Illinois

ILLINOIS

lllinois’s climate is changing. Most of the state has warmed by about one degree (F) in the last century. Floods are becoming more frequent, and ice cover on the Great Lakes is forming later or melting sooner.

While precipitation has increased by an average of 4% nationwide between 1901 and 2015, Illinois has seen as much as a 10% rise in precipitation in this period. Most of this moisture is experienced as increased rainfall in the winter and spring, bringing hazards such as rising water levels of lakes, severe weather and tornadoes and exacerbating ecological issues like algae blooms and invasive species migration. These challenges expose the weaknesses in ageing infrastructure and hold severe consequences for the agricultural sector, where waterlogging is expected to cause a 10-30% decline in corn and soy yields.

The midwest’s economic powerhouse, Illinois is the fifth-most energy consuming state in the country, with 31% of its end-use consumption coming from the industrial sector, but is also a major electricity generator with the largest number of nuclear power plants in the nation. A key hub for crude oil and natural gas moving throughout the United States. Illinois also has substantial coal reserves and some crude oil resources as well. A  leading producer of both ethanol and biodiesel, Illinois’ primary renewable resource is biofuels. The state is the third-largest ethanol producer, after Iowa and Nebraska, and has the third-largest ethanol production capacity and the fourth-largest biodiesel production capacity in the nation.

The state is a leader in wind-powered electricity generating capacity, ranking sixth in the nation. By  2019, wind power had become the primary renewable resource used for  electric power generation, supplying 7%, triple what it was in 2010. with a goal of procuring 75% of its renewable energy from wind by 2025.

Illinois took ambitious steps in 2018 to decarbonize its fossil-fuel dependent economy by passing the Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan with goals of 25% renewable energy by 2025. This portfolio standard also invests in job creation and a plan for making solar energy affordable for all.

Already by 2019, Illinois had become a leader in wind-powered electricity generating capacity, ranking sixth in the nation. Making up 7% of its electric power generation (triple of what it was in 2010), wind power was its primary renewable resource. Its greater goal is to procure 75% of its renewable energy from wind by 2025.

A new plan called the Clean Energy Jobs Act was proposed in 2019, with the backing of Governor J.B. Pritzker, to establish a target of 100% renewable energy by 2050 and put it in league with 14 other states (including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico). On 9/15/2021, with support from both sides of the aisle, the governor succeeded,  signing a massive climate and energy plan (including supporting three of Illinois’ nuclear power plants and doubling the subsidies available for renewable energy companies to build wind and solar projects)  to get Illinois to 40% renewable energy by 2030, 50% by 2040, and 2050 for when 100% of the state’s power comes from “ clean” sources that include nuclear plants  Fossil fuels as power sources will be largely phased out of Illinois’ energy portfolio by 2045.

At the signing Pritzker said, “We’ve seen the effects of climate change right here in Illinois repeatedly in the last two and a half years alone,” he said. “A polar vortex. Devastating floods. Microbursts that destroy buildings. Record lake levels. Extreme heat.”

President Biden’s administration praised the deal Wednesday, with U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm issuing a statement saying Illinois’ law will show “just what bold state-level action can do to usher in the clean energy future.”

“Preserving our existing fleet of nuclear reactors, adopting more clean and renewable energy, and incentivizing sales of electric vehicles are all key components of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and essential to reaching our nation’s bold climate goals,” Granholm said.

Illinois is one of twenty five states committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

New report reveals climate change causing more extreme heat in Illinois

06/19/24
Climate change is having monumental impacts on Illinois residents, and it's making things like air conditioning an absolute necessity in the Land of Lincoln. Some groups have even been created to help ensure that residents…
Read more

The Chicago River was a toxic wasteland. Now it’s an urban oasis.

By Chelsey Stone 06/13/24
Chicagoans have long avoided the Chicago River—a waterway once so heavily polluted that its stench could make people sick. Since French explorers first charted it in 1673, the river has been manipulated, dredged, and channelized…
Read more

Illinois Legislature puts the brakes on a carbon capture boom

By Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco 06/07/24
The Midwest’s largest potential reservoir to store carbon is buried deep under the farmland of Illinois, and the state’s lawmakers just hit the brakes on any plans for a carbon capture and storage boom there.
Read more

Legislation would block carbon dioxide pipelines in Illinois for up to 2 years

By Nara Schoenberg 06/07/24
With the prospect of vast networks of carbon dioxide pipelines looming in Illinois and other Midwestern states, the state legislature has taken steps to protect landowners, taxpayers and the environment. Among the key measures in…
Read more

Climate change education bill passes in Illinois

By Glenn Branch 05/24/24
House Bill 4895, one of three climate change education bills active in the Illinois legislature, was passed by the Senate on a 36-16 vote on May 23, 2024, having already passed the House of Representatives.…
Read more

