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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Capitol News Illinois

A technology that some say is a key tool to address climate change and others say is a cash grab for heavy industry could face new regulations – if lawmakers can find the time before their scheduled adjournment this week.

Carbon capture and sequestration technology is used to take carbon dioxide – a powerful greenhouse gas – and move it through pipelines before storing it deep underground. Several interest groups – including business groups, environmentalists and labor organizations like the AFL-CIO – are pushing for a bill that would regulate the emerging technology at the same time some companies are pitching pipeline projects to state regulators. […]

Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, said on Monday that while she sees a path to move a bill by the end of the week, she and others involved in the talks are operating on a very short timescale. […]

Lawmakers have floated various forms of regulation of the industry in the past, but none of them have received the level of support necessary for passage in the General Assembly.

* The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association…

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association issued the following statement after the House Executive Committee advanced House Floor Amendment 2 to HB817, which includes a five-year extension of the Research & Development Tax Credit that strengthens key tax incentive programs to grow investments in Illinois:

“Research and development are central to the success of our state’s manufacturing sector, with manufacturers constantly creating new products and improving existing ones. By extending this important tax credit for another five years, manufacturers can continue to invest in new technologies to grow our economy and revolutionize our world, including electric vehicle battery development and quantum research,” said Mark Denzler, President and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “This has long been a priority of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, and we thank Governor JB Pritzker and lawmakers for recognizing the importance of enacting policies to attract and grow manufacturing in Illinois, which employs 650,000 workers and contributes the single largest share of our state’s economy. We are especially appreciative to Rep. Dave Vella and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for their leadership on this issue, and for pursuing additional changes to strengthen tax incentive programs including the Reimagining Energy and Vehicles in Illinois Act (REV Act) and the Manufacturing Illinois Chips for Real Opportunity Act (MICRO Act) to grow investments in Illinois supply chains.”

* Brenden Moore


* WAND

Caterpillar Inc. has entered into a conciliation agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to resolve alleged systemic hiring discrimination against 60 Black applicants at the production facility in Decatur.

Caterpillar Inc. will pay $800,000 in back wages and interest to affected job applicants and offer jobs to 34 eligible class members to resolve the allegations. The company also agreed to ensure its hiring policies and procedures are free from discrimination and provide training to all managers, supervisors, and other company officials who oversee hiring decisions.

From March 30, 2018 to March 30, 2020, the department’s Office of the Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that Caterpillar discriminated against 60 Black applicants who applied for fabrication specialist/welder positions at its Decatur facility.

*** Statehouse News ***

* WBBM | Illinois legislator draws up play for funding of new Bears, Sox stadiums: State Representative La Shawn Ford has filed a resolution calling on the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority to consider selling properties to private developers to build stadiums.“They could buy the land over by Comiskey, U.S. Cellular [Guaranteed Rate Field], they could purchase that land,” Ford said. “That would be something that they could develop and be the landlords or you could find other communities in the city of Chicago that could use a shot in the arm to make that community more vibrant.”

*** Chicago ***

* Block Club | Downtown Teen Curfew Remains This Summer Despite Mayor Johnson Saying He’s Not A Fan: Mayor Brandon Johnson has said the policy doesn’t align with his vision for Chicago. The Mayor’s Office declined to comment Monday when asked by Block Club whether the curfew would be repealed this summer, despite park advocates calling on Johnson to do so. […] Adults 21 and older can use the park 6 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. People younger than that must be accompanied by a “responsible” adult who is 21 or older if they are entering the park after 6 p.m.

* WTTW | Chicago School Board Set to Sign Off on New Contract Agreement With SEIU Local 73-Backed Support Staff: The Chicago Board of Education this week will vote to approve the new deal between CPS and unionized staffers represented by Service Employees International Union Local 73. The two sides reached a tentative agreement earlier this month, and union members overwhelmingly approved the contract last week.

* Crain’s | Trucking milk to Texas, $100K in unused bottles: How the wheels fell off Oberweis Dairy: Oberweis tried to capitalize on the shift to home delivery during the pandemic and started selling tomahawk steaks, seafood and other non-dairy items. It opened delivery routes in Texas and “spent aggressively” to rope in new customers. It also bought a fleet of delivery trucks, opened a new production line and bought thousands of milk crates and bottles. The company stretched itself too thin with those spending decisions, experts said. The delivery routes — which involved trucking milk from Oberweis’ North Aurora production facility down to Texas, then hauling used bottles back up — were not profitable, according to the filing. Not enough people signed up for delivery, the trucks were underutilized and about $100,000 worth of new quart-size milk bottles still sit unused.

