Oak Park religious leaders oppose 'brown energy'

Interfaith Green Network call energy choice 'shortsighted'

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Leaders from some of Oak Park's largest religious institutions have released a statement calling on the Oak Park village board to reverse its decision rejecting renewable energy as the village's primary power source.

The village board approved a plan Friday to accept the lowest bid in a one-day auction to choose its energy provider. The contract went to so-called "brown energy" provider Constellation, which uses energy derived from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. The decision will save the average Oak Park resident $5 a month over the green alternative.

Consumers have been provided cheap, 100 percent renewable energy since 2011 through energy supplier Integrys, but a change in energy rates by ComEd and new regulations have made energy sources more expensive. Residents can still opt to use a green energy company, but research shows that given the choice, most consumers stick with the default energy service provider.

Religious leaders from the Interfaith Green Network of Oak Park/River Forest, a network of 22 congregations that works to promote environmental sustainability, said in a letter to the village board that scrapping the green energy program is "shortsighted, indicates a misunderstanding of economic costs and is counter to the wishes of the vast majority of residents."

Leaders from eight area churches associated with the Interfaith Green Network – Grace Episcopal Church, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church, First United Methodist Church of Oak Park, Ascension Catholic Church, Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation, First United Church of Oak Park and Oak Park Friends Meeting – signed the statement.

The group warned that the climate change due to the release of fossil fuels will lead to "withering droughts and heat waves, deadly floods, destructive sea level rise and intense storms."

"We in the faith community refer the trustees to the Oak Park River Forest Sustainability Plan – a plan in which we and all other segments of the community had a great deal of input – for some preferred solutions to our long-term viability and resilience," the letter states. "Those solutions include the increased use of clean energy sources, support for energy efficiency programs and green transportation options."

Under the current contract with Integrys, Oak Park's electrical energy has been powered by traditional brown energy sources but the funds generated have been invested in Renewable Energy Credits which support cleaner energy technology.

Contact:
Email: tim@oakpark.com

Reader Comments

73 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Are you people really this stupid?  

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 5:53 PM

We have always been using BROWN energy in Oak Park! Our money was going to RECs, not actual GREEN energy! The source of our energy has never changed! Are you people really as stupid as you sound?

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 1:43 PM

@Deborah, Don't lose heart. The Board does care about sustainability. The cards they were dealt were not the greatest, and they did the best they could under the circumstances and with the information they had. This issue is more complicated than a sound bite can explain. I have faith though, that through this, with more people now engaged and paying attention, that Oak Parkers will be able to educate the majority in this town, on a lasting, and more meaningful basis regarding sustainability.

@Uncommon  

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 12:05 PM

If you did Google it, you'd find that the Arctic ice cap is melting faster than the record growth in the Antarctic. If you'd like to know the science on why climate change affects the polar regions differently, well I'm sure you can take your own advice and Google that, too.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 11:08 AM

@ Bill Dwyer, but satellite images show the polar ice caps at a 35 year high... google it. The only folks with their heads in the sand are you greenies who can't accept you've been fed a bunch of propaganda.

Deborah Donovan from Oak Park  

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 10:51 AM

I am so disappointed that Oak Park has decided to sign up for other than green energy. This goes against everything we stand for in Oak Park. We care about our children and their children and their futures. Apparently all our village fathers care about is dollars. Does the village board not know what Oak Park stands for? Or worse, does our village really no longer stand for the important principles that set us apart for so long?

Christi from Oak Park  

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 10:03 AM

Have a real question . We enrolled with Constellation about two years ago. Will our rates be adjusted accordingly under this new deal ?

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 6:56 AM

That's not the sky falling that you're hearing Ray- just the polar ice caps melting. Now go put your head back in the sand.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 6:31 AM

Run and hide the sky is falling - the sky is falling. One column has the bobble head climate change nuts out in full force and nodding in complete unison. FOOLISHNESS!!

