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An Eco-Friendly Tire Fire?

By aaroncynic in News on Mar 26, 2010 9:40PM

2010_03_26_tire_fire.jpg It’s amazing what five little words can do. An amendment to Illinois HB1470 would allow a tire incinerator in Ford Heights to receive green energy credits. The Tribune reports the bill would add the words “incineration or burning of tires,” giving tire burning the same status as wind and solar power, even though the practice releases plenty of toxic chemicals into the air such as carbon monoxide, butadiene, sulfur dioxide and styrene.

The bill, sponsored until recently by Rep. David Miller, would benefit the incinerator which has been under scrutiny from the EPA and located in one of the poorest communities in the nation. Green energy credits act like commodities that can be traded by financial markets and are intended to allow an organization to “protect the environment when green power products are not locally available.” The facility has been sited four times in four years for violating environmental standards.

Several environmental justice groups are lobbying to block the bill from passing through the House. Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center said in an interview with the Tribune “This is the sort of cynical legislative maneuvering that makes people question the credibility of our elected officials.” We couldn’t agree more.