Chicago Sun-Times. January 1, 2021.
Editorial: A hot problem: Building more natural gas power plants is harming the environment
Creating construction jobs and delivering returns to investors are not good reasons to go this route.
Why is Illinois still building natural gas power plants?
The need to convert to renewable energy sources could not be clearer. Signs of the ravages of climate change surround us every day. We are seeing record high temperatures, more severe storms, more severe droughts, huge forest fires, historic floods and more. Much of this is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases and warm the planet.
Still, plans are moving forward for the Lincoln Land Energy Center, a gas-fired power plant near the bottom of Pawnee State in Sangamon County, about 13 and a half miles south of Springfield. A permit proposal is under consideration by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, a bitter pill to swallow for environmentalists who negotiated Illinois’ new clean energy law. Two more gas plants, already approved under the Bruce Rauner administration, will soon be operational in the upstate near Elwood and Morris.
The Lincoln Land Energy Center alone will emit more carbon dioxide than 800,000 automobiles. As the Chicago Tribune reported, emissions from the three new gas-fired power plants will send more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than four coal-fired power plants that shut down last year. This is leading Illinois in the wrong direction. Creating construction jobs and delivering returns to investors are not good reasons to go this route.
Building new gas plants is clearly out of step with what the state and the nation should be doing. As recently as last week, President Joe Biden enacted clean energy provisions introduced by U.S. Representative Sean Casten, D-Ill., To require 10% of existing and future military installations to achieve zero net emissions of d ‘by 2035.
Renewable energies must be our ultimate energy source
Gas plants not only burn fossil fuel, they are also a source of methane leakage into the atmosphere from the natural gas network. Although methane does not linger in the upper atmosphere for as long as carbon dioxide, it is a much more potent greenhouse gas. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of methane is 25 times that of carbon dioxide over a 100-year period, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
As part of Illinois’ new green energy law, which Governor JB Pritzker signed in September, the state is encouraging individuals and businesses to purchase electric vehicles. To meet clean energy goals, buildings will also need to convert to electric heat and electrical appliances to replace gas-fired ones. Yet the benefits of these transitions can only be fully realized if the ultimate energy source comes from renewable wind, water or solar energy, and not natural gas.
The construction of new gas plants is in part the result of the legislature’s several-year delay in passing new clean energy legislation. No one knew whether the economically threatened nuclear power plants, now aided by the climate law, would remain open or whether grants would be available to stimulate the construction of green energy facilities. The delay also created a missed opportunity to reduce consumers’ electricity bills.
The last gas-fired plants are likely the last to be built in Illinois. They must operate for at least 20 years for investors to make a profit, and the Clean Energy Act sets a target of 100% clean energy in the electricity grid by 2045. But new plants that burn Fossil fuels strive in the future to postpone the more likely clean energy deadlines. The harder it becomes to keep the increase in Earth’s temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the harder it becomes to imagine people in the years to come doing what they won’t do today.
Passage of Illinois clean energy legislation was a milestone. But it will take the full involvement of individuals, businesses and all levels of government to avoid the worst effects of escalating climate change. As Biden’s major climate initiatives in his Build Back Better legislation remain stuck in Congress, it’s important that everyone adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of Illinois law.
Arlington Heights Daily Herald. December 29, 2021.
Editorial: The Bears Won’t Be Sufficient On Their Own
To paraphrase Bogey (or Shakespeare, if you prefer), seeing the Chicago Bears playing football in Arlington Heights at a state-of-the-art stadium is what dreams are made of.
As we all know, Churchill Downs Inc. has agreed to sell the 326 acres of Arlington International Racecourse to the Bears for $ 197.2 million. The Bears are among the most popular and wealthiest franchises in the NFL. It’s the kind of prestige that occurs once every 100 years.
It would be easy to focus on the excitement of it all, and it’s very exciting. But before Arlington Heights and regional planners sign on the dotted line, they must ask themselves questions about the benefits and costs of setting up a suburban NFL stadium – questions about jobs, costs that the community will bear and whether the regional economy can offset these costs with benefits.
Even in these early days of speculation, it’s already pretty clear to us that bears will not be enough on their own.
