share the rating at time of listing the property for lease or sale. The new rating system goes into effect in 2019.

draft placard

A draft mock-up of the rating placard

The new rating system would be based on the following scale:  

  • Zero stars: Out of compliance with energy benchmarking (no report sent to the City) 
  • One star: 1-40 points
  • Two stars: 41-60 points OR a score of 11-40 points and a 10-point improvement in the past 2 years
  • Three stars: 61-80 points OR a score of 41-60 points and a 10-point improvement in the past 2 years
  • Four stars: 81-100 points OR a score of 61-80 points and a 10-point improvement in the past 2 years

The ratings would be issued by the City of Chicago and would be posted on each building required to benchmark. The additional visibility and transparency of the rating system will enable more informed decisions about building operating costs related to energy. If all buildings with ENERGY STAR scores below 90 were to improve their scores by only 10 points to earn one additional star in the new rating system, buildings would see savings of over $70 million per year. The updated ordinance is also an important step to combating climate change and transitioning all of Chicago to 100% clean energy.