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On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Study: Big Savings for IL Building Owners from Clean Power Plan

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016   

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Chicago is one of the world's most iconic city skylines, but a new report shows Illinois could do more to make those towering commercial buildings more eco-friendly - and save money in the process.

New research from Georgia Tech's School of Public Policy estimated Illinois commercial building owners could save more than $100 million a year in power costs by 2030 if the state adopted President Obama's Clean Power Plan, or CPP.

The EPA will hold a hearing Wednesday in Chicago about bringing parts of the plan to low-income communities. Kelly Nichols with Moms Clean Air Force of Illinois said her group will testify in support.

"I think that's an amazing resource to have for communities that are bearing the brunt of pollution, and also don't have the same kinds of resources as other communities,” Nichols said. "It's very difficult to get solar panels on top of an apartment building, and this kind of a program makes it easier and more accessible."

According to the study, if Illinois apartment owners are able to adopt some of the CPP ideas - like installing rooftop solar systems - they could save more than $8 million a year.

Report author Dr. Marilyn Brown of Georgia Tech said the CPP goals would help reduce costs and pollution by setting federal limits on carbon emissions from power plants. She said that commercial buildings end up being responsible for about one-third of the carbon emissions from producing electricity.

"Most electricity is used to heat and cool and light buildings,” Brown said, "and about half of that building's electricity goes to businesses. So, it's a really important source for climate mitigation, CO2 emission reductions. "

The CPP is on hold while it is challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court by 24 states; Illinois is not among them. Opponents of the plan argue that the EPA overstepped its authority by requiring a one-third cut in carbon emissions by 2030.



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According to the National Family Farm Coalition, the average U.S. farmland value is now $3,800 per
acre, the highest since the 1970s. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

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Advocates for unpaid family caregivers in Maine say they'll need continued support beyond the recently passed paid family and medical leave program…

Social Issues

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The Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida are filing lawsuits against the deacti…


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Environment

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Health and Wellness

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New Mexico activists are tapping today's World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, to announce they'll ask the State Legislature to provide more money for treatment …

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