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Rebecca Stanfield, Deputy Director for Policy, Midwest Program, Chicago

Rebecca Stanfield

I was shocked and infuriated to discover, as a biology student at the University of Illinois in the late 1980s, that our nation’s leaders knew that our over-reliance on fossil fuels was threatening the future of our planet and our way of life, and they were doing nothing about it. I remained shocked and infuriated throughout college and throughout law school, and was thrilled when, in 1994, I got a job with the simple, modest goal of transforming our nation’s energy economy.

Am I still infuriated? Well, yeah, a lot of the time I am. The truth is that most of our environmental problems have solutions that are being underutilized simply because not solving the problem serves some narrow special interest. But, I am also more hopeful than I’ve ever been that the crucial clean energy revolution is beginning to happen. I’m inspired every day by the people I work with, and I always come to the office with motivated to keep doing more and better work. This isn’t what I thought my career would be like as a kid – it’s far better.

Recent Posts

The 30-Meter Difference: DOE Study Blows Away Limits on Midwest Wind Power

Posted May 20, 2015 by Rebecca Stanfield

Boosting the height of wind turbines by 30 meters could massively boost the technical potential for cost-effective wind power in the Midwest, according to a new analysis released by the Department of Energy this week. In some places like Iowa...continued

Climate Change to Increase Respiratory Health Threats in Detroit

Posted May 13, 2015 by Rebecca Stanfield

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While spring is always a welcome sight after a long dreary winter, it can be a rude awakening if you suffer from allergies and asthma. The itchy eyes, sneezing and wheezing are not only inconvenient, for some it can be...continued

Climate Change to Increase Respiratory Health Threats in St. Louis

Posted May 13, 2015 by Rebecca Stanfield

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While spring is always a welcome sight after a long dreary winter, it can be a rude awakening if you suffer from allergies and asthma. The itchy eyes, sneezing and wheezing are not only inconvenient, for some it can be...continued

Health Threats from Climate Change: Why I Fight for Clean Energy in Michigan

Posted April 30, 2015 by Rebecca Stanfield

Talking about climate change can quickly devolve into a total nerd fest of numbers, percentages, and energy system modeling. I love the details as much as anyone, but sometimes the focus on data obscures what's most important for me about...continued

Five Key Questions Lawmakers Should Ask About ComEd's New Energy Legislation

Posted March 19, 2015 by Rebecca Stanfield

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Today Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) has proposed new legislation in the Illinois General Assembly it says will boost clean energy, and we welcome their acknowledgement that Illinois needs to embrace clean energy technologies. The bill is one of several energy bills...continued

Retrofit Chicago Wins Recognition

Posted January 30, 2015 by Rebecca Stanfield

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Our hearts swell with pride today with the news that Retrofit Chicago has been awarded the Inspiring Efficiency Impact Award, which is given each year by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance! Way to go Retrofit Chicago team! NRDC has been...continued

Ban Ki-moon Visits Chicago: Tackling One of the World's Biggest Problems, Building by Building

Posted December 8, 2014 by Rebecca Stanfield

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I was pleased to join Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel this morning as he toured UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon through one of Chicago’s greatest buildings: the Rookery. It’s gorgeous and historic (designed by Chicago’s patron saint of architecture, Daniel...continued

Illinois's climate plan can also be its plan for economic growth

Posted September 22, 2014 by Rebecca Stanfield

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Following a historic weekend during which 400,000 Americans marched through New York City to call for climate solutions, the Illinois Commerce Commission is preparing for its second public meeting on the proposed federal carbon pollution rules.  This time, the focus will...continued

Illinois is ahead of the curve on meeting power plant standards

Posted June 5, 2014 by Rebecca Stanfield

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This Wednesday's Chicago Tribune editorial, entitled a Kick-Start to Clearing the Air, got a few things right, but a lot more wrong about U.S. EPA’s new proposal to limit the dangerous carbon pollution from power plant.  Here’s a quick summary of...continued

Governor Quinn Should Seize the Opportunity to Put 7,200 More Illinoisans to Work in Clean Energy

Posted May 29, 2014 by Rebecca Stanfield

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On May 16, a coalition of companies including Starbucks, the Gap, Levis, Jones Lange LaSalle, Ikea and Nike wrote to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn urging him to, “seize the economic opportunity embedded in addressing climate change.”  They explained that “the...continued

Indiana Governor Pence Allows Retrograde Anti-Efficiency Bill to Become Law

Posted March 28, 2014 by Rebecca Stanfield

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It’s extremely disappointing that Governor Pence has allowed legislation become law in Indiana, dismantling several years of progress toward building a functioning market for energy efficiency.  As Governor Pence points out in his statement, efficiency saves money for Indiana citizens, because...continued

Study Confirms Midwest Is Sitting on a Goldmine of Energy Savings Potential

Posted March 26, 2014 by Rebecca Stanfield

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Study Confirms Midwest Is Sitting on a Goldmine of Energy Savings Potential An important new federal study confirms that saving energy is far less expensive than generating power in a power plant.  It also shows that here in the Midwest,...continued

Easy Steps to Cut Energy Waste and Save Money, No Matter How Cold it Gets

Posted February 6, 2014 by Rebecca Stanfield

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Although terms like “polar vortex” are becoming part of America’s winter vocabulary, there are easy ways to cut energy waste to make sure our utility bills don’t skyrocket as the temperatures plummet. Keep in mind that heating accounts for a...continued

Clearing the Air: Chicago's Condominium Community Will Benefit from Proposed Benchmarking Ordinance

Posted September 6, 2013 by Rebecca Stanfield

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Back in late July, a dozen Chicago aldermen moved to defer the vote on the Chicago Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance for six weeks, citing the need to inform themselves and their constituents on what the ordinance entails.  Unfortunately, since that time the...continued

Chicago's Historic and Landmark Buildings are Energy Efficiency Leaders

Posted August 1, 2013 by Rebecca Stanfield

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Yesterday the Chicago Tribune ran an article about the Chicago Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance.  The article notes that building owners of historic and landmark buildings are concerned with the limited changes available to make their buildings more energy efficient. It's...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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