Bob Schroyer, Facilitator

Click to read Climate Reality Project's e-book "Where We're Going and How We Get There Together"

Read a summary of Illinois' Green Energy Bill

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March 2, 2017

Top 10 Reasons We Need the EPA

By Rudhdi Karnik

It’s safe to guess that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency protects the environment—but what exactly does the EPA do every day? Here are just ten of our favorite things:

  1. Keeps our air clean! For the past 50 years, by enforcing the Clean Air Act, the EPA has worked to protect public health and welfare, and by 2020, it will have prevented 230,000 early deaths. That’s great for the economy too: The cost-benefit analysis of the Clean Air Act shows that the benefits estimate “exceeds costs by a factor of more than 30 to one, and the high benefits estimate exceeds costs by 90 times. Even the low benefits estimate exceeds costs by about three to one.” In dollars and cents, that’s $2 trillion in benefits vs. $65 billion in costs.

  2. Keeps our water clean too! The EPA also enforces the Clean Water Act, also authorized in the 1970s to keep pollution out of our water. This one’s super important when it comes to holding polluters accountable for major disasters like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and the Cuyahoga River Fire, when a heavily polluted river in Ohio actually went ablaze in 1969.

  3. Helps states keep their environments safe and healthy! The EPA actually gives more than 40 percent of its funding to states and tribes to assist with their efforts to keep our air and water clean.

  4. Maintains the Superfund program, which helps communities reclaim and put back to use the land that the fossil fuel industry has contaminated.

  5. Ensures that every company in America follows the law to protect our clean air and water. For example, the EPA uncovered that Volkswagen cheated emissions tests for cars and worked with the state of California to hold the company accountable and to clean up the air for Californian families.

  6. Uses sound science to develop ways to help produce safer chemicals and protect us from the harmful ones—who wants a bunch of mercury, lead, or formaldehyde in their drinking water?

  7. Fights for environmental justice. The EPA works hard to make sure that low-income communities and communities of color are given a voice and put before polluter profits. The EPA is a real champion when it comes to holding polluters accountable for making communities sick that are historically disadvantaged.

  8. Reduces waste and helps clean up when harmful substances pollute our land! That includes waste from landfills, fossil fuel power plants, and so much more.

  9. Evaluates and curbs pesticide risks. If you’ve ever read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, then you know how toxic pesticides can be when they go unregulated. The EPA makes sure that we don’t put anything in our bodies or on our lands that would make us sick!

  10. Takes steps to combat the global climate crisis! The EPA is hard at work collecting carbon pollution data, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, advancing climate science, partnering with states and other countries, and helping communities adapt to changing environments.

If that seems like a lot, that’s just the start of all the amazing work that the EPA does every day to better our lives.

Rudhdi Karnik is the associate press secretary for federal affairs for the Sierra Club.

The League of Conservation Voters' 2018 Environmental Scorecard is Out!

How did our MoCs Do?

Sen Duckworth - 86% pro-environment votes

Sen Durbin - 100%

Rep Krishnamoorthi - 94%

And good riddance to Hultgren and Roskam with lifetime scores of 4% and 9%, respectively!

To link to the LCV Scorecard, click here

Tell Congress to PERMANENTLY Protect the Arctic Refuge!

The impacts of oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Wildlife National Refuge would be devastating — for the Gwich'in and other Indigenous peoples who hold its lands sacred, for the critically endangered animals like polar bears who call it home, and for all of us grappling with the threat of runaway climate change.

Thankfully, President Biden knows it too: On his first day in office, he directed his Interior Department to issue a moratorium on oil and gas leasing in this spectacular wildland.

And now with pro-environment majorities in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, we have a REAL chance to permanently protect the Arctic Refuge — but we must demand that every single senator and representative stand with us. If we lose this opportunity, we could lose the Arctic itself forever.

Your lawmakers need to hear from you: Urge your senators and representative to put the Arctic Refuge off-limits to Big Oil forever.