Bob Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 6:10 AM

A vote for brown energy is a vote for increasingly deadly storms, destruction of coral reefs, flooding of coastal areas, mountaintop removal, more air and water pollution, resource wars, mass extinctions and many other horrors. Those are just some of the costs that the Village Board failed to include in its calculations. The "concern" expressed about low income residents is disingenuous. Hasn't the Board heard of subsidies to low income people to compensate for higher energy costs? To survive climate change, humanity is going to be called upon to make far greater sacrifices in the future. Shame on our Village Board with the exception of Colette Luecke, who actually seems to grasp the gravity of our situation.

Jay  

Posted: April 21st, 2014 10:17 AM

We cannot afford CHEAP energy. We are destroing the planet. I am ashamed of the board! (Except Colette)

Bill from Oak Park  

Posted: April 21st, 2014 9:01 AM

It is easy to posture and say you have $5 a month for the environment. Big Deal. What is being advocated is the right of one set of greens to set green policy for all of Oak Park. Before the emotions take over, the citizens deserve an explanation of the benefits of the RECs we will be buying. And what they were under Integrys. WJ are you there? A good article: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2010/01/green-power-scam

Jeffery Jon Smith from Oak Park   

Posted: April 20th, 2014 4:45 PM

Has the Village Board, or any members of the Village Board, been co-opted (nice word) by ALEC (the Koch Brothers anti-democratic money machine) or (slightly less insidious) the Third Way Democrats? This decisions indicates a chemical change in the spirit and deed of governance in our once ACTUALLY liberal village. This is what happens when denizens of the lawless financial industry start moving into a town and taking it over.

JulieSamuels from Oak Park  

Posted: April 20th, 2014 2:40 PM

We don't get 100% "green" energy on the aggregation program- we're all on the same "Grid" -98% of all our energy comes from Fossil and Nuclear. Check the USEPA website for proof and look at your next bill - there will be a graph showing that. We get Renewable Energy Credits (REC's) which means what we pay for energy supports green energy sources - and that's a good thing -it's worth $4 a month.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 19th, 2014 6:01 PM

I'd like to know what kind of "renewable energy" the Constellation choice is. Because if we are talking RECs, then yes, as the piece Pete links to, they don't have the impact that I think people think they do. I mean, c'mon, if we're talking only 1/10 of a cent more, and renewable energy (like wind and solar) is much more costly to generate than fossil, coal, nuclear, then the math doesn't add up.

Pete Torterello from Oak Park  

Posted: April 19th, 2014 10:03 AM

REC's are a scam, achieving very little except to make Al Gore a billionaire. More info about REC;s from the Chair of Environmental Studies at UC - Santa Cruz, an otherwise bastion of progressivism. They are not what you think they are, and that's by design. It's a Ponzi/Madoff-like scheme that unwitting do-gooders have bought hook, line, & sinker. http://energybrokernetwork.com/press_ltr.pdf. Hate to burst your green bubble, but you've been dooped, fellow DOOPERS.

Neighbor from Oak Park  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 11:25 PM

WJ might even give a basic readable explanation of what an REC is and how it works.

Bill from Oak Park  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 8:47 PM

WJ should do a story explaining how the RECs are created and if (and how) the supply fluctuates with demand. If every REC for IL renewable power is purchased does that reduce the complaint of greener greens to "we are mad because we can no longer claim 100% of OP power is covered by RECs?" Is the environment worse off if the RECs are purchased by other consumers instead of Oak Park? Does board decision reduce generation of renewable power? Has OP lead led to increased demand for RECs?

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 2:24 PM

@read - did you tell them how ridiculously high our taxes are? How the high school is sitting on over $100M but still wants to float a bond issue to pay for a new pool? Did you tell them how much the OPPD spent on the new pool/skating facility at Ridgeland Commons and how park district program fees have gone up the past few years? Did you tell about how are streets are disintegrating throughtout the village? Did you tell them about how much the failure at Lake St. is going to cost villagers?

read_nature from Oak Park  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 1:37 PM

To Adam Salzman, yes, I'm very aware and proud of those programs. I have told them about these initiatives. They are still looking in OP. Nevertheless, the current action does appear to be a bit of a retreat-- even though I, myself, will be choosing green and glad to be able to. Others' perception is very important. When people have the wherewithal to choose where to live, they often decide based on factors other than pure economics. In the long term, choosing brown energy is a false economy.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 12:23 PM

Diane, That's why agendas are posted (and conveniently, online) at least 48 hours before a meeting. The online agendas even have hyperlinks for each agenda item, leading to a PDF with in-depth background and commentary. The purpose is to inform people what is going to be discussed, giving residents the opportunity to voice their opinions, either in person at the meeting, or via emails to the Board. And, for this particular item, people even had longer, since the vote took place four days later.