Hundreds Gather in Springfield to Advocate for Equitable Climate, Transportation, and Energy Legislation

05/09/24
Hundreds of community leaders, environmental advocates, faith leaders, business representatives, consumer groups, students and state legislators rallied outside of the Illinois State Capitol Building today in support of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) Platform,…
Read more

Illinois Senate committee approves climate change education plan for public schools

By Mike Miletich 05/07/24
Students in Illinois public schools could be required to learn about climate change starting with the 2026 school year. A plan moving in Springfield calls for instruction on identifying environmental and ecological impacts of climate…
Read more

Climate change coming to high school curriculum in Illinois

By Catrina Petersen 04/30/24
Beginning with the 2025-2026 school year, every public high school could require a unit of instruction addressing climate change in either a required science class or a required social studies class. House Bill 4895 gives…
Read more

Will climate change suck the air out of Illinois’ wind power industry?

By Brett Chase and Dan Gearino 04/26/24
Illinois’ march toward all-green energy hit a bump last year. Electricity from renewable sources dropped even as Illinois and surrounding Midwest states pushed to replace fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, with wind…
Read more

In Illinois, a massive taxpayer-funded carbon capture project fails to capture about 90 percent of plant’s emissions

By Brendan Gibbons 04/25/24
Last year, the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory celebrated what it called “the largest demonstration of its kind in the United States” at an ethanol plant in Decatur, Illinois, where carbon dioxide (CO2)…
Read more

Flooding is Illinois’ Most Threatening Natural Disaster. Are We Prepared?

By Meredith Newman 04/16/24
The electricity in Mary Buchanan’s home in West Garfield Park was not working – again. The outage lasted four days, starting just after a crew dug up her front lawn to install a check valve…
Read more

Illinois Map Shows Where State Could Be Underwater From Lake Level Rise

By Chloe Mayer 04/15/24
Scientists have created an interactive map that shows how parts of Illinois may be swallowed up by Lake Michigan as climate change bites. The Great Lakes in the Midwest comprise the largest unfrozen freshwater stores…
Read more

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

EDPR strengthens its presence in community solar in Illinois

06/13/24
EDPR NA Distributed Generation (EDPR NA DG), the distributed solar subsidiary of EDPR Renewables North America, is actively pursuing its growth strategy in the community solar sector. The company has just announced the acquisition, from…

Illinois to consider the ‘Future of Gas’ in unprecedented regulatory proceeding

06/07/24
Between electric vehicles and all-electric buildings, electrification has emerged as a leading tool in the fight against climate change. But if we start to plug everything into the grid, where does that leave Illinois’ extensive…

Illinois Sets Path For Decarbonization By 2050 With First Renewable Energy Access Plan

06/05/24
In a significant stride toward a greener future, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has officially adopted the state’s inaugural Renewable Energy Access Plan (REAP). According to information released by the ICC, this blueprint paves the…

Illinois approves road map to 100% clean energy

06/05/24
Illinois regulators have approved the state’s first road map to achieving carbon-free power by 2050. The Illinois Commerce Commission unanimously approved the Renewable Energy Access Plan last week. The report identifies pathways and barriers to…

ICC adopts Illinois’ first Renewable Energy Access Plan

06/04/24
On Thursday, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) adopted the state’s first Renewable Energy Access Plan (REAP), an actionable roadmap to ensure Illinois meets its policy requirements for an equitable, reliable, and cost-effective clean electricity system.…

Rivian Partners with Pivot Energy to Build Community Solar in Illinois

05/28/24
Renewable energy provider Pivot Energy is partnering with American EV maker Rivian on a total of 60 Megawatts of solar energy. Rivian has committed to purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) generated from 50 MWdc of…

Solar investments take center stage as questions loom on state’s renewable future

04/17/24
A manufacturer in the southwest suburbs of Chicago received $2.6 million from electric utility Commonwealth Edison this week as part of a state program for generating its own electricity using solar panels and storing it…

RTA of Northern Illinois submits request for $375 million in federal funding to fight climate change

04/12/24
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) of Northern Illinois is seeking $375 million in federal grant funding to fight climate change in the Chicago, Ill., region. The project, “Transforming Transit: Accelerating a Zero-Emission Fleet in the…

How an Illinois school district invests in solar energy

03/19/24
Over 300 solar panels were installed this school year at Smith Elementary School in Aurora. It’s still late winter and ice is melting off the roof as the sun shines brighter than usual. “Today, I…

Meta signs 330MW renewable energy agreements in Illinois and Arkansas

01/02/24
Meta has signed a 330MW solar Environmental Attributes Purchase Agreement (EAPA) with Adapture Renewables in Arkansas and Illinois.

