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February 3, 2004

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn promotes “homegrown” All-American energy sources at Conservation Foundation’s annual winter membership luncheon

AURORA, IL- Today Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn promoted the importance of developing All-American energy sources in his keynote speech at the Conservation Foundation’s annual winter membership luncheon.


“It’s time to declare energy independence and embrace the power of wind, solar, and other green forms of energy,” said Quinn, who as Lieutenant Governor is chairman of the Illinois River Coordinating Council (IRCC).  “By harnessing homegrown renewable energy sources, Illinois will be less subject to the whims of oil-producing countries or foreign potentates who can turn off the flow of oil.”


The Conservation Foundation meeting, themed “Plugging Into Nature: Alternative Energy Opportunities for Illinois,” brings together business and community leaders to discuss a range of issues involving land preservation, river and watershed improvement, public policy advocacy and environmental education.


“Diversifying our state’s portfolio of energy is good for the consumer, the farmer, the environment and the economy,” said Quinn, explaining that clean alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar, ethanol and soy biodiesel will provide businesses and consumers with increased savings on skyrocketing electric and gas bills. 


Additionally, Quinn outlined the “Hazardous Environmental Disclosure Act,” sponsored by

Rep. John Fritchey (D – Chicago).  The legislation would require the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to warn citizens living within 2,500 feet from hazardous waste and toxic contaminates of their proximity to the deadly substances through individualized notices, a web-based searchable database, and newspaper announcements.


“Hazardous and toxic wastes are threatening the health of Illinois residents,” Quinn said.  “We have an obligation to protect Illinois’ families.  People have a fundamental right to know if there are deadly contaminants affecting the water they drink, the food they eat, and the air they breathe.”


            According to a recent investigative study on hidden toxins, thousands of communities in Illinois, including Northeast Illinois, were found to have alarming levels of poisonous contaminates that could lead to severe health problems.


Quinn also discussed how the priorities of the Conservation Foundation mirror those of the IRCC.  The mission of the Foundation is to enhance the quality of life by preserving open space, protecting natural lands, and improving rivers and watersheds.  The IRCC – made up of a diverse group of citizens, grassroots and not-for-profit organizations, state and federal agencies, and river enthusiasts – coordinates all private and public funding for river restoration in the sprawling Illinois River Watershed. 


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