Diane Fascione from Oak Park  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 11:40 AM

Bridget, there was no attempt by the Board to gauge public opinion on this change. I read the news, and nowhere did I hear of this issue prior to the Board's decision. This change is one that will add to our children's problems in the future. The Village needs to lead on these issues.

Adam Salzman from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 11:26 AM

@read_nature You should tell those two families about our pilot composting program in South Oak Park. And our work with the Korean Smart Grid Institute. And our partnership with ComEd on their Smart Grid Initiative. And our Energy and Environment Commission. Does the town that they live in have an energy and environment commission that any citizen can volunteer for? Also you should tell them about the great, easy and cost-effective method the Village will be providing between now and then for residents to purchase 100 % renewable energy for their homes at 7.57 cents per kilowatt hour. And maybe then those two families will feel a renewed sense of confidence about how green this community really is. For those who are concerned about this issue, I'd encourage you to recognize the role that you play in perpetuating the village's reputation as a green community. Thanks.

read_nature from Oak Park  

Posted: April 18th, 2014 10:41 AM

Thanks for the clarification, Adam Salzman. Sadly, though, Oak Park now steps back from its leadership status among future-facing green cities. I have had conversations with two families who want to move here because OP is more sustainably-oriented than other communities. They were very disappointed when I told them about the decision to back off 100% green energy.

Al Gore from Al-Jazeera  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 3:55 PM

My private jet burns only the cleanest jet fuel that is reasonably priced.

Green  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 2:09 PM

Link: http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/16/wind-energy-threat-birds-overblown/ Not sure how we are supposed to stop companies from exporting coal. That will probably be reduced anyway as those countries move to green energies themselves. Brian, What are you doing to improve these situations? Maybe we can learn something from you instead of being accused/insulted all of the time.

Green  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 2:06 PM

Anyway, in addition to the RECs, we also turn off lights, etc. About the birds, that was a huge concern of me, but there was a recent article by Ecowatch which references studies done by orinthological journals, and wind is not as damaging to birds as we have been led to believe, and wind will continue to develop and do far less damage than they do. Biggest threats are buildings (almost a billion die each year hitting windows), habitat loss, pesticides, and oil and gas pits.

Green  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 2:01 PM

Brian Slowiak made some provocative points, many of which also preoccupy me. I will say that even though I have felt better about my energy usage because of the RECs (can't afford to go solar now), we are careful with our electricity. Can't afford to purchase new more energy efficient appliances right now either. So to us, the 4 or 5$ per month helped allay my conscience. Yes, I feel very guilty about what my lifestyle costs other animals and other countries, which drives many of my choices.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 1:53 PM

@Wow, it is an interesting conclusion to make, isn't it? I don't know if it's a "vast majority" or a "passionate and vocal who-knows-how-many." I am sincere when I say that I really don't know. I would label myself on the "green" side, and take it to the extreme on many occasions to the embarrassment of my family (example: I bring silverware to food places that only offer plastic utensils). But I don't know if I am in the majority or the minority here in Oak Park.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 1:43 PM

@Diane, Nothing nefarious occurred. The meeting was publicized and followed Open Meetings Act. All meeting agendas are posted at least 48 hours in advance here.... http://www.oak-park.us/your-government/village-board-agendas-minutes And here is a link a video of the meeting, with the Village Manager explaining why a Special meeting was called, and why the vote couldn't wait until the next regularly scheduled Board meeting. http://oak-park.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=4&clip_id=41

Wow from Oak Park  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 12:56 PM

I appreciate that the village chose the lowest cost provider. I am surprised that the faith leaders presume to know what the "vast majority" of residents want. There is a presumption that everyone who lives has unlimited financial means. Residents can opt for the more expensive renewable choice if they want, according to the article. That is more than fair. If the vast majority want it, than that is what will happen.

