Cute little tie-in, yes?
Good news on two fronts.
The Illinois Commerce Commission approved a plan to set targets for renewable energy for Illinois utilities to hit today. The bar is a bit low (only 8% by 2012), but progress is good. The 8% refers to the amount of total generating capacity of a utility in Illinois that will be generated from renewable sources like wind, solar or biomass. And that creates a market for entrepreneurs to start companies that make electricity from the wind or the sun because the utilities will be buying the product.
Jack Darin's blog with the Sierra Club here has more on the issue. It would be far better if the ICC required all utilities to buy a higher percentage of their power from renewable sources, instead of requesting the utilities to do so, but what the heck. This is an accomplishment and it is a good thing for clean power.
Another good development for Clean Power is the federal indictments in City Hall. Some of the clout-heavy people just got in big trouble for steering city jobs into political organizations instead of into merit selection. It's time for change in the capital of Blue America away from patronage-driven organizations and to more efficient, productive governments that inspire confidence in voters and taxpayers and deliver a better future for citizens. The corrosive impact of patronage retards progressive progress. It's long past time we accepted a post-patronage government and squashed the culture of tolerance.
One interesting note from David Axelrod: since when did patronage become a criminal case? I thought the Shakman decree was a civil matter. Mail fraud as a federal offense does seem like a stretch to criminalize patronage hiring. I'm glad that our U.S. Attorney is rooting it out, but I'd like to be more confident that Fitzgerald isn't stretching the statute either.