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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

Illinois is ahead of the curve on meeting power plant standards

Posted June 5, 2014 by Rebecca Stanfield in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Solving Global Warming

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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 in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming

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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 in Curbing Pollution, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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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 in Curbing Pollution, Green Enterprise, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, Moving Beyond Oil

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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 in Solving Global Warming

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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 in Curbing Pollution

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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

Why Disclosure Matters: Unlocking the Benefits of the Chicago Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance

Posted July 12, 2013 by Rebecca Stanfield in Curbing Pollution, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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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

Mayor Emanuel Proposes Ordinance to Drive New Investment to Save Energy in Chicago Buildings

Posted June 26, 2013 by Rebecca Stanfield in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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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

Governor Snyder: Michigan Should Double Down on Energy Efficiency

Posted April 25, 2013 by Rebecca Stanfield in Solving Global Warming

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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

Posted December 14, 2012 by Rebecca Stanfield in Solving Global Warming

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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

The AT&T Building at 225 West Randolph: Laboratory of Energy Efficiency Innovation

Posted December 3, 2012 by Rebecca Stanfield

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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

Governor Snyder Puts Energy Efficiency at the Heart of Michigan's Energy Future

Posted November 29, 2012 by Rebecca Stanfield in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Solving Global Warming

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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

Franklin Center: Landmark Chicago Buildings Leading The Way On Energy Efficiency

Posted November 12, 2012 by Rebecca Stanfield

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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

The Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers: Greening Chicago's Skyline With Committed Owners, Innovative Technology and Two Very Smart Guys in the Basement

Posted September 18, 2012 by Rebecca Stanfield in Curbing Pollution, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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In June, NRDC’s Midwest Program joined the City of Chicago in announcing the Commercial Buildings Initiative (CBI) – a component of Retrofit Chicago that aims to dramatically reduce the energy needs of Chicago’s commercial buildings.   With the Mayor’s leadership, the...continued

About

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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