Diane Fascione from Oak Park  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 12:52 PM

To change a policy that has won awards and been supported by the residents in an unpublicized, 7:30 a.m. meeting is just plain wrong, At the least, public opinion should have been sought. I suggest a referendum on this issue.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: April 17th, 2014 8:38 AM

Now I get it. OP residents want to use a grid that is owned by someone else,to purchase episode power,no wind no sun no power,a power that kills birds and relies on crude oil for blades and wire coating,use brown power when episode power is N/A, , talk the talk, but not walk the walk, ie. cut back on their power usage yet want to lead the world by empty example, allowing coal to be exported to China and India,page 39&45,National Geographic,april 2014, and not use their wealth to help them.

Unfortunately  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 11:34 PM

@JBM - "Amen to that!" I also see that Ascension is on that list. Isn't that the same church that was/is considering adding central air to their building? Don't they practice what they preach? C'mon, per At Reality Check (5:22pm), if these religious wastrels and Frank Lloyd Wright homeowners don't shut down all but the essentials...."we are going to be at a global and economic disadvantage"!

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 11:25 PM

Hello!!! What happened to the separation of church and state I suspect the religious leaders did not do much research before taking a STRONG STAND!.

Unfortunately  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 11:19 PM

Am I reading these comments correctly? Or am I imagining that some of the "we must save the planet before it's too late!" greeniacs also live in fairly large (or REALLY large) Oak Park homes? Does Ms. Moran/others live in one of these homes? If so, isn't a bit hypocritical to tell us peasants that we MUST opt for the green option - while those, like Al Gore, use much more electricity than some towns elsewhere? Or is this just another of those "do as I say and not as I do!" from the 1% left?

joe from south oak park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 10:43 PM

nuclear has a bad rap, but it's relatively safe compared to oil, cheap, and clean. We have the technology to be able to safely handle and dispose of nuclear waste, but there is too much of a NIMBY political aspect to actually making that happen. green energy might be ready to compete in 20 or 30 years... but for the time being we need to find another solution.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 10:38 PM

to me it comes down to the money, but not in the way you might think. green energy takes 25 times the subsides that fossil fuels get currently (http://tinyurl.com/omy84r6). I understand that fossil fuels had quite a head start, in both production and in subsidies, but at this point, green energy just isn't ready to compete. nor will they be ready to in the near future. Government subsidies keeping green prices artificially low is another factor we need to consider.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 10:36 PM

So 7.47 cents for brown, and 7.57 cents for green (plus Com Ed's delivery charges, meter charges, etc.). So if a household uses 900 kwh per month (the national average), then opting for green would cost them 90 cents more a month, $11 a year. Got it. Thanks so much for the info, Adam. I appreciate your time and effort. And to think, I could be at the Sox (white and red, no brown or green) game with my husband right now, and miss all this fun!

Adam Salzman from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 10:24 PM

Here's how it will work: By the end of this week, beginning of next, you will get a notice from our new energy provider, Constellation Energy. All the info you need will be on one sheet of paper with two columns. In the right hand column toward the bottom there will be a green box that states that you can opt for 100 per cent renewable energy at a price of 7.57 cents per kilowatt hour. There will be a phone number listed below that information. All you have to do is call the number to opt for 100 per cent green power. (The Integrys rate that the board rejected was 7.9 cents per kilowatt hour.)

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 10:21 PM

You are correct, Gail. I meant to write the "lowest-priced green option." Thank you for pointing out my error and I beg your forgiveness as I unintentionally misled the readers on this board. So, let me ask again, for clarity: Am I to understand that the Village negotiated a lower price than the LOWEST-PRICED green option in the aggregation auction? If so, I am curious about the need for a consultant.

Gail Moran from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 9:57 PM

Brigid - Intergrys was not the only green bidder. Get your facts straight.

Gail Moran from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 9:53 PM

For one who wanted to opt for the "green", I started doing research today. It was onerous trying to discern who was really green and trying to understand what "opting out" meant for the next cycle. As I said before, it was a "false choice" to characterize opting out as a "choice" for the Village. It was an onerous task that required investigation and research - and risk-taking. I am pleased that the Village was able to negotiate a green option with the new provider - they doubtless knew they were going to lose a lot of customers.

