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Chicago had already committed in 2017 to power its 900-plus public buildings (public schools, colleges, and the park district) entirely on clean energy by 2025.
The resolution was the result of a collaboration by numerous local citizens groups, including the Climate Reality Project Chicago Chapter, the Illinois Sierra Club, IBEW Local 134, People for Community Recovery, SEIU Local 1, Citizens Utility Board, and other environmental, education, youth, and labor groups. The state of Illinois also has a very ambitious climate change agenda as required by the Illinois Clean Energy Job Act, which aims to move the entire state to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. According to the Sierra Club, in 2018, Illinois had the second-highest solar job growth of any US state—it now ranks 13th as far as total solar jobs nationally.
Why This Matters: Chicago’s air is not exactly crystal clean and clear. It ranked as the 22nd most polluted city in the US in 2018, and the American Lung Association gave the city an F grade in its annual State of the Air report. Asthma rates there are very high — of the city’s 2.7 million residents, more than 683,000 adults and 170,000 children in the Chicago area suffer from asthma. The worst of the pollution there is concentrated in African American and Latino neighborhoods in the city’s south, southwest, west and northwest sides, raising environmental justice issues. It was an impressive joint effort by local labor, education and environmental organizations. This is the kind of collective effort we will need to make similar policies a reality at the national level. The Windy City’s nickname just became even more fitting.
To Go Deeper: You can read the Chicago City Council Resolution by clicking this R2019-157.pdf link.
By Lew Milford With its recent executive orders on environmental justice, the Biden administration has put energy equity at the front and center of its domestic policy agenda. The challenge now is to put these principles into practice. That job has been made much more critical with the massive power outage that just crippled Texas. […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer As the domestic electric vehicle market in the United States continues to hit its stride and new competitors vie in the race to electrify, Lucid Motors has emerged as an ultra-luxury competitor to EV darling Tesla Motors. This week, Lucid went public through a SPAC with Churchill Capital Corp […]
The Texas freeze and subsequent blackouts have given the Biden administration the chance to show the country how it will handle natural disasters, and they’ve already done one thing much differently than the Trump administration: acknowledged the role of climate change. And now, due to surge pricing, Texans are facing utility bills in the thousands of dollars for what little heat they got.
Why This Matters: The Biden administration wasted no time declaring an emergency and stating it would review preparation for future storms.
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