Energy & Environment

Illinois’ pollution regulator moved ahead Thursday with a proposal to change emissions rules for coal power plants, a move opponents say could be dangerous to public health.


Following the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act, the Citizens Utility Board wants feedback on issues about clean energy.

The Future Energy Jobs Act requires 3,000 megawatts of new solar energy, but Illinois is only at 100
megawatts.

Rural counties are facing a lot of heat over Illinois’ booming solar power development.

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Peoria Journal Star

State wildlife crews have poisoned a central Illinois lake as part of a plan to kill off the carp that have overrun it and restock it with game fish.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources biologists on Monday spread a compound toxic to fish around the 30-acre Eureka Lake.

National parks in Illinois and across the nation may be a step closer to getting much needed repairs.

The House Committee on Natural Resources has approved the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act (HR 6510), which would use revenue from energy production on public lands to address the $11 billion maintenance backlog at national parks.

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Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

The Trump administration has proposed a major rollback in Obama-era restrictions on climate-changing emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The plan announced Tuesday gives the states more discretion in choosing how to regulate pollution from the plants.

There could soon be a different kind of fuel going into trucks and planes, one that could help farmers and create rural jobs.

It’d come from sorghum: a grass grown around the world, but increasingly so in states like Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska. 

Bruce Carney raises cattle, poultry and a few sheep on his 300-acre farm in Maxwell, Iowa. He no longer grows any grain, but is preparing for new crops of a different kind.

Orange flags dot what was previously a cattle lot, with a ridge (or swale) built around it to manage water flow. The fruit trees Carney will be planting at each of the flags later this year will also help.

National Trails Day is Saturday June 2nd, 2018.  On this edition of WSIU In Focus, WSIU's Kevin Boucher visits with Cobden Teacher Kelly Flamm's 5th Grade Students to talk about nature.

SIU-C Awards Green Fund Projects

Apr 28, 2018
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SIU

April is Earth Month, and as part of that, Southern Illinois University delivered their sustainability awards.

The monetary awards come from the student Green Fund which students pay into $10 per semester.

Two Illinois lawmakers are calling for changes in fracking practices in Illinois.

Representatives Scott Drury and Will Guzzardi are sponsoring legislation that would either make fracking laws more transparent or banning the practice altogether.

In Organic Labels Consumers Trust, But Fraud Threatens The Industry

Feb 22, 2018

Peyton Manning, the NFL quarterback-turned-pitchman, apparently has another side hustle: Certifying shipments of grain as organic for a Nebraska-based agency called OneCert.

Problem is, OneCert president Sam Welsch doesn’t remember hiring Manning for his business, which is accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect everything from small vegetable farms to processing plants and international grain operations.

Illinois coal mines lost 228 jobs in the last year, according to numbers from the federal agency that tracks mine safety. That’s fewer jobs than were shed in 2016, and production is up by around 11 percent in the state.

The trend is encouraging, said Phil Gonet, president of the Illinois Coal Association. He attributes the shift in part to President Donald Trump’s roll-back of the Clean Power Plan and other environmental regulations during his first year in office.

Illinois Touted As Property Tax Model For Wind Farms

Dec 20, 2017

color:#333333">Illinois’ taxing model for wind energy companies is touted as one of the best in the country, bringing in $30.4 million in property taxes in 2016, according to economic experts.


Environmental groups in Illinois are renewing their push to stop fracking in Illinois before it starts. 

In November, a Kansas-based company withdrew its permit to drill for oil and gas in southeastern Illinois. It was the first permit for large-scale fracking Illinois issued since a 2014 law went into effect. 

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Soapbox PR

A southern Illinois community says it's using the power of the sun to treat its wastewater and save taxpayers money.

The City of Pinckneyville unveiled a new solar array at its wastewater treatment plant Friday afternoon.

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University of Illinois

Researchers are reporting the first sighting of a wild alligator snapping turtle in Illinois in 30 years.

The company planning to conduct a hydraulic fracturing operation in White County has decided to withdraw its application.

A southern Illinois lawmaker is part of a newly established task force that will try to increase the use of Illinois coal.

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin appointed Representative Dave Severin of Benton to the group that will study the costs and benefits of using the latest scrubber technology to allow Illinois coal mined in the state to be burned in the state as well.

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Illinois Commerce Commission

Energy experts in Illinois are kicking off an 18-month study about how to produce and harness the next generation of energy in the state.

High volume fracking has come to Illinois, and environmental groups are gearing up for a battle.

Residents, environmentalists fear more flooding if Illinois loosens oversight on high levees

Aug 23, 2017

Nancy Guyton has lived by the Mississippi River her entire life. She and her husband farm in Annada, a small town on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River. She knows that growing crops on the floodplain comes with some risks.

The Guytons’ farm, about 65 miles north of St. Louis, endured major floods along the Mississippi in 1993 and 2008. But since 2008, she’s noticed more flood events.

People
Food & Water Watch

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources held a public hearing in White County about an application for a hydraulic fracturing operation.

Kansas-based Woolsey Operating Company is seeking a permit to drill a mile-deep well in White County, near Enfield.

www.news.siu.edu

An Asian Carp was caught recently in a place where it shouldn’t be – beyond an electric barrier meant to keep the invasive species out of Lake Michigan and the rest of the Great Lakes.


The Illinois Audubon Society began in 1897 in Chicago as a way to combat bird feathers being used in hats.  Today, it’s the oldest independent conservation organization in the state.

WSIU/Kevin Boucher

On this edition of WSIU InFocus, we visit with Associate Professor Dr. Greg Whitledge, who is with the Center For Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Fracking Permit Sought in White County

Jun 15, 2017

The first application to obtain a permit for High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing since the Illinois General Assembly approved the work in 2013 is now under review. .
 
Woolsey Operating Company, LLC wants to use the permit in White County.

A pair of forums in southern Illinois this week are designed to highlight the job opportunities in alternative energy sources.

A new law in Illinois makes 200-million dollars available to build new solar and wind facilities in the state. So, the forums will offer community leaders ideas on how to bring in new energy jobs.

WSIU InFocus: The Importance Of Native Plants

Mar 28, 2017
WSIU/Kevin Boucher

With the annual Illinois Indigenous Plants Symposium scheduled for this Friday through Sunday at John A. Logan College, WSIU Radio visits with two experts on the benefits of using indigenous, or native plants in our yards.

The decline of the monarch butterfly population has led researchers to look for reasons why. 

A popular theory is the loss of milkweed, the only plant on which monarch larvae feed.  But a study from the Illinois Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois indicates that's not the sole culprit.  

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