* Neil Steinberg | A journey on public transit in Boston shows just how good Chicago has it: Taking the T was worth it just to realize the powers that be in Boston, despite representing a metropolis founded in 1630, couldn’t manage to run the train all the way to the airport. It stops 1,000 yards away. In Boston’s defense, Mayor Michelle Wu makes a habit of joining Bostonians on their daily commutes to see for herself what’s happening. Can’t imagine Brandon Johnson doing that. He’s studying the inside of the basket he’s hiding under.

* Block Club | Sam & Gertie’s, Uptown Vegan Jewish Deli, To Close This Weekend After 4 Years: Kalish is now focusing on his eighth concept for Wilson Avenue and plans to open a diner in early June, he said. Dear Flo’s, 1313 W. Wilson Ave., will open in the former Kal’ish space. Although there are no plans to reopen Sam & Gertie’s, Kalish hopes to offer holiday pop-ups for Hanukkah, Passover and Rosh Hashanah.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* NBC Chicago | 11 students hospitalized after multiple school buses involved in interstate crash in Chicago suburb: Multiple school buses were involved in a crash in a Chicago suburb Tuesday morning, leaving nearly a dozen students injured, authorities said. According to Illinois State Police, a multi-unit crash involving at least three school buses took place just after 8:30 a.m. on northbound Interstate 55 at milepost 246 in Grundy County.

* Tribune | Buffalo Grove mayor, police chief hold social media chat discussing safety programs: In a video interview with Village President Eric Smith and police Chief Brian Budds posted recently to YouTube, the village announced that the new public safety initiatives were also announced to village residents in an electronic newsletter. Budds, who joined the village a year-and-a-half ago, said he was asked then to assess the police department and its technology. The chief said he identified some opportunities — particularly with gun safety, automated license plate readers and drones — that contribute to his department’s effectiveness.

*** Cicadapocalypse ***

* IDNR | IDNR seeking entries for cicada-themed art show: Illinois is the epicenter of a rare double cicada brood emergence this summer, and IDNR wants to commemorate the occasion with a public art show in Conservation World during the 2024 Illinois State Fair, Aug. 8-18. Anyone can participate. There will be a junior exhibit for youth 17 and younger, and an adult show for everyone 18 and older. Deadline to enter is Sunday, June 16, 2024.

* NBC Chicago | Why do so many cicadas swarm the same tree? There’s a reason for it: According to experts, when male cicadas sing their mating call, it attracts other males to that location to do the same. Known as “the chorusing center” the loud mating calls then attract females to the screaming tree to fly in and mate.

* Fox 2 Now | Want to taste Cicadas? Join the Bug Chef for cicada dishes at the Butterfly House: Those with a thirst for cicadas can join the Bug Chef at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House on May 24 for cicada dishes and an educational forum on the practice of eating insects. There will be two demonstrations on May 24, at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. The Butterfly House requests that guests attend only one demonstration to allow others the opportunity to learn about cicadas. Seating is limited and will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

*** National ***

* NYT | Scarlett Johansson Said No, but OpenAI’s Virtual Assistant Sounds Just Like Her: Days before OpenAI demonstrated its new, flirty voice assistant last week, the actress Scarlett Johansson said, Sam Altman, the company’s chief executive, called her agent and asked that she consider licensing her voice for a virtual assistant. It was his second request to the actress in the past year, Ms. Johannson said in a statement on Monday, adding that the reply both times was no. Despite those refusals, Ms. Johansson said, OpenAI used a voice that sounded “eerily similar to mine.” She has hired a lawyer and asked OpenAI to stop using a voice it called “Sky.”

* AP News | Graceland is not for sale, Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough says in lawsuit: The granddaughter of Elvis Presley is fighting an attempt to publicly auction his Graceland estate in Memphis, alleging that a company’s claims that the king of rock ’n’ roll’s former home was used as collateral for an unpaid loan are fraudulent. A public auction for the estate had been scheduled for Thursday this week, but a Memphis judge blocked the sale after Riley Keough sought a temporary restraining order and filed a lawsuit, court documents show. Keough, an actor, is Presley’s granddaughter and the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley.

* Sun-Times | Traveling abroad for Pride Month? LGBTQ+ Chicagoans respond to worldwide travel alert: The U.S. State Department issued a “worldwide caution” alert Friday, saying it had learned of an “increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events.” The State Department did not specify where the threats may happen, but CBS News reported the alert was based on intelligence citing threats by ISIS against Pride events in parts of Europe.

