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Media Article

Massachusetts outlines new strategy for getting customers and utilities off gas

After more than three years of considering the future of the natural gas industry in Massachusetts and what role it can play in the state's efforts to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, the state's Department of Public Utilities issued an order meant to signal to gas utilities that it won't be business as usual going forward.
Illinois Commerce Commission chair announces decision favoring clean energy
Media Article

Advocates hail regulatory ‘earthquake’ as state slashes requested gas rate increases

Illinois regulators unanimously approved rate hikes for four major natural gas utilities, but slashed the utilities' requested rate increases by as much as 50%. The regulators also launched a series of "future of gas" hearings that will for the first time hold the utilities accountable for aligning their planning with the state's 100% clean energy goals. "As the state embarks on a journey toward a 100% clean energy economy, the gas system's operations will not continue to exist in its current form," the Commission's Chairman said in a statement.
Media Article

Peoples Gas seeks record-high gas bill increase for customers

Environmental and community activists turned out in Chicago to protest against Peoples Gas' request for a $402 million rate hike for next year. "We don’t think consumers should be having to spend more money to rebuild fossil fuel pipelines," said activist Caroline Wooten. Dozens of activists showed up to Thursday's Illinois Commerce Commission meeting to make their final plea before the commission votes on November 16.
urban lights at night in winter
Media Article

Understanding energy behaviors for a more equitable future

Dr. Destenie Nock published a new study based on research in Chicago showing that low-income households turn on their cooling systems in hot weather three degrees later than higher income households, but they turn on heat in cold weather six degrees earlier than high income households, whether because of poor insulation or other reasons. “This work highlights the challenges low-income communities face. Not only are they at higher risk in the summer, but in the winter they have to spend a lot more money to protect their pipes from freezing,” noted Nock. “The financial stress of heating homes in winter can also lead to broader inequities.” Dr. Nock's data can be used to shape policies that address systemic inequities, guide investments in infrastructure, and help improve living conditions for energy-insecure and vulnerable households. Dr. Nock has provided expert testimony in Illinois rate case proceedings.
Boston, Massachusetts, USA Skyline
Media Article

The richest Americans account for 40 percent of U.S. climate emissions

The richest 10 percent of U.S. households are responsible for 40 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study released Thursday in PLOS Climate. The study, which looked at how a household’s income generated emissions, underlines the stark divide between those who benefit most from fossil fuels and those who are most burdened by its effects. “It just seems morally and politically problematic to have one group of people reaping so much benefit from emissions while the poorer groups in society are asked to disproportionately deal with the harms of those emissions,” Starr, a sustainability scientist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, said. Previous research has shown that extreme weather events made worse because of climate change, from flooding to hurricanes, often have a greater effect on lower-income communities.
African American volunteer and her coworkers talk while organizing donations at community center.
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Advancing Environmental Justice through Community Based Participatory Research

A journal article from We Act for Environmental Justice, discusses how community based participatory research builds capacity in communities and ensures government agencies and academic institutions are better able to incorporate community concerns into their research agendas.
Chicago neighborhood
FeaturedMedia Article

The Expert Next Door

An article from the winter 2023 edition of EDF’s Solutions, about how EDF attorney Christie Hicks is working with communities in Chicago to get resident voices into the rooms where energy decisions are being made.
Image of agricultural landscape
FeaturedMedia Article

Fighting An Unjust Pipeline

An article from the spring 2022 edition of EDF’s Solutions, details how the Pembroke Environmental Justice Coalition and EDF is working to stop a natural gas pipeline from being built in Pembroke Township – an historic Black farming community.
Naomi Davis, the founder of Blacks in Green, speaks to a crowd in downtown Chicago at a March 27 protest of Peoples Gas’ proposed rate increase. (Capitol News Illinois photo by Andrew Adams)
Media Article

Advocates Call on Regulators to Reject Natural Gas Rate Increases

Consumer advocates, environmentalists and Chicago residents gathered in front of the Chicago offices of Peoples Gas this week to call on the Illinois Commerce Commission to reject a proposed rate increase from the gas utility.
Dr. Jifunza Wright-Carter speaks at a protest
Media Article

Farmers Reject Nicor’s Pipe Dream

An article from In These Times discusses why Black farmers in Pembroke, IL want an energy upgrade to renewables, not fossil fuels.