WILL - Focus - December 02, 2013

Scott Tinker on the Switch Energy Project

This hour on Focus, we'll talk about our changing energy resources with Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology and State Geologist of Texas Scott Tinker.


(Duration: 51:46)

Scott Tinker

The way we power our lives is constantly evolving. Today on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Scott Tinker about fracking, his documentary "Switch" and his mission to educate the public about where our electricity comes from and the reality when it comes to try and make changes to what fuel keeps the lights on.

Tinker will be showing his film and speaking at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Tuesday, December 3 at 7:00 p.m. in Lincoln Hall Theater and will be giving a seminar on fracking on . Find more information at the link below.

Categories: Energy

WILL - Focus - March 21, 2013

Compromising for the Greater Good? Regulating Fracking in Illinois

If you could have a voice in writing regulations for something you strongly oppose, would you? Or would you walk away on principle? Today on Focus, we talked about controversial legislation that would regulate the hydraulic fracturing industry in Illinois.


(Duration: 50:26)

fracking equipment

Controversial legislation to regulate the fracking industry in Illinois written by both energy officials and environmental group leaders is being considered at the statehouse. Policy makers in other Midwest states that have yet to regulate their own fracking industries say that the way the legislation was written could serve as a model, both for its strict regulatory standards and for the voices that had a say in writing the regulations. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Allen Grosboll, Co-Legislative Director for the Environmental Law and Policy Center, Representative for Illinois 11th District Ann Williams who is Chief Co-Sponsor of the bill, and Tom Wolf, Executive Director of the Energy Council at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, part of the GROW-Iliinois, a group that has been working in support of fracking in Illinois.

Amanda Vinicky, Statehouse Bureau Chief for Illinois Public Radio, also joins us with the latest news about the bill.

Categories: Energy, Environment, Land Use

WILL - Focus - February 06, 2013

Clean Coal: Pipedream or Reality?

Is the term "clean coal" an oxymoron? Today on Focus we'll talk about clean coal technology, how it works