Illinois Poll Shows Strong Opposition to Fracking

Nearly half of Illinois voters oppose fracking, according to a new poll by the Simon Institute. The statewide poll reveals 48.6% oppose fracking while only 31.8% believe it should be encouraged, even if there are economic benefits. Opponents outnumber supporters an all regions of the state, including downstate where fracking is promoted as a jobs…

America's Fracking Mayor: Rahm Emanuel

When Rahm Emanuel became mayor, the city of Chicago was making lists of top green cities in America. During the election he pledged support to a community movement aimed at closing the polluting Fisk & Crawford coal plants. But after taking office, Emanuel significantly increased Chicago's use of fossil fuels by negotiating an energy aggregation…

Can Illinois Learn From New York's Victory Against Fracking?

Illinois environmentalists are cheering the spectacular success of the movement to ban fracking in New York. The victory is justifiably spurring reflection on how it was done. What happened in New York that Illinois environmentalists can learn from? Environmental and public health groups made an unambiguous, united push for a ban or moratorium, not regulation….

Media Bias is 25 Sports Writers and Zero Environment Reporters

Any news outlet that distributes information unflattering to Republicans or views out of step with conservative ideology will be hounded with cries of “liberal media bias.” The badgering will continue until all news outlets are as “fair and balanced” as Fox News. But the most consequential expression of bias in the press is in what…

Clinton shows she's not the climate leader we need

Hillary Clinton did us a favor. At a recent speech to the League of Conservation Voters, Clinton showed that she doesn't understand what it will take to confront the climate crisis and she's unwilling to stand up to fossil fuel interests who are threatening to destroy civilization. Even after climate scientists warned we must keep…

It doesn't pay to be a fossil fuel Democrat on election day

This was a difficult election for Democrats and it was even worse for Democrats still pushing fossil fuels. The Democratic co-chair of the Congressional Coal Caucus lost his seat along with a slew of others who tried to prove they're as pro-coal, pro-oil, and pro-fracking as any Republican. There are plenty of examples like Grimes…

All Illinois Democrats have to do for re-election is govern like Democrats

There's a simple lesson for Illinois Democrats from the Tuesday election. If you want to get re-elected as a Democrat in Illinois all you have to do is govern like a liberal Democrat. It's not complicated. Illinois is a Democratic state. A majority of voters are pro-union, pro-environment, pro-choice and progressive. The biggest employer is…

Southern Illinois asks legislative committee to reject weak fracking rules

Yesterday Illinois was facing an environmental and economic crisis from fracking that was greenwashed by a Democratic Governor who told us regulation can make it safe. Voters were asked to choose between two pro-fracking candidates for Governor. Bruce Rauner won after many downstate voters decided they didn't like either choice and stayed home. Illinois is…

Who will be the climate change candidate in 2016?

Will the climate movement have a serious contender for President in 2016? Now's the time to find someone strong on the most urgent crisis of our time and serious about winning the White House. Should that candidate be Hillary Clinton?  She says the right things. But the most significant actions of her career are promoting…

Congressman Shimkus faces backlash for facebook fracking support

Illinois' most embarrassing Congressman, John Shimkus, faced an outraged backlash for pro-fracking statements he made on facebook. He's already well known as a climate change denier and conspiracy theorist on the fringe of the energy debate. Although there's a long tradition of coal mining in his district, fracking is very controversial. Shimkus has a steady…

Fracking Industry Uses Tobacco Playbook to Defend Birth Defects

Bloomberg News reviews studies on the link between birth defects and living near fracking sites. It's compelling. Multiple studies show increased rates of congenital heart defects, low birth weight, and stillbirths. A spokesperson for the fracking industry propaganda outfit, Energy in Depth, responded. “The body of scientific knowledge has to advance gradually and you have…

Who Are The Top Five Fossil Fools in Illinois Politics?

Illinois may be more famous for imprisoned Governors, but as a coal state struggling with its energy future, some of our politicians have wacky things to say about fossil fuels. With the threatened start of fracking plus backlash to EPA proposing new rules on carbon emissions, you can expect more foolishness to come. Since election…

Illinois Newspaper Gives Up On Journalism, Bends Over For Fracking Industry

The Southern Illinoisan has a long running competition with the Belleville News-Democrat over which Illinois newspaper has the strongest bias in favor of the coal industry. So I was pleasantly surprised last year when I saw the Southern Illinoisan doing good reporting on the fracking issue, even giving frequent voice to the opposition. That changed….

Oil Interests Want Illinois To Frack for the Children

In what may be the most shameless in a long line of dishonest appeals, the Illinois oil industry is now asking us to start fracking for the children. The oil industry propaganda website, Energy In Depth (or Energy in Deception as it's often called), is blaming Illinois' school funding problem on the state's failure to…

How Much Fracking Will Remain Unregulated in Illinois?

Fracking has begun in Illinois. Governor Pat Quinn's Department of Natural Resources issued a permit for a test well at a site where oil fracking is planned. The well isn't subject to Illinois fracking rules due to loopholes in the law passed last year. By utilizing methods that require a lower volume of water, and exploiting…

The Scars of Capitalism

Start a discussion about 20th century industry in America and images of factories humming with  production probably fill your head.  It's nice that romantic image fills your head because the reality is harsher to comprehend. Many factories today in this country sit idle; the people and machines that made them productive are gone. Rusting, rotting…