MEEA Unplugged

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How the Biden Administration is Tackling Environmental Injustice


On January 27, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14008 “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad” with the intent to address climate change and its adverse effects, both domestically and internationally. This is a historic measure that places the climate crisis at the forefront of foreign policy and national security. Under section 223 of this Executive Order, The White House established the Justice40 initiative which aims to give impacted communities at least 40% of the overall benefits of Federal climate and clean infrastructure investments. Identifying impacted communities as those that have been historically underserved and overburdened by extraction, hazardous waste, pollution and other harms, Justice40 seeks to…

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Chicago Becomes the Midwest Energy Code’s Shining Star

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On September 21, 2022, the Chicago City Council passed Mayor Lightfoot's 2022 Chicago Energy Transformation Code, making Chicago the first city in the Midwest to adopt and exceed the 2021 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). This and other decarbonization measures will help the city meet its recently released Climate Action Plan. According to the City’s press release, “The City of Chicago has long been a leader in adopting requirements for energy efficiency and sustainable design,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Our buildings are major contributors to Chicago’s carbon footprint, so it’s critical that every construction and renovation project increases the efficiency and sustainability of our building stock as part of…

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Efficiency Rundown in the U.S. Energy and Employment Report

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It is imperative that opportunities to tackle climate change and create well-paying jobs in the United States exist concurrently. As the country’s economy changes and the prevalence of carbon-free energy sources grows, it has become increasingly important to understand how employment in the energy sector is also growing and changing. The U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) provides a comprehensive summary of national and state-level employment, workforce, industry, occupation, unionization, demographic and hiring information by energy technology groups. Beginning in 2016, the annual study combines surveys of businesses with public labor data to produce estimates of employment and workforce characteristics.  Employment statistics…

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