Currents

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House passes coal ash bill creating federal guidelines

A bill strongly endorsed by electric cooperatives that regulates coal ash under a new state-run program has sailed through the House of Representatives and is on its way to the Senate.The House backed the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act of 2013 on July 25 by a 265-155 vote.For the first time, the bill sets a uniform national standard for ...Read More

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Geothermal open house statewide Sept. 21

Geothermal heat pumps are the most efficient heating/cooling systems known to mankind today. If you want to learn more about geothermal, and see a system in action, Saturday, Sept. 21 is the date. The Illinois Geothermal Tour is ­coming to a location near you. On Saturday, Sept. 21, homes and ­businesses with geothermal systems will open their doors for a ...Read More

FTP

IDNR resources trunks and packs to supplement learning

Illinois has a wealth of natural resources and exploring them can be great fun for children as well as a wonderful educational experience. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) offers resources trunks and field trip packs for loan to help educators encourage children to take a closer look at the natural world. What are trunks and packs? “Trunks” are ...Read More

Send the Light

Send the Light – celebrates rural electrification history

Many electric cooperatives across the country are ­celebrating their 75th anniversary. Celebrating that history is a play, Send the Light, which was conceived and ­written by Don Shandrow, a member of Corn Belt Energy, Bloomington, Ill. Music for the play was written by Phil Shaw, with ­incidental music by David Berchtold. Devon Lovell was part of the original four-actor cast ...Read More

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Electric vehicle sales growing

Expanding options and ­improving technology are having a positive effect on U.S. electric vehicle sales. Americans bought 40,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) during the first half of 2013, more than twice the amount bought over the same period in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). PEVs include plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt and all-electric ­vehicles ...Read More

Electric cooperatives hold statewide meeting

Members of the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives held their 72nd annual meeting Aug. 1-2. AIEC Board Chairman Larry Kraft of Monroe County Electric Co-Operative, Waterloo, Ill., congratulated the fol­lowing co-ops celebrating 75 years of service: Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative, Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association, EnerStar Electric Cooperative, McDonough Power Cooperative, Monroe County Electric Co-Operative, Norris Electric Cooperative, Shelby Electric Cooperative, Southern ...Read More

National Guard birthday questioned

Several readers questioned last month’s article on the Illinois National Guard celebrating its 290th birthday. In honoring the service and history of our National Guard we missed the obvious question. How could the Illinois National Guard be 290 years old when the country isn’t even that old? Here is the answer. The birth date of the Illinois National Guard - ...Read More

Co-ops concerned by Obama’s plan for cutting carbon

In June President Obama announced a broad new ­federal mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants. The President will instruct federal regulators to apply the Clean Air Act to carbon dioxide issued from power plants. Mark Irwin, Director of the Center for Clean Coal Technology Research, Purdue University, says the President’s plan has the potential to increase ...Read More

Concealed carry gun legislation passes

In July the Illinois General Assembly voted to override Governor Quinn’s veto of HB 183, concealed carry legislation originally passed on May 31. The state was under court order to come up with a law ­governing this matter no later than July 9. The vote to override was 77-31 in the House and 41-17 in the Senate. Under the provisions ...Read More

New efficiency standards for residential water heaters coming

Starting in April 2015, new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) water heater energy efficiency standards will be in effect. Residential water heaters affected include gas-fired, oil-fired, electric, tabletop, instantaneous gas-fired and instantaneous electric. The standards released in 2010 increase the stringency of the ­existing minimum conservation standards for residential water heaters, which account for about 18 percent of energy use ...Read More