       

10 Comments
  1. - TJ - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 2:36 pm:

    re Ford & the Bears/Sox - sounds about as likely to pass as my drawn up plan to get the state of Illinois to name me the Archduke of Central Illinois, with a modest annual stipend befitting the dignity of the office, of course.

    re Boston - getting real ‘Cleveland: “we’re not Detroit!’” vibes here.

    re cicadas - Why do I feel like I’m the only person in the state to have not seen the things yet? Also, no… I don’t want to eat them.

    re AI & Johannson - the funny thing is that the fact that the company had to good common sense to ask first makes it pretty darn clear that they knew they needed her signoff to proceed, and then they just buried themselves legally by keeping her voice afterwards before realizing their screw-up. Hope they get Black Widowed.

    re traveling abroad - not going to lie, Peru was absolutely on my bucket list of places to visit for Cusco and Machu Picchu. Their anti-trans laws has really knocked them down more than a few pegs as a result even as a cisgender straight guy. Pretty shameful stuff.


  2. - Roy Bean - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 2:59 pm:

    If Oberweis had just watched Sienfeld they’d know that trucking used bottles thru many states is a losing proposition :)


  3. - JS Mill - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 4:07 pm:

    = It opened delivery routes in Texas=

    TEXAS? They get what they deserve, of course Texas wouldn’t appreciate that beautiful liquid splendor from America’s heartland.


  4. - Will Colquhoun - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 5:11 pm:

    re: Carbon Sequestration

    I am all for seeking methods to get carbon out of the atmosphere but every time there is mention of pipelines moving CO2 I just think about them being underground near populated areas and it reminds me of the Lake Nyos incident in 1986.

    Long story short: an mass release of CO2 from a volcanic lake suffocated ~1800 people and thousands of livestock in a 16 miles radius.

    Obviously that is an extreme example, but if there are going to be pipelines moving millions of cubic meters of CO2 isn’t this a risk that needs to be considered?


  5. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 7:25 pm:

    ==if there are going to be pipelines moving millions of cubic meters of CO2 isn’t this a risk that needs to be considered?==

    We have lots of pipelines criss-crossing the U.S. Most of those pipelines carry liquids and gasses that pose a much greater risk than CO2. CO2 pipelines should be (and are) treated like any other pipeline. A better question to ask is this: What are we doing to minimize the risk posed by aging pipelines? I’ve seen what happens when an natural gas pipeline fails - the crater was 20-30 feet deep and as big as a football field. Fortunately, it was in a rural area and no one was hurt.


  6. - Will Colquhoun - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 8:20 pm:

    Well that was 0% helpful.

    It’s nice to be told what I already know, like that there are other materials which are considered more dangerous than CO2. Does the existence of more dangerous materials mean CO2 is not dangerous and nothing to worry about at all?

    You say that CO2 pipelines should be treated like any other pipelines, but that doesn’t make sense. We obviously *don’t* treat every pipeline the same, otherwise the permitting for an oil pipeline would be the same as a natural gas pipeline or a water irrigation pipeline. Even a layman like myself can easily see that is not the reality, so your assurance seems uninformed at best.

    Also when I’m asking about the risks of pipelines it’s pretty safe to say age and wear are implied along with other risk factors I’d like to know about, so you’re not really asking a “better question” it’s the same question with a narrower focus.

    But even after asking the “better question” you then completely ignore trying to answer it and veer off into anecdote-land about a natural gas explosion you once saw, again pushing the notion that the existence of more dangerous materials means I shouldn’t worry about CO2, somehow.

    Starting to see why I might be annoyed?

    If you have a link to plans or statements or whatever from the *actual* companies that are pushing for these pipelines that would be a lot more helpful. Thanks.


  7. - Will Colquhoun - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 8:58 pm:

    https://mississippitoday.org/2022/06/13/carbon-leak-in-satartia-prompts-federal-focus-on-pipeline-safety/

    CO2 Pipeline leak in MS sent dozens to the hospital and forced hundreds from their homes, I don’t think CO2 is as safe as Pot Calling Kettle would have me believe.

    Again, if someone could give me a link to plans, statements or whatever that address this issue, that’d be great. Thanks.


  8. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 10:02 pm:

    I didn’t say it was “safe.” I wrote “Most of those pipelines carry liquids and gasses that pose a much greater risk than CO2.”

    A new pipeline for CO2 poses a much lower risk than an older natural gas pipeline.

    Pipelines cross state lines and are regulated by the Feds: https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/

    With respect to your specific concerns: https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/news/phmsa-announces-new-safety-measures-protect-americans-carbon-dioxide-pipeline-failures


  9. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 10:38 pm:

    To CO2.
    Lots of money, billions (perhaps) have been spent to capture carbon and store it. And the actual process of doing that doesn’t seem to work out very well. It seems a rather half baked technology at this point.

    https://investigatemidwest.org/2020/11/19/despite-hundreds-of-millions-in-tax-dollars-adms-carbon-capture-program-still-hasnt-met-promised-goals/


  10. - Will Colquhoun - Wednesday, May 22, 24 @ 7:03 am:

    @Pot

    Thank you for the links.


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