Midwest taps dueling strategies to supercharge renewables

By Jeffrey Tomich 09/18/23
Illinois and Indiana are separated by more than a state line, time zones and which political party dominates state government.

Illinois Extends Prevailing Wage Mandates to ALL Work Performed on Illinois Solar Projects!

08/24/23
On June 30, 2023, Governor Pritzker signed HB 3351 into law, which amends the Illinois Power Agency Act (IPAA) to require certain projects under the Illinois Solar For All Program to be subject to the…

For many Illinois homeowners, solar power is a boon for their wallets and the planet

08/15/23
CBS 2 recently reported about how some Illinois residents put solar panels on their property but did not receive the promised rebates from a rogue contractor.

Local clean energy training center opens in the Twin Cities

08/11/23
A new training center for wind and solar energy is now open in Bloomington, and it could bring more jobs to the Twin Cities.

Swift Current receives $779m for 800MW Illinois solar project

08/10/23
Swift Current Energy, a Massachusetts-based utility, has received $779m in project financing for its 800MWdc (593MWac) Double Black Diamond solar project near Springfield, Illinois, US.

Illinois wants to keep old solar panels from piling up in landfills

08/10/23
A new Illinois state law asks a task force to consider banning the dumping of solar components and batteries in landfills. If such a ban were enacted, it would leave stakeholders with less than two…

Illinois establishing hubs for ‘clean jobs’

08/07/23
Illinois is establishing 13 hubs for “clean jobs” through the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), representing nearly $40 million in funding for training and job placement in clean energy.

A Proposed Gas Rate Hike in Chicago Sparks Debate Amid Shift to Renewable Energy – Inside Climate News

08/05/23
The state of Illinois will decide by the end of this year whether to allow a natural gas utility in Chicago to raise its rate next year by $402 million. At a public hearing on…

Cook County, Illinois Announces Agreement with Constellation for Renewable Energy

08/04/23
Cook County, Illinois announced an agreement with Constellation (NASDAQ: CEG), the nation’s largest producer of carbon-free energy, to purchase zero-emission, renewable energy equivalent to the annual electricity use of 18 of its county-owned-and-operated buildings.

Pritzker Focuses on Business Development, Clean Energy Jobs at Joliet Assembly Plant Opening

07/23/23
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has spent much of his time in recent weeks promoting the state’s electric vehicle industry and touting the impact of his signature Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, or CEJA, including during a…

A Tale of Two Capacity Auctions—and Still Too Much Coal

07/10/23
Every year, MISO, the grid operator for much of the middle of the country, holds an auction to make sure it has adequate resources to meet peak demand in its territory. Last April, MISO announced…

With reboot, Illinois hopes for more orderly solar incentive rollout

06/08/23
Illinois’ ambitious distributed solar incentive program has reopened and is quickly clearing an application backlog after stalling for months in 2022 and early 2023 while transitioning to a new program administrator.

In Illinois, Manufacturing Investments Grow Clean Energy

06/02/23
This week, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) joined local leaders and partners to announce Manner Polymers’ new manufacturing facility in Mount Vernon, IL. The company’s state-of-the-art facility…

Cordelio seals funds for 171-MW Illinois wind farm to power Microsoft

06/01/23
Toronto-based renewable power producer Cordelio Power said on Thursday it has completed financing for its 171-MW Moraine Sands wind project in Mason County, Illinois.

Lawmakers approve measure giving utilities control over new downstate transmission lines

05/31/23
In the final hours of their spring session last week, lawmakers approved a controversial measure that would give existing power companies in downstate Illinois, notably Ameren Illinois, the first crack at installing new transmission lines.

Ill. Senator Fowler passes bill to keep renewable energy components out of landfills

05/13/23
Illinois Senator Dale Fowler has passed a bill with the hopes to keep renewable energy components like wind turbines and solar panels out of landfills. “With Illinois turning to wind and solar as a main…

Energy experts address reliability of Illinois renewable resources

04/13/23
Illinois senators heard from some of the top experts on energy grid reliability Thursday morning. The subject matter hearing was topical as many downstate lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are voicing concerns about…

Illinois hopes to lure renewable energy storage companies to the state

04/05/23
Now that Illinois is on a fast track to convert to renewable energy, a critical part of the transition may have been overlooked. Coal-fired power plants are going offline or are set to be decommissioned…

Illinois Has No Time to Waste in Building Its Carbon-Free Electricity Future

04/03/23
Illinois’ Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) sets a bold goal for the state—no carbon pollution from electricity generation by 2045, which means zero global warming emissions from coal- and gas-fired power plants. Along with…