.The Gwich'in people call the Arctic Refuge "the sacred place where life begins." Drilling here would be an egregious takeover of these lands, and would devaste the Arctic Refuge's coastal plain, which is the birthing ground for the majestic Porcupine River caribou herd that sustains the Gwich'in people, and a key denning ground of America's polar bears. Drilling for fossil fuels in the Refuge would generate more of the dangerous carbon pollution driving climate change.

Of course, despite those grave risks, the Trump administration opened the Refuge to drilling for the first time in history. And in its waning days, the administration held the first-ever lease sale in the Arctic Refuge and sold off vast stretches to oil and gas companies.

And even though President Biden has already directed his Interior Department to issue a temporary moratorium, Trump's allies in Congress want to keep this land open for future drilling to enrich their corporate allies. That's why it's so vital that Congress act to cancel Trump's last-ditch leases and close the Arctic Refuge to the fossil fuel industry for good.

Your members of Congress have the power to designate the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge as wilderness, putting it off-limits to oil and gas development forever.

Losing this land to industrial exploitation would mean losing one of the great, truly wild places on earth, the largest unspoiled wildlife refuge in America, a critically important area for the Gwich'in and other Indigenous peoples who rely on this cherished wildland for survival, and the birthing ground of Porcupine caribou and polar bears. We must do everything we can to protect it.

Just 12 years. That’s how much time we have left to avert major climate change disaster, according to a new report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel.

The report is clear: we must take drastic, immediate measures to prevent risking the lives of millions, who could be caught in fires, flooding, drought and extreme heat.

So what has Donald Trump done to prevent this climate catastrophe? Absolutely nothing. In fact, he’s made the situation more dire by:

It’s obvious the Trump administration is only interested in exacerbating the problem. We know that in order to prevent a global disaster, for the time being we’re going to have to fight climate change ourselves.

Here's one way you can help, right now, without waiting for any of your elected officials: Stop using fossil fuels to power your home.

Sign up here to switch your electricity supplier to CleanChoice Energy, and supply your home with 100% wind and solar power. It only takes a few minutes to switch!


Choosing clean energy is quick and easy and you’ll keep your utility. But a different company—CleanChoice Energy—will supply 100% clean, pollution-free energy from regional wind and solar farms in an amount equal to what you use. The energy your home uses will be paired with renewable energy sources through the purchase of renewable energy certificates.


Sign up here to switch to CleanChoice Energy, and take the fight against climate change into your own hands.

From Americans For Tax Fairness:

President Biden just introduced a major jobs and investment plan—financed by his “Made in America Tax Plan,” which is a homerun.

To finance his plan to repair and strengthen America’s long-neglected infrastructure, create a green energy economy and fund home and community-based caregiving, the President has rightfully proposed to begin dismantling the nation’s rigged corporate tax system.

For too long that system has allowed huge corporations to dodge paying their fair share of taxes and encouraged offshoring of jobs and profits.

The President’s plan would invest $2 trillion over eight years to restore the country’s sagging physical infrastructure—potholed roads, crumbling bridges, slow internet, and more—accelerate the shift to a green energy economy, and bolster the caregiving economy by making sure families can get help for loved ones and that the people providing the care are well-paid and respected.

At the same time, the president’s Made in America Tax Plan would raise nearly the same amount in revenue through fairer taxes on the nation’s corporations, which for years have gotten away with contributing far too little to the country that helps make their success possible.

Click HERE to read the Climate Reality Project's e-book Where We're Going and How We Get There Together, a prescription of policy solutions to achieve a net-zero carbon pollution US economy by 2050 – and how you can help us get there.


Illinois state lawmakers are heading back to Springfield and have the chance to finally pass a comprehensive and equitable 100 percent carbon-free energy bill as early as next week.

Tell them NO more dirty FOSSIL FUELS for IL!




THIS IS URGENT: Illinois state lawmakers are heading back to Springfield and have the chance to finally pass a comprehensive and equitable 100 percent carbon-free energy bill as early as next week.

We’ve waited WAY TOO LONG for action. For years NRDC Action Fund supporters (like you!) have been sending letters, making phone calls, and showing up at lobby days in support of BOLD and EQUITABLE climate action for the state.