Ideally, sports fans will come to a game, spend the night at a local hotel, and spend a day or evening in the suburbs – visiting Schaumburg, Rosemont, the Metropolis in Arlington Heights, the new Des Plaines Theater or one of the many other sites. We say ideally, because it’s also very likely that most fans will live in the six-county metro area and will just go to the game and then go home afterwards.
So a Bears stadium in Arlington Heights should boost tourism across the region, but while tourists will always come to Chicago, whether the Bears are playing there or not, the suburbs don’t have the same appeal to locals. exterior, despite the wonderful shopping, dining and entertainment we have to offer.
No, the Bears, who would play a maximum of 10 games per season (counting a few in the preseason), will not be enough on their own. Ten games a year does not create a multitude of high paying jobs, nor does it create businesses like hotels and restaurants that also employ people.
What our leaders need to see in their dreams is the big picture, and they need more in this development than just a stage. We need a facility that can be aggressively marketed in a number of ways, attracting enough ancillary activities in the summer and on rest days to create a good number of permanent jobs. More than that, the stadium needs to be sufficiently busy, as often as possible, so it creates a habit in people.
Prestige factor aside for a moment, 326 acres near the heart of Arlington Heights is an unprecedented development opportunity (Woodfield Mall, when it opened, was on 191 acres). Any development on the grounds of Arlington Park will ultimately be judged by what it brings to the community in terms of public benefits – in taxes, for example, or in local employment, or even as an expression of culture or of beauty.
A stadium should be judged in the same way, by measuring what it brings with what it costs.
Champaign News-Gazette. January 2, 2021.
Editorial: Will we still be arguing over COVID-19 vaccines in 2022?
State Senator Darren Bailey, one of the top Republican candidates for governor of Illinois, believes Gov. JB Pritzker should stop haranguing Illinois for the shot.
State Senator Darren Bailey, Republican candidate for governor of Clay County, believes that “Governor JB Pritzker’s rhetoric is odious and has no place in any civil discussion.”
The sin of Pritzker? He urged unvaccinated Illinois to get vaccinated against COVID-19 so as not to occupy a hospital bed that could be used by a patient with cancer or a heart attack.
âThe role of government is not to coerce and control residents, but to educate them and provide them with the resources to make the best decisions for themselves and their families,â Bailey said.
This is exactly what Pritzker, medical professionals and even other Republican governors are doing.
Colleen Kannady, CEO of Carle Health Normal and Eureka Hospitals, recently pleaded with unvaccinated central Illinois residents to get vaccinated for the sake of tired hospital staff.
âThe staff are tired, and I think that’s our advocacy, and really I would say it’s advocacy at this point, it’s to really really really ask everyone to get their shots,” said Kannaday.
Dr James Leonard, CEO of Carle Health, said months ago that COVID-19 vaccines could “be a game-changer” – if people take advantage.
âWe got a miracle response in less than a year, and some people are refusing to take it,â Leonard said.
Dr Susan Bleasdale, head of hospital quality and health sciences systems at the University of Illinois at Chicago, virtually copied Pritzker’s remarks.
“With Omicron cases doubling every two or three days, our health systems are likely to be quickly overwhelmed,” Bleasdale said. “Our biggest concern is that we will not have the beds or the staff to take care of our patients if the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise.”
The Republican governors of Iowa and Nebraska have urged their citizens to get vaccinated.
“Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated can help by getting vaccinated,” Nebraska Governor Peter Ricketts said at a press conference. âThe best defense we have against the virus is to make sure we get the vaccine. “
And Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recently provided video evidence of her and her husband receiving their booster shots.
âWe can’t control COVID, but we can control how we respond to it. We now have the information and tools we need to manage it, and it’s up to each of us to choose the best way to do it, âReynolds told the Iowans, saying the vaccine prevents infections in people. most people and protects others from serious illness.
It’s bizarre to think that more than a year after the life-saving COVID-19 vaccines were approved for emergency use, high-level politicians are still disputing their effectiveness and use. But it’s a personal and political issue for Darren Bailey, who declined to say if he’s vaccinated.
It should be noted, however, that 70% of Illinoisans 18 and older – that’s the voting age population – are fully immunized, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. And 85% of those 65 and over – traditionally the most likely to vote – are fully immunized.
Darren Bailey is swimming against the tide against public opinion, without a life jacket.