Currents

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EPA proposes update to landfill emission rules

On July 1 the U.S. EPA released an update to 18-year-old standards for air pollution from solid waste landfills. New and modified landfills would be required to use technology to capture two-thirds of their emitted methane and other air pollutants by 2023. Now the EPA is in the public input phase for determining the final […]

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Learning from Germany’s energy policy mistakes

Energiewende, German for energy transition, is the move by Germany to an energy portfolio dominated by renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable ­development. The final goal is the abolition of coal and other non-renewable energy sources. While many would applaud Germany’s goals, others would say it is an example of what not to do with […]

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Homegrown by Illinois heroes

A sharp, full-color logo has been designed to help Illinois veterans market agricultural products. The Homegrown By Heroes Illinois Products logo was unveiled in July at the Illinois Farm Bureau, where more than 30 organizations met to launch the initiative. Homegrown By Heroes is a national ­branding program and will allow Illinois farmers, ­ranchers and […]

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Record attendance for 50th NRECA Youth Tour

Seventy-five Illinois students recently returned from the annual “Youth to Washington” Tour, held June 13-20. This event, sponsored by the electric and telephone cooperatives of Illinois since the late 1950s, is an introduction to our ­democratic form of government and cooperatives for rural youth.  This year Illinois celebrated it’s 55th year of the tour. NRECA’s Youth […]

Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) Launch

Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 to monitor Earth’s vital signs

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2), NASA’s first mission dedicated to studying carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere, lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on July 2. The two-year mission will help scientists unravel key mysteries about carbon dioxide and produce the most detailed picture to date of natural sources of carbon dioxide, as […]

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Bipartisan effort could expedite river navigation improvements

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) today introduced ­bipartisan, ­bicameral legislation to improve the nation’s water ­infrastructure – including locks and dams along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers – through ­public-private partnerships that would ­expedite projects and save ­taxpayers money. […]

Book to feature Illinois Centennial and Sesquicentennial Farms

The publisher of an upcoming book ­honoring historic family-owned farms in Illinois says initial response to their publicity campaign has been overwhelming, but a large number of farm owners still haven’t heard about the project. The coffee-table book, “Illinois Historic Farms: Honoring the State’s Enduring Heritage of Family-Owned Farms,” will feature histories of family-owned farms […]

Co-op commitment to community in action

Members of the Menard County Fair Board are more confident about the smooth operation of at least one large part of the fair this year thanks to the completion of a major elec­trical system upgrade. The fairgrounds is unique from most in that it owns and ­operates its own elec­trical ­system, which was purchased from […]

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A bright spot in a war torn country

For 20 years, southern Sudan made international headlines for two civil wars that killed an estimated two million people, displaced another four million and devastated its countryside before ending in 2005. Recently the civil war has once again erupted with ­broken cease-fires. But during a short semi-peaceful period there was a bright spot with the […]

Electric cooperatives tops in consumer satisfaction

According to the 2014 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey released May, consumer-members belonging to not-for-profit electric cooperatives are more satisfied with their utility than consumers served by either investor-owned (IOU) or municipal utilities. Touchstone Energy Cooperatives received an overall customer satisfaction score of 81 — the highest score for any electric-only utility. IOUs and […]