Renewable energy use is up sharply in Illinois and slightly in Missouri

By Mark Degon 04/03/23
Generation of renewable energy surged in many U.S. states last year with a major jump in Illinois and a minor increase in Missouri, according to a new report by a nonpartisan research group. Nationally, renewable…

Developer begins construction on 800 MW Illinois project with U.S. made components

03/29/23
Swift Current Energy, a Boston-based solar and wind project developer, has kicked off construction on the Double Black Diamond solar project in Illinois, an 800 MW(dc) utility solar project that is vying for the recognition…

Nuclear option: Illinois grapples with the future of nuclear power

03/20/23
A measure allowing the construction of new commercial nuclear power plants has bipartisan, bicameral support in the state legislature as the body considers its next steps in meeting carbon-free energy goals while maintaining grid reliability.

DOE renews Bioenergy Center at University of Illinois

03/17/23
The U.S. Department of Energy has committed another round of funding to the University of Illinois Urbana, Champaign to lead the second phase of its Bioenergy Research Center. This is one of four large-scale DOE-funded…

Illinois Climate Bank Announces over $250 Million in Climate Finance Achieved in First Year

03/17/23
The Illinois Finance Authority (IFA), in its role as the State Climate Bank, today announced a landmark year of deploying over $250 million in private capital to further clean and sustainable development projects. Additionally, the…

Carbon capture could be boon for Illinois

03/08/23
Unlikely as it sounds, rural Illinois is getting a whiff of economic hope from some of the leading producers of air pollution.

A Clean Jobs Sweep

03/01/23
Power bills sent out around the state of Illinois are going to look a bit different in the coming decade, as the state aggressively pursues greener power alternatives. Solar energy is a main focus for…

Illinois Put a Stop to Local Governments’ Ability to Kill Solar and Wind Projects. Will Other Midwestern States Follow?

02/27/23
Two years ago, Illinois had adopted a landmark clean energy law that called for building vast amounts of renewable power. At the same time, 15 counties with some of the most land available for wind…

Illinois utility to double its community solar capacity this year

02/20/23
A northern Illinois city that is home to the first electric bus assembly facility of Lion Electric can now add another clean energy accolade to its dashboard. Located 35 miles southwest of Chicago, the city…

Big batteries to store renewable energy create fire hazard

02/14/23
As Illinois pushes for more renewable energy, it comes with a fire hazard risk at battery storage centers. A battery storage facility explosion in Arizona hurt eight firefighters. There have been three other fires.
UPI

Ameresco to develop solar facility at abandoned Illinois landfill

02/09/23
Renewable energy developer Ameresco said Thursday it would work with officials in Illinois to develop a 5-megawatt solar power facility at an abandoned landfill, which could bring $1 million in revenue.

City of Alton, IL and Ameresco Move Forward on 5MW Solar Project

02/09/23
Ameresco, Inc., (NYSE: AMRC), a leading cleantech integrator specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, today announced its partnership with the City of Alton, Illinois to develop and install a 5 megawatt AC (MWAC)/7 megawatt…

GOP lawmakers urge for policies to address Illinois’ increased energy costs

02/08/23
Energy prices in Illinois are increasing and Republican lawmakers are blaming the governor's energy policies.

Midwest coalition pins hopes on federal funding for regional hydrogen hub

02/07/23
Illinois business leaders and researchers are hoping to leverage hundreds of millions of federal dollars to develop a thriving “hydrogen economy.”

Illinois governor signs bill establishing SAF tax credit

02/07/23
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Feb. 3 signed the Invest in Illinois Act. The legislative package, in part, creates a $1.50 per gallon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) purchase tax credit to support the supply and…

Illinois Enacts New Law to Standardize Local Permitting for Renewable Energy Facilities

01/30/23
On Friday, January 27, 2023, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a new law, Public Act 102-1123, which refines county governments’ ability to regulate new commercial wind and solar energy facilities. Specifically, PA 102-1123 prohibits counties…

Activists call for Chicago to rule out natural gas in new buildings, citing health risks, costs and climate change

01/19/23
Environmentalists, activists and consumer advocates are calling on Chicago politicians to pass a clean buildings ordinance that would effectively rule out the use of natural gas in most new buildings.

Illinois’ ComEd seeks four-year, $1.47 billion rate increase to bolster the grid for EVs, electrification and climate change

01/17/23
ComEd filed for a four-year, $1.47 billion rate increase Tuesday with the Illinois Commerce Commission to bolster its grid for the demands of EVs, electrification and climate change.

Illinois House panel advances requirements for electric-vehicle charging at new, renovated buildings

01/12/22
A measure before the General Assembly would require new and renovated residential or commercial buildings to set aside parking spaces that could easily be converted into charging stations for electric vehicles.