Teresa Powell  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 9:45 PM

The Integrys program provided (mostly Illinois) wind energy (96% if I recall right) and 4% biomass...both were considered green. No coal or nuclear... There was extensive discussion before that decision was made.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 9:44 PM

Hopefully the WJ will write another article, regarding what Trustee Salzman has written in these comments, once the Village officially releases the rates. In the meantime, I'm gonna comment here. If a green option through Constellation is less than Integrys' bid (the only green option offered in the aggregation auction), then that means that the Village negotiated a better price for green, than what we could have gotten with the auction consultant. Maybe we don't need that consultant...

Chris from OP  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 9:37 PM

I think the idea is whoever wants to pay $2, $3, or $5 a month for "green" energy can. Those who would rather not, don't have to. Its not rocket science. Maybe the complainers should spend less time complaining and more time convincing their neighbors to opt for the "green"

99% from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 9:17 PM

Fiscal responsibility? Check your Com Ed bill for your kWh usage and multiply it by .005. My savings would be $2.25 a month. Thats a walloping $27 a year. I have $27 for the environment, and I even have $27 for the privilege of living in a community that supports green energy. If you are really worried about fiscal responsibility in Oak Park, talk to the school boards about their tax levy.

Resident  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 9:13 PM

If I'm understanding the last paragraph of the article, we haven't really been buying green energy from Integrys. Instead, we've been buying brown energy and the profits have been invested into green tech. This is news to me. When will that investment materialize into something? This whole thing now seems ridiculous. Did the cost go up bec now we were offered actual green energy? Or was the village offered all brown choices with some that can call themselves "green" when they are "brown"?

Green  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 7:29 PM

It is not fiscal sanity--it is actually in the long run a poor economic choice. Brown energies will become more expensive, and there will be other costs that are not on the balance sheets of the brown energy corporations that we will have to pay eventually.

Chapu  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 6:42 PM

I want this debate to end now because if the outside world hears about it, tea partiers (some call them teabaggers) might descend upon Oak Park to support the Village Board's fiscal sanity.

E Roach from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 6:40 PM

Wow. The Village Board is being fiscally responsible, folks still have a choice for green, and let the bellyaching begin. Are folks aware of how in debt this Village is?

Gail Moran from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 6:30 PM

Dear (anonymous) Reality Check: Integrys put its money where its mouth is - it owns renewable energy resources. From it's website: http://www.integrysenergy.com/ProductsServices/assets.aspx

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 6:21 PM

Thank you for the info, Adam. And thank you, Village staff!

Religious  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 6:15 PM

How do we know that this is not "ASTROTURFING" - that is, for all we know, Integrys gave each of these Churches a nice "donation" and presto - GOD HATES BROWN ENERGY

Adam Salzman from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 6:09 PM

Green Energy Update: Village staff has been successful in reaching an agreement with Constellation to promote an all green energy option to residents in addition to the main Constellation bid. When residents receive information about the Constellation brown plan, they will also receive information about a Constellation green option. That green option is cheaper than the Integrys bid.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 6:05 PM

Thanks for the clarification, Teresa.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 6:03 PM

@Green, yes, I agree with you that using the phrase "opt in" is confusing. Though I don't think folks will be left to having to Google for information. The Board was clear that they wanted Village staff to effectively communicate green options to the residents. Plus you've got folks (like these 22 congregations) who will, no doubt, mobilize to get the word out.

Teresa Powell  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 6:01 PM

Last time around the brown energy option provided in the bid process was lower than green, but both were lower than Com Ed's supplier, Exelon. It's not true that absolute savings drove the green decision, just that the added cost was small and better than the Com Ed alternative.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 5:53 PM

@Green, I agree about doing something as a group is more meaningful and influential. I just don't know how meaningful it is, when it was also a less expensive choice (the green two years ago was cheaper than the brown). It's like when you go to the store and the organic potatoes are on sale, making them cheaper than the conventional ones. Even folks who rarely buy organic, are going to go for the cheaper potatoes, which just so happens to be organic, better for them, and better for the planet.

Green  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 5:41 PM

I'm confused--they made sound like we could "opt in" to a green choice--now we're just being sent out to google?

