Category Archives: Environment

Third Act Comes to C-U and is Creating “Good Trouble”

It’s March 21,, 2023, a cool, just barely spring day, and the sidewalks surrounding JPMorgan Chase Bank’s downtown Chicago headquarters are filled with hundreds of chanting, white-haired elders. The cops flanking the bank’s entrance seem more bemused than wary as … Continue reading

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Carbon Capture, Illinois’ Biggest Coal Fired Power Plant, and the Prairie Research Institute

Carbon capture has become the divisive hot topic in Illinois climate policy over the last year. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) included substantial subsidies for carbon capture that have created an industry gold rush looking to build and operate carbon … Continue reading

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Rescuing the Embarras River

Tucked into the southwest corner of the University of Illinois’s Urbana-Champaign campus, just beyond student housing and mostly hidden by roadside grasses, a ditch runs along a solar farm and through research farmland. This is the humble beginning of the … Continue reading

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Remembering David Monk

David Monk, 91, died on December 2, 2022. For a detailed account of his life and accomplishments, refer to the News-Gazette article published on July 13, 2022, soon after he went into hospice care. It is not easy to summarize … Continue reading

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The Inflation Reduction Act: Historic Climate Legislation with a Lifeline to Fossil Fuels

With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August, many environmental advocates and others concerned about rapidly rising global temperatures breathed a collective sigh of relief. The US finally is taking historic action to address the climate crisis. … Continue reading

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West Virginia v. EPA: SCOTUS Decision Not Necessarily a Blow to Climate Action

Supreme Court rulings, once announced, sometimes take on curious lives. Understood in one way when released, they can, as precedent, shape the law in other, unexpected ways. The Supreme Court’s opinion in West Virginia v. US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), … Continue reading

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Illinois Responds to “Code Red” Climate Alarm

  IPCC Issues a Code Red for Humanity “Code Red for Humanity” has become the new rallying cry for climate action. The phrase was coined by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in reference to the August climate report, released … Continue reading

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Victory! Dynegy Will Move Its Ash

No More “Cap and Run” After a multi-year campaign calling for the clean-up of coal ash along the Middle Fork of the Vermilion, Illinois’ only National Scenic River, Dynegy Midwest Generation, owner of the coal ash, has finally agreed to … Continue reading

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A New Option to Finance A Clean Energy Future for Everyone

While renewable energy technologies have made tremendous strides in recent decades, financing and investment options for those who want to go green have remained scarce. The Clean Energy Credit Union (CECU), chartered by the American Solar Energy Association in 2017, … Continue reading

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1968 – Not Really So Long Ago or Far Away

“I want kids to see that it wasn’t just Martin Luther King making things happen in the 1960s, it was local folks here as well. Just as it is today.” Katie Snyder, Education Program Specialist, Museum of the Grand Prairie … Continue reading

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Ban Fracking in Illinois this Year

By Lois Kain Lois Kain lives in Urbana and is a member of Food and Water Watch and Sierra Club. Illinois has so far avoided the damages that inevitably result from horizontal, or directional, High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF), known … Continue reading

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Women and the Environment

By Jacquelyn Potter, Sierra Club Prairie Group About a month ago I had the “great” idea to write an article in honor of Women’s History Month about women in the environmental movement. I soon realized the futility of this. Writing … Continue reading

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Water as a Human Right

By Jacquelyn Potter Jacquelyn Potter has an MS in Biology and serves on the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club Prairie Group. Her environmental interests range from water and air quality issues to land and wildlife issues. Water is essential for … Continue reading

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The Recolonization of Standing Rock

By Desmond Powers After a thirty-five hour drive from New Orleans, I rolled into Standing Rock’s Oceti Sakowin camp in a VW hatchback plastered with Bernie stickers with two fellow New Orleanians and a trunk full of herbal medicine and … Continue reading

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Small Victories Matter

By Jacquelyn Potter Jacquelyn Potter is on the Executive Committee of the local Sierra Club, where she is involved in activism regarding DAPL and other pipeline issues. A celebration of joy erupted in the cold, snowy and wet camp at … Continue reading

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Disaster Waiting to Happen: Coal Ash Threatens Illinois’ Only National Scenic River

The Middle Fork of the Vermilion River is a swift-running stream that freely meanders from the north to the south through the Middle Fork State Fish and Wildlife Area, Kennewick County Park, and Kickapoo State Park in nearby Vermilion County. … Continue reading

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Resolution Opposing The Dakota Access Pipeline

Resolution Opposing The Dakota Access Pipeline WHEREAS, the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline would carry as many as 570,000 barrels of fracked crude oil per day for over 1,000 miles from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to Illinois, passing … Continue reading

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Rio 2016: Beautiful Games at Huge Cost

From August 5 to August 21, Rio will be the home of some of the most beautifully intense displays of athletics during the 2016 Summer Olympics. While fans will rightfully be enjoying the amazing displays, we should also pay attention … Continue reading

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Students Rally for Coal Divestment

On April 4, the student group UIUC Beyond Coal rallied on the Quad to push the Academic Senate to pass a resolution urging the University divest $5.1 million held in the coal industry through stock index funds, in order to slow … Continue reading

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A View on Bulldog Coal Mine from the Appalachian Mountains

“Support coal or sit in the dark.” That phrase is familiar in the coal-burdened areas of Central Appalachia, but now some who supported coal are finding themselves out of work, abandoned by coal—many too injured by coal mining to work … Continue reading

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