Illinoisans likely won’t see changes from the new energy bill for a few years

12/19/21
It will take a few years before residents in the Metro East and across Illinois start to see some of the biggest effects of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, like the expansion of solar…

Kane County Solar Project to save millions on energy costs

09/27/21
A 2 megawatt solar (2MW) field to be installed at the Kane County Judicial Center in Geneva will generate enough energy to save taxpayers $5 million over the next 25 years.

United States: The Future Of Illinois Energy Policy: Renewable Energy Set To Expand

09/22/21
On September 15, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law the sweeping Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (SB2408), establishing the next steps for Illinois energy policy after years of negotiation. This legislation builds on…

Massive clean energy bill becomes law, investing billions in renewable, nuclear sectors

09/15/21
Gov. JB Pritzker was joined by environmental and social justice activists, union representatives, and lawmakers from both parties Wednesday as he signed into law a sweeping energy regulation overhaul that aims to phase out carbon…

NOAA, Chicago partner on climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

07/13/21
With help from NOAA, a caucus of Chicago’s metropolitan mayors released today one of the first regional climate plans in the United States. It calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from…

Preparing for Climate Change in Illinois

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps the state is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Illinois AG joins lawsuit against federal limits to California’s regulatory powers

09/20/19
California’s ability to regulate the pollution limits of cars and light trucks should not be limited by the federal government, Illinois’ top lawyer argued in a joint court filing Friday, because those standards positively impact…

Evanston Climate Action and Resilience Plan

04/11/19
Evanston has a long track record of success when it comes to climate action. Since the City Council’s unanimous decision to support participation in the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in 2006, our…

Chicago Climate Action Plan

04/11/19
To assess the impacts of climate change and to develop a plan for the future, the City of Chicago consulted leading scientists to describe various scenarios for Chicago’s climate future and how those would impact…

The University of Illinois Climate Action Plan

04/10/19
In 2008, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. This action committed the campus to carbon neutrality by the year 2050. The Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP)…

KEY RESOURCES

Illinois Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

02/11/22
Solar energy is picking up steam in Illinois, with almost 50,000 installations across the state. Homeowners continue to recognize the many benefits of going green, choosing to install solar panels in Illinois with the support…

Illinois State Profile and Energy Estimates

09/23/21
Located in the center of the United States, Illinois is the most populous Midwestern state, and ranks sixth in the nation in population and fifth in GDP. The state's population is concentrated in a few…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Public Health An Assessment of 16 U.S. States

10/06/20
EcoAdaptpartnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to assess the state of climate adaptation planning and implementation for climate-related threats to public health in 16 U.S. states.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Illinois

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Illinois experienced two floods and 10 severe storms. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Illinois

07/31/20
In the Midwestern region, extreme heat, flooding and intense rain is expected to harm agriculture, health and infrastructure. The National Climate Assessment also points to increased risks from climate change to the Great Lakes, including…

What Climate Change Means for Illinois

05/05/20
Illinois’s climate is changing. Most of the state has warmed by about one degree (F) in the last century. Floods are becoming more frequent, and ice cover on the Great Lakes is forming later or…

Florida Renewable Energy

01/24/20
Florida produces more electricity from biomass than solar, wind, and hydroelectricity combined. Burning biomass is an effective way to produce electricity, and has the added benefit of helping Florida farmers, businesses, and landfills get rid…

Wind Energy in Illinois

01/21/20
Find wind data and information in Illinois, including maps, capacity, ordinances, and more.

Illinois’ Voice for Consumer Choice

01/21/20
The Illinois Renewable Fuels Association supports the Illinois ethanol industry by pursuing legislative initiatives, conducting research, and developing infrastructure – all so Illinois consumers can have cheaper, more environmentally friendly options at the pump!

Solar Power in Illinois: All You Need to Know

01/21/20
Illinois Solar Power: Check Your Savings, Costs, Tax Breaks Incentives and Rebates. If you live in the state of Illinois, the switch to solar can give you considerable cash savings over its service life.

Ultimate Guide to Home Solar Panels in Illinois

01/21/20
This page is a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on your Illinois home. Since there's a lot to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help…

Best Illinois Electricity Companies

01/21/20
Illinois became a deregulated state for large and industrial businesses in 1997 and a fully deregulated state in 2008. This means if you’re a resident or a business owner in Illinois, you have a choice…

Illinois solar incentives and rebates help you save on solar

01/21/20
If you live in Illinois and are considering investing in a solar energy system for your home, here’s some great news for you: your state offers myriad solar incentives to help you out. Even if…

Illinois Renewable Energy Association

01/08/20
IREA offers private tours of a solar installation

MORE NEWS

Unions Revolt Against Dem Gov Over Job-Killing Climate Move

By Nick Pope   04/15/24  
A powerful labor union in deep-blue Illinois is campaigning against the pause on an initiative to replace gas pipes in Chicago and putting pressure on Democrats across the state, according to E&E News.
Read more