Green  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 5:36 PM

Thanks for the info Bridgett--just think it was probably more meaningful and influential when a whole village was buying those. Very disappointed in this decision, but fortunately it seems like the decision will come again next year, and probably fossil fuels will be more expensive while the newer technologies continue to come down in price.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 5:31 PM

@Green, the two options will be ComEd and the aggregation company the Village Board chose, Constellation Energy.You will have a choice between those two.The purpose of the aggregation is to negotiate the lowest price for electricity.That's the purpose, and that's what the Board did.Those who want green have, and have always had the option to buy RECs (renewable energy credits).That's what the current agg. company did, buy RECs. Google RECs and you'll find many companies who will sell you RECs.

At Reality Check  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 5:22 PM

Air pollution comes from a lot of sources--pesticides, leaf blowers, lawn mowers, cars, etc. A/C probably is not the biggest cause of pollution. By buying the credits, we were sending a powerful message/investment in the development of green energy, something we are way behind on, being stuck on last century's discoveries. Let's move forward; if we don't get these technologies invested in, we are going to be at a global and economic disadvantage.

Green  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 5:18 PM

Interesting, just got letter from ComEd--cannot return to my previous supplier. How's that for choice? We all had our opportunity to chose last year. We could opt out. According to the trustees those who would chose brown (low income/fixed income/senior citizens) would probably not read the materials. They also might not understand the materials, and then they might not act on it. Inertia. Maybe they don't vote either. Would hope that green concerns would cross class lines.

Green is fundamental  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 5:13 PM

With these issues, by not supporting green energies, we are ultimately sealing our doom. Short-term, yes, things may seem to be less expensive, but long-term, it's going to be ugly. The real costs of fossil fuels have been kept off the books. Previous generations have hoped that their children would have access to more fabulous material things; now, I can only hope that my children will have potable water to drink, somewhat breathable air, and some food to eat. Such high hopes!

Maybe, just maybe  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 5:07 PM

the men, and women, of "God," should turn off the A/C in their non-property tax paying buildings and the "great being in the sky" will keep them cool. The fact is we were using brown energy before and after the aggregation. People around here are so dense.

TomR from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 4:53 PM

Why not let every utility user have a choice? The Green response on this issue is another example of the intolerance of the left. This is the same crowd that has no problem with Obama's IRS deciding who should have the "privilege" of political speech.

Jeff from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 4:50 PM

As usual, the non-property tax paying pastors and their non-property tax paying churches are chiming in on village issues.

DON from oak park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 4:41 PM

It's hard to combat ignorance. I support the green option even at higher cost.

Reality Check  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 4:39 PM

Mr. Inklebarger should also point out what none of the supposedly green crowd will admit- since 2011 when the Integrys contract was adopted, the air quality in OP has gotten worse not better. That's because the Renewable Energy Credits in the Integrys contract did nothing to improve the air quality in our back yard. The very definition of "feel-good." Wanna do something? Turn off your AC this summer. That's how you make local air quality better.

Gail Moran from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 4:38 PM

Thank you for your leadership! There is a reason Oak Park was named as a green community by the EPA two years in a row!

Friar Tuck from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 4:30 PM

Oh, Dear God! Are you people serious? With all the very real, very substantial issues that many in your respective congregations deal with daily, this is what gets your attention? It sure didn't take long to craft talking points from the usual suspects. How about turning your attention where it belongs, i.e. the spiritual health of your flocks? Environmentalism is it's own religion, largely fundamentalist. It doesn't need real clergy jumping in with misplaced hysteria.

Keith from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 4:30 PM

With all due respect let's be realistic in these economic times and stop being so socially and politically correct. Any savings to consumers is a plus and, I doubt such horrendous environmental damage would be done with the switch.

OP Res 253 from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 4:27 PM

Awesome. Can we open all Board meetings with a prayer now? Outrage would follow any WJ mention that many faith communities in Oak Park would like sex ed out of schools, contraception out of the hospitals and circumcision for all males. But, oh, you want GREEN you say! Step belly up to the liberal bar and cheers! Hypocrites, go group hug your bad science selves. Global Warming is closer to blind faith anyway.

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