Energy & Environment

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.  

Did you know that the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline ends in rural Southern Illinois - about 75 miles east of St. Louis? When completed, the pipeline will flow into the Patoka Tank Farm where crude oil is stored before being sent on to Midwestern refineries. St. Louis Public Radio's Mary Leonard tells us about those who live at the end of the pipeline.

Brian Stover raises chickens at his house in rural Marion County, Illinois, just across the road from the Patoka Tank Farm where the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline ends — about 75 miles east of St. Louis.

Lake
Jim Eagleston, WSIU

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with John Magney of the Sierra Club Shawnee Group, about their plans to help clean up SIU's Campus Lake.

People
Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

The Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Land Management is an SIU Carbondale alumnus, and he says his beginnings in southern Illinois helped shape his career.

A new poll on the environment from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute is surprising even to environmentalists.

An innovative new project at the Trail of Tears State Forest in southern Illinois includes cutting down several trees.

You wouldn't think the State Department of Natural Resources would get rid of trees...but DNR Forest Ecologist Ben Snyder says that's exactly what they're doing.

In a small pond in Wisconsin,  a recent study took place that could have some big implications when it comes to the spread of Asian Carp.  
 
The invasive species threatens to take over waterways, like the Great Lakes. It's already become a major problem in the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers and elsewhere.  

Fossil-fuel companies Murray Energy and Southern Company paid for private meetings with Republican state attorneys general to discuss opposition to the EPA's Clean Power Plan less than two weeks before the same officials asked a federal judge to block the measure.

That's according to documents obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy.

Illinois hunters are gearing up to harvest bobcats, for the first time since the '70s.

Interest in participating is outpacing the permit supply. 

Bobcats were once considered a threatened species in Illinois.

Not anymore.

Land Between the Lakes officials are proposing a timber salvage sale as part of ongoing cleanup efforts after a series of devastating storms in July. 

US Forest Service

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller previews an upcoming training at the Garden of the Gods in the Shawnee National Forest.

The resounding message at the 50th anniversary of the Barkley Lock and Dam project in Grand Rivers Saturday, was that with great success often comes great sacrifice.

General Electric Lighting has announced plans to close its lamp plant in the central Illinois city of Mattoon next year, unless its workers come up with an acceptable alternative for the facility.

They came on kayaks and on bikes. They hunkered down in hammocks and on train tracks. They marched at refineries and did morning yoga at mines.

For nearly two weeks, demonstrators on six continents gathered to protest climate change — and, in particular, the fossil fuel industry.

In Washington state, 52 people were arrested Sunday after they camped out on train tracks servicing oil refineries in northern Puget Sound, Ashley Ahearn of member station KUOW reported for our Newscast unit.

Acoustic Nature Hour Earth Day Special 2016.

Apr 23, 2016
Sarah Stoneski/USFW

Celebrate Earth Day 2016 with an Acoustic Nature Hour Earth Day Special.  Many, many thanks to the experts who appeared in this year's program.  Names below are listed in order of appearance.

Dr. Justin Filiberto, Assistant Professor in the SIU Department of Geology

Bob Baer, Computer and Electronics Specialist in the SIU Physics Department

Elizabeth Jones, Assistant Refuge Manager at Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Karen Mangan, Wildlife Biologist at Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Chicken Farm Being Built Near Cedar Lake

Apr 7, 2016

Construction of a 25,000 bird chicken farm is progressing just outside of Carbondale.  While planners and scientists say the facility will not harm the immediate area, some residents are concerned about pollution harming  nearby Cedar Lake, the source of Carbondale's drinking water.  WSIU's Alex Kierstead has the story.

People
U.S. Department of Energy

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Assistant U.S. Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy Christopher Smith, ahead of his visit to SIUC and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Peabody Energy is facing a possible bankruptcy....   but the company has guaranteed the state of Illinois it can cover the cost of cleaning up coal mines that it shutters.

Environmentalists are skeptical Peabody could cover that 92-million dollar cost.

For decades massive, open-pit coal mines have been feeding the country's appetite for energy. Once coal companies are done with the land, they're supposed to restore it. But as America's coal industry declines, it may not have the funding to keep its cleanup promises.

The coal industry is hurting. For decades, coal was the go-to fuel for generating electricity. Now that is changing.

The connection between coal and generating electricity goes back to the late 19th century. A good place to get a sense of that history is the small town of Sunbury, Pa. — specifically at the corner of Fourth and Market streets at the Hotel Edison.

American Fluorite Museum

In the 1800s the young Territory of Illinois received an economic boom from the mining of salt and fluorspar.  In this edition of WSIU INfocus, Carrier Mills History Teacher Mark Motsinger talks about how these two resources contributed  to the growth of Illinois.

Wildlife
Rob Kanter

With all of the Thanksgiving press devoted to domesticated turkeys—how many we’re going to eat next week, how best to cook them, etcetera—you probably weren’t aware of this fact, but we’re living in the age of the wild turkey. That’s according to Patrick Hubert, who was formerly a wildlife ecologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey, and who I spoke with on this topic some years back. In his words, “It is a good time to be alive if you are a turkey, turkey hunter, or turkey biologist in Illinois.”

This has not always been the case.

Kevin Boucher/WSIU

In 1991, the LaRue-Pine Hills/Otter Pond Research Natural Area was officially designated as a research site, the nation's 250th such area.  Join IDNR Herpetologist Scott Ballard as he takes us on an informative hike on Snake Road.

solar panel
solaroutreach.org

Thursday the City of Carbondale is hosting a solar conference to explore the economic benefits of going solar. The Thursday afternoon conference at the Carbondale Civic Center will bring together industry experts to talk about the wide range of economic incentives, grants, and other programs available to help bring solar to area schools, businesses, and residences. 

Nationwide more than 10,000 clean energy jobs were created between April and June.  In Illinois more than 100,000 people are currently employed in the clean energy field. 

Pages