Ventura passes measure to mitigate climate change

04/11/24  
To tackle growing emission rates from automobiles and trucks, State Senator Rachel Ventura spearheaded legislation through the Senate that would create a grant for local governments to help mitigate the impact of climate change. “By…
Read more

Chicago ranked 2nd for worst air pollution in 2023 among major US cities, global report says

By Adriana Pérez   03/22/24  
Chicago ranked second among major U.S. cities with the worst air pollution in 2023, its average annual concentration of dangerous fine particulate matter almost three times global guidelines, according to a recent report. Even as…
Read more

Groups seek climate change solutions as West Side grows hotter, rainier

By Jessica Mordacq   03/04/24  
As a virtual community conversation about impacts of climate change on the greater Chicago area unfolded last week, multiple tornadoes touched down in the western suburbs amid intense downpours and 70-degree weather. Temperatures dropped overnight…
Read more

Chicago takes Big Oil to court, adding another heavyweight to the fight

By Emily Sanders   02/26/24  
Chicago last week brought the newest lawsuit against Big Oil companies for spreading disinformation about the climate-warming hazards of burning fossil fuels — adding the third largest city in the U.S. to the growing list…
Read more

A geothermal energy boom could be coming to Chicago’s South Side

By Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco   02/23/24  
Naomi Davis won’t lose her faith in the earth. At a recent community meeting in Chicago’s South Side she wanted to drive the point home — that the city’s Black community will not be left…
Read more

Chicago sues oil companies for impacts of climate change

By Zack Budryk   02/21/24  
The city of Chicago sued six major oil companies and the primary fossil fuel lobbying group Tuesday, alleging they funded and planned a campaign of climate change denial that directly affects the city’s residents.
Read more

Chicago sues oil and gas companies for their role in contributing to climate change

By Caroline Kubzansky   02/20/24  
The city of Chicago is suing five oil and gas companies and a trade group that represents them over their role in contributing to climate change and its effects, arguing that the companies have misled…
Read more

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs measure lifting Illinois’ moratorium on new nuclear power plants

By Dan Petrella and Jeremy Gorner   12/08/23  
A nearly four-decade moratorium on the construction of nuclear plants in Illinois will end next year under a measure signed Friday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who vetoed an earlier version of the bill.
Read more

Snow, cold, and climate change factor into Chicago’s winter preparedness plans

By Tara Molina   11/14/23  
There was no snow on the ground this mid-November, but full preparation has been launched for a more sustained period of snow than we saw on Halloween in Chicago.
Read more

Illinois farmers and environmentalists celebrate the defeat of $3 billion CO2 pipeline: ‘We have thrown so many stones at Goliath’

By Nara Schoenberg   11/08/23  
When Steve Hess learned about a plan to send a $3.4 billion carbon dioxide pipeline through five states —and Hess’ own corn and soybean fields in western Illinois — the 68-year-old farmer knew two things:
Read more

Democratic Governors Block Bills For New Nuclear Power Plants

By Alexander C. Kaufman   10/21/23  
In just the last three months, the Democratic governors of Illinois and North Carolina have vetoed bills to build new reactors in their states, warning that doing so would divert money and attention from a…
Read more

CO₂ pipeline plans paused

By Dean Olsen   10/12/23  
A Nebraska company facing widespread resistance from property owners and environmentalists wants a third opportunity to win regulatory approval in Illinois for a carbon dioxide pipeline that would cross Sangamon County and inject liquid CO₂…
Read more

Developer proposes Ill. gas plant with carbon capture

By Jeffrey Tomich   10/10/23  
A Houston company is moving forward with a natural gas-fired power plant in Illinois that’s designed to capture more than 90 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions, which will be injected into a rock formation…
Read more

Chicago weather: Illinois leads nation in number of tornadoes this year, NIU professor says

By Tracy Butler and Blanca Rios   08/27/23  
Illinois leads the country in the number of tornadoes this year. Data show that so far Illinois sits at 132 preliminary tornado reports this year. That's way ahead of the next closest state, with 90…
Read more

As Chicago broils, neighbors find ways to keep each other cool

By Siri Chilukuri   08/24/23  
A massive heat dome covered the central part of the United States on Thursday, stretching from Omaha, Nebraska, down to New Orleans, putting 143 million people in 19 states under heat alerts.
Read more

Landfills lead Illinois industries in methane emissions. Here’s how you can help.

