Old, coal-fired power plants are the largest industrial
air polluters in the state. Do you support requiring old power
plants to conform to current air protection standards in order
to clean up Illinois' air quality?
Presently power plants built before 1977 are exempted from
air protection standards. The idea behind the exemption was
that they would soon be shutting down, so they might as well
operate for their few remaining years. Nearly twenty-five years
later these plants are still going strong, and polluting more
than ten times as much as newer plants. If the older plants
are unable to meet standards due to older technology, they should
be closed down. All power plants, old and new, should be required
to meet the standards for soot and smog-forming pollution. Presently
twenty-four Illinois' coal-fired power plants are exempted and
they produce a lot of pollution. In 1997 these aging power plants
emitted 307,028 tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides, or the
equivalent of 15.7 million cars. That's twice the number of
cars as are registered in the state. Additionally, 821,336 tons
of soot-forming sulfur dioxide was emitted. Cleaning them up
is a must in restoring Illinois' suffering air quality.
Do you support investment in clean, safe, renewable power
for the future in an effort to rid the state of its dependence
on polluting forms of energy?
As technology for cleaner fuel becomes more available and affordable,
it is necessary to replace the older and dirtier energy sources.
Summer smog pollution in Illinois is estimated to trigger as
many as 310,000 asthma attacks, cause as many as 7,200 emergency
room visits and 2,400 hospitalizations per year. Air pollution
kills 3,000 people a year in Illinois, 2,000 in the Chicago
area alone. Air pollution is especially dangerous to children,
the elderly, and those with respiratory problems. It is our
responsibility to demand cleaner power to protect the health
of all the residents in Illinois.
For more information, contact www.pirg.org/illinoispirg/enviro/cleanair/index.html
Urban Sprawl & Transportation
Do you support spending transportation dollars on improving
public transit rather than building more roads in order to minimize
pollution and preserve open space?
Public transit cuts down on pollution, reduces traffic and
congestion, preserves open space from destruction and allows
both elderly and young people, unable to drive, opportunities
to be involved in the community. More roads lead to more frequent
car trips and further increase people's automobile dependence.
In Illinois, growth has spread out into suburbs, requiring that
urban and suburban transit systems be linked in order to provide
effective and adequate service. The Illinois House of Representatives
passed House Resolution 234 in May of 1999 to urge the Regional
Transportation Authority (RTA) to plan for an improved, coordinated
mass transit system for the entire Chicagoland region. This
legislation holds promise for mass transit, but citizen follow-up
and involvement are necessary to ensure that critical issues
such as air quality and accessibility to lower income areas
are appropriately represented.
For more information, contact: http://www.cnt.org/index.cfm?FuseAction=Project&ProjectID=5.
What is your proposal for curbing urban sprawl and minimizing
the damaging effects of growth in Illinois?
Poorly planned land use and major public expenditures for highways,
sewers, and wastewater treatment leads to destruction of valuable
wildlife habitat. The costs of growth, though often hidden,
cannot be overlooked. From 1970 to 1990 developed land in the
Chicago area grew 55 percent, while the area population grew
only 4 percent. There is no level of highway construction that
can keep pace with this kind of sprawling growth. With good
city planning it is possible to revitalize suburban areas so
that shopping, work, school and home are all within an accessible
distance. Growth changes cities quickly, so it is essential
that planning starts now in order to protect Illinois from the
harmful effects of sprawl.
For more information, contact http://www.cnt.org/2020/#Our.
Back to the Illinois
2000-2018, League of Conservation Voters Education Fund