And we're closer than ever to getting the state to commit to a clean energy future — but we need you to make your voice heard THIS WEEK!

Send a letter to Representative Anna Moeller and Senator Cristina Castro now in support of strong climate action!

Governor J.B. Pritzker and dozens of legislators are backing a nation-leading climate bill that would achieve a carbon-free power sector for Illinois by 2045 and give all Illinoisans the opportunity to benefit from a clean energy economy.

But fossil fuel companies and their allies are up to their usual tricks, trying to weaken the bill and lobbying to give the Prairie State coal plant — the state's largest polluter — a free pass to keep polluting our air.

We can’t let that happen. We need our Illinois state leaders to stand up to big polluters by passing climate legislation — like the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) — that commits the state to 100 percent carbon-free energy.

Will you take URGENT action to support a 100 percent carbon-free energy future for all Illinois? Send your message NOW.

We must keep the pressure on our state lawmakers to pass legislation that:

  • Fights the climate crisis by requiring Illinois’ power sector to be 100% carbon-free by 2045 and investing in clean, renewable energy

  • Creates equitable pathways to good-paying clean energy jobs for the people who need them most, especially people in communities of color, workers hurt by the economic crisis, and those impacted by the ongoing transition away from fossil fuels

  • Brings cleaner air to communities across the state

  • Reduces dirty pollution from the transportation sector (Illinois' single largest source of carbon emissions) by investing in electric vehicles and other modes of clean transportation

  • Invests in energy efficiency, reduces wasted energy, and saves Illinoisans money

  • Holds utilities accountable

  • Closes the Prairie State coal plant, which accounts for 28 percent of Illinois’ carbon emissions and is the 7th worst polluter in the country

The Midwest is heating up faster than the rest of the country, and it will only get worse if we keep burning fossil fuels.

Blair, we are in a climate emergency, and Illinoisans are feeling the effects of climate change firsthand.

In June, Metro East shattered temperature records, and northern Illinois was hit with record-breaking heat and the worst drought in more than 30 years. In May, we saw record rainfall in Chicago and flash floods across the state. And climate change has caused Lake Michigan's water levels to rise higher than ever before, leading to more severe flooding.

The longer we wait to take climate action, the worse the public health impacts will become and the harder it will be for our children to have a livable future.

The only thing that will protect us is to stop burning fossil fuels as quickly as we can. Tell your state lawmakers: NO more dirty fossil fuels for Illinois!

People of color are disproportionately harmed by extreme heat and air pollution (which climate change makes even worse).

Unless the legislature acts, communities of color will continue to be shut out of the clean energy economy while they disproportionately suffer the harmful impacts of pollution. We must move toward an energy infrastructure that benefits ALL of us. And we must work to relieve the burden of pollution on communities most affected.

Tell your Illinois state legislators that you're counting on them to pass bold and equitable climate legislation IMMEDIATELY!

In addition to pushing state leaders to pass comprehensive climate policies, we're also working hard to get our U.S. senators and representatives to put President Biden's Build Back Better agenda into action by passing strong budget reconciliation legislation and an infrastructure bill in the coming weeks.

The Build Back Better agenda includes investing in electric trucks and cars with zero tailpipe emissions, transitioning away from dangerous fossil fuels, expanding clean energy alternatives like wind and solar, safeguarding communities from toxic pollution, and creating millions of high-quality jobs in the process.

But strong climate policies in Illinois will help move the needle toward these national goals — so please, urge your state officials to pass comprehensive clean energy legislation right away. Make your voice heard TODAY.

Stay tuned for more ways to advocate for climate action in Illinois and on Capitol Hill. We couldn't do the work we do without YOU.


J.C. Kibbey

Senior Advisor, NRDC Action Fund

P.S. Read more about the need to pass a bold and equitable climate bill in Illinois in my recent blog post on NRDC.org.

Want to make even more impact? Consider phone banking with our local partner to help get the word out about this critical bill. Email us here to let us know you’re interested and we’ll put you in touch with our partner.