It’s April 1st, but are we fools?

During the month of April (and a little bit of May), the Task Force holds its spring membership drive. Our goal this year is $11,750. On our blog (and website) you’ll find a bird feeder, which as of today is rather empty. So empty, in fact, that there are no birds at the feeder. Over the coming weeks, we hope to “fill the feeder” and attract some birds. An individual membership is $25, and you can read our appeal letter for more information about what we are planning for 2010.

But if you’re wondering if supporting the Task Force is necessary, consider the following excerpt from Amendment 1 of House Bill 1470:

“Renewable energy resources” includes energy and its associated renewable energy credit or renewable energy credits from wind, solar thermal energy, photovoltaic cells and panels, biodiesel, crops and untreated and unadulterated organic waste biomass, trees and tree trimmings, hydropower that does not involve new construction or significant expansion of hydropower dams, incineration or burning of tires, and other alternative sources of environmentally preferable energy.

Passage of this bill would allow Geneva Energy, one of two tire incinerators in the country, to earn valuable green energy credits for generating large amounts of toxic air pollution. For years, Chicago’s South Side has struggled with developing economically viable communities that are also healthy living areas. Many of the communities in the south side are predominantly minority and low income. Ford Heights, where the Geneva Energy plant resides, is no exception.

SETF works to empower residents in their fight for environmental justice. We hold workshops for residents to learn about environmental issues. Our Good Neighbor Dialogs bring residential concerns to local businesses and encourage industrial partners to strive for ever greener practices. Our Watchdog program keeps an eye out for environmentally unfriendly activities and teaches residents how they can report suspicious activity.

Speaking of suspicious, here’s more of HB1470:

“Renewable energy resources” does not include the incineration or burning of garbage, general household, institutional, and commercial waste, industrial lunchroom or office waste, landscape waste other than trees and tree trimmings, railroad crossties, utility poles, or construction or demolition debris, …”

Does it make sense to you that tires are not on this list? Why not share your opinion with your representative. If you think this legislative foolishness is disturbing, you are not alone. Post a comment if you have other useful information about tire burning or HB1470.

Please consider supporting the Task Force. Thanks for reading.

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