By Jenny Whidden   08/22/23  
While greenhouse gas emissions from our cars, trucks, and coal and gas plants are front and center in the climate conversation, one source of fossil fuels is out of sight and out of mind for…
Read more

On Chicago’s South Side, Neighbors Fight to Keep Lake Michigan at Bay

By Siri Chilukuri, Grist   08/10/23  
Jera Slaughter looks at her backyard with pride, pointing out every feature and explaining how it came to be. The landscaping committee in her apartment building takes such things seriously. But unlike homeowners who might…
Read more

Erosion from Lake Michigan threatens Chicago’s South Side shoreline

08/09/23  
For residents of Chicago's South Side, the beaches of Lake Michigan have long been a source of neighborhood pride But now those beaches are in danger of disappearing because of flooding and erosion. Climate change…
Read more

Could a drastic change in Atlantic Ocean currents leave Chicago high and dry? Yes

By CST Editorial Board   07/31/23  
Last week’s Chicago heat wave was not a cheery time to think about the central United States getting hotter and drier.
Read more

Illinois farmers talk about drought, deluge and dealing with climate change

By Zachary Nauth   07/22/23  
Drought, killer dust storms, torrential downpours, flooding and extreme weather — Illinois, the country’s No. 1 producer of soybeans and No. 2 producer of corn, is seeing all of that this year.
Read more

Drought, deluge and the climate curious farmers of central Illinois

By Zachary Nauth   07/19/23  
Drought, killer dust storms, torrential downpours, flooding and extreme weather. Illinois, the country’s number one producer of soybeans, and number two producer of corn, has seen it all this year.
Read more

Doug Scott, an Architect of Illinois’ Climate Policy, Takes Gavel of State’s Utility Regulatory Commission

By Andrew Adams   07/17/23  
Now, the man who became one of the architects of the state’s landmark energy reform policy — known as the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act — will be a key player in implementing the law…
Read more

Underground Heat Is Sinking Our Cities, Study Says

By Angely Mercado   07/14/23  
Heat is a silent hazard sitting beneath cities, threatening to shift infrastructure. A study published this week in Communications Engineering, outlines how heat could be changing major cities, but urban areas throughout the U.S. may…
Read more

Better breathing now, but more bad air days likely for Chicago due to climate change

By Brett Chase   07/07/23  
Just two days in a recent monthlong period saw the air in and around the city deemed “good.” For several days, the air was so bad — the worst in the world — that people…
Read more

Illinois school coalition plans buildout of electric ‘microgrids’ with $15 million in grant funding

By Collin Schopp   07/05/23  
A new grant program from the U.S. Department of Energy is poised to send $178 million to American schools for energy efficiency and student health projects. One of the funding recipients is a coalition of…
Read more

Mapping a threat: Climate change’s deadly summer heat may deepen disparities in Chicago

By Sarah Macaraeg   05/30/23  
Every year, Chicagoans relish the onset of “Summertime Chi,” when the frigid winter gives way to summer heat and outdoor spaces come alive with concerts and neighborhood festivals. But the rising temperatures that make Chicago…
Read more

A deadly dust storm highlights dangers of drier weather and top soil loss in the central U.S.

By Sarah Nardi   05/22/23  
A rare dust storm in Illinois this month caused a 72-car pileup on an interstate. Climate experts say it points to a bigger problem — soil erosion.
Read more

New tools to combat Chicago’s changing climate

By Gillian King-Cargile   05/05/23  
Chicago is already experiencing the impacts of climate change — from extreme weather to flooding and heat waves. To better understand how this will affect neighborhoods that are most at risk, scientists from the U.S.…
Read more

7 died in an Illinois dust storm pileup — will climate change bring more such tragedies?

By Elizabeth Weise and Dinah Voyles Pulver   05/03/23  
The National Weather Service office in Springfield, Illinois, issued a blowing-dust warning Monday for the first time ever after a blinding dust storm sprang up south of Springfield, Illinois, causing a deadly highway pileup. It…
Read more

Illinois Launches Long-Awaited Job-Training Programs in the Clean Energy and Construction Sectors

By Aydali Campa   04/29/23  
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced $16 million in funds last week toward clean energy workforce development programs and boosting diversity in the industry.  The announcement builds on…
Read more

Activists Rally at Illinois Capitol, Urging Lawmakers to Pass 9 Climate and Environmental Bills

By Aydali Campa   04/21/23  
Hundreds of environmental activists rallied at the Illinois State Capitol, urging legislators to support bills that advance environmental justice and protection and that address climate change. Advocates also delivered a letter to the governor’s office…
Read more

Four major Illinois research institutions form a collaboration to improve urban forest drought resilience

04/13/23  
Scientists at four leading Illinois research institutions, three in the Chicago region, are forming a new collaboration to study the effects of drought on urban trees and develop more effective drought response strategies nationwide through…
Read more

Climate change threatens central Illinois maple syrup production

By Charlie Schlenker   04/11/23  
The largest maple syrup producer in Illinois may not have a future as global climate change progresses. Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup has been in business since the 1890s. Debby Funk is part of the…
Read more

Electric cars are creating a new economy — and leaving some towns behind

By Jeanne Whalen   03/22/23  
Early last year, workers at a Jeep factory here hoped their plant would be converted to an electric vehicle facility as the auto industry revamps for a green-energy future. Engineers came to take measurements for…
Read more

Illinois Put a Stop to Local Governments’ Ability to Kill Solar and Wind Projects

By Dan Gearino, Aydali Campa   02/27/23  
Two years ago, Illinois had adopted a landmark clean energy law that called for building vast amounts of renewable power. At the same time, 15 counties with some of the most land available for wind…
Read more

Hurricane winds will get stronger in states like Illinois and Tennessee, threatening more properties

By Emma Newburger   02/27/23  
More than 13 million properties that are not currently exposed to tropical cyclones will be at risk of damage from hurricane-force winds over the next three decades, according to an analysis by the nonprofit First…
Read more

How Kane County feels about climate change

By Stacker   02/04/23  
According to the Pew Research Center, about two-thirds of Americans feel the federal government is not doing enough to counteract the effects of climate change. While a majority of U.S. adults acknowledge climate change to…
Read more

ComEd report shows how science and supercomputers help utilities adapt to climate change

By Kristen Mally Dean   01/13/23  
ComEd and Argonne National Laboratory partnered on a milestone report that analyzes the impact of climate in future northern Illinois.
Read more

State tackling harmful Lake Michigan shoreline erosion at Illinois Beach State Park

01/12/23  
Two ground-breaking projects underway at Illinois Beach State Park will help protect precious shoreline from erosion caused by Lake Michigan waves and inform future decisions about how to blunt the effects of erosion and climate…
Read more

New State Water Plan spotlights 13 critical water-related challenges for Illinois

01/11/23  
The Illinois State Water Plan, which serves as a blueprint for addressing key water-related challenges in the state over the next decade, has been updated for the first time since 1984 and is available to…
Read more

As Flooding Increases, Chicago Looks To Make Basement Housing Safer – Inside Climate News

By Siri Chilukuri   12/26/22  
This story is part of a collaborative series, from the Institute for Nonprofit News, Borderless Magazine and four other news partners, examining climate resilience across the Great Lakes. This reporting was made possible with support…
Read more

State, federal solar incentives help Illinois feed mill slash energy costs

By Kari Lydersen   11/21/22  
The semi-trucks stream in and out, more than 60 a day, delivering mounds of corn and soybeans and departing full of feed pellets ready to fatten pigs across Illinois and Missouri.
Read more

Chicago teachers fund to divest fossil fuels by end of 2027

By Rob Kozlowski   10/21/22  
The $11.5 billion pension fund's board at its Oct. 20 meeting approved a new resolution seeking to engage with fossil fuel companies to encourage them toward paths of renewable energy, as well as commit to…
Read more

Persistent Rains Pummel Chicago, Submerging Roads and Swamping Basements

By Julie Bosman   09/11/22  
Torrential, unrelenting rains swept through Chicago on Sunday, flooding basements and alleys, closing grocery stores and restaurants, and leaving cars floating under viaducts on streets impassable with deep water.
Read more

Chicago’s city-owned buildings will shift to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025

By Matt Hickman   08/10/22  
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced this week that her administration’s plan to purchase clean, renewable energy for all city-owned facilities and operations by 2025 will move ahead following the finalization of a $422 million contract…
Read more

Illinois prepares to reboot low-income solar program to improve access for all

By Kari Lydersen   07/28/22  
Solar and environmental justice advocates are hopeful that changes being made to an Illinois low-income solar program will help it finally catch on in the communities it was meant to serve. Illinois Solar for All…
Read more

Solar, storage projects set to bring jobs, tax revenue to Illinois coal communities

By Kari Lydersen   07/12/22  
The sites for the installations were recently announced, along with five other former coal plants that will host standalone energy storage projects. Vistra, which owns the solar-plus-storage sites, will receive a premium for renewable energy…
Read more

Chicago gets failing grade for ozone air pollution from American Lung Association

By Stacey Baca   04/22/22  
A new report from the American Lung Association gives the Chicago area a failing grade when it comes to some types of air pollution. Officials from the organization said the city ranks in their top…
Read more

Illinois offers $4,000 incentive to electric vehicle buyers

By YCC Team   04/18/22  
The Biden administration has set a goal that half of all new cars sold in the U.S. will be electric by 2030, and many states are creating plans to encourage drivers to make the switch.
Read more