The ELPC Blog

Cutting Corners to Rush Logging Will Harm Northwoods

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) encompasses some of the highest quality ecological systems and habitats in northern Wisconsin. This treasured piece of our natural heritage is home to endangered species and a vibrant recreation economy, but today it is facing a grave threat. The Fourmile logging project would log 12,000 acres east of Eagle River, including

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Crains Detroit Op-Ed: Low oil prices make Enbridge’s tunnel a bad financial bet

Eeny, meeny, miny, mo. Which of the controversial new oil pipeline projects are going to go — away? Let’s start with Enbridge’s antiquated Line 5 oil pipeline with its new safety-related problems, and its proposed costly new tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac. Oil prices have fallen so much that Exxon reported its first quarterly

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EPA Refuses to Strengthen Air Pollution Standards During Global Respiratory Pandemic

A few weeks ago, I testified before the US EPA against Administrator Wheeler’s decision not to strengthen the PM2.5 annual and 24-hour standards. This decision was made despite the findings of career scientists and the recommendations of an independent 20-member panel of experts. Moreover, this decision was made against the backdrop of a global respiratory pandemic that highlights

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Lake Michigan Water Levels Continue to Rise: We Must Prepare

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ new June forecast paints a chilling picture of super-high water levels in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, peaking in July and August even higher than the May forecast. Higher water levels than any time since the disastrous “Great Flood of 1986.” And look out – especially if the high water is

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Putting the Equity in “Return on Equity”

Utility hearings are many things, but rarely emotional. This one felt different. Last Friday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission held a virtual hearing on Xcel Energy’s “Integrated Distribution Plan” – a blueprint for the utility’s electric grid investments over the coming five years. With the pandemic as our backdrop, hearings tend to be an exercise

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Nothing Suggests Line 3 Pipeline Can Comply with Minnesota Water Quality Standards

In recent months, the price of oil has plummeted and companies have reduced oil production. And in recent years, oil spills have made headlines and damaged waterways like the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. If there ever were a time to build another pipeline, this is clearly not it. But Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge still seeks to

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How can we avoid a public transit death spiral?

Below post also found in Crains Chicago Business Public transit ridership and revenues have dropped like a rock during the COVID-19 public health crisis. In Chicago, CTA bus and train ridership is down by 80%, and Metra commuter rail ridership is down by a staggering 97%. In Minneapolis-St. Paul, Metro Transit has 75% less riders.

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Great Lakes Flooding – Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst

We’re facing the wettest May of the past 100 years. You’ve seen the photos and videos of Michigan and Ohio communities being evacuated, and Chicago’s downtown skyscrapers and Fox River area suburbs being flooded by the record rains. That’s from swollen rivers. Watch out for what’s coming next with forecasts of Great Lakes flooding this

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General Iron is not a good neighbor, no matter the neighborhood

COVID-19 is not the only threat to Chicago’s lungs this spring, as neighborhoods struggle with toxic polluters in multiple parts of the city. After Hilco’s demolition of the Crawford coal plant blanketed Little Village with a dark cloud of pollution just a month ago, many hoped to see environmental hazards taken seriously in light of

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Op-Ed: Trump’s attack on clean water is bad politics in the Midwest

The Trump administration is at it again. While Americans are focused on dealing with COVID-19 pandemic challenges and stresses, the Trump EPA used that distraction as cover to issue its replacement of important federal clean water protection standards. This misguided action rolls back regulatory standards designed to protect community rivers, creeks, streams and wetlands that provide safe

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