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→
Rebecca Stanfield, Deputy Director for Policy, Midwest Program, Chicago
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.
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→
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→
Posted March 28, 2014 by Rebecca Stanfield
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 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→
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→
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→
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→
On June 26, 2013, Mayor Emanuel introduced the Chicago Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance to City Council. The ordinance would require the city’s largest municipal, commercial, and residential buildings to track and report their energy use, a process which phases in...continued→
Yesterday, President Obama recommitted his administration and the nation to the job of combating climate change, and made energy efficiency one of the three major strategies to achieve that end. In doing so he noted that, “The good news is...continued→
Today is the deadline to offer Michigan’s governor advice on the state’s energy future and the record shows that energy efficiency – our cheapest, cleanest energy resource – already has saved Michigan electricity customers millions and should be expanded. When...continued→
Michigan Utilities Smash Energy Efficiency Targets: Customers, Economy, Environment Reap the Rewards
The data is in, and once again, Michigan utilities blew away their energy efficiency goals, saving money for their customers, creating jobs for Michiganders, and reducing the need for generating power in polluting and expensive power plants. Earlier this month,...continued→
Posted December 3, 2012 by Rebecca Stanfield
Alexander Graham Bell might well be taken aback by the growth and evolution of the communications industry that he spurred with his invention of the telephone in 1876 -- both in terms of the technological innovation and the scale of the industry. This...continued→
In his long awaited energy and environment address yesterday, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder made it clear that energy efficiency is a cornerstone – if not the cornerstone—of Michigan’s energy future. He called energy efficiency, “the best example of a no-regrets...continued→
Posted November 12, 2012 by Rebecca Stanfield
Walking into Franklin Center, I immediately stood a little straighter. The high ceilings and skylight direct my attention upward while the marbled and gold-leaf trimmed lobby extending through the entire city block provided a sense of vastness and grandeur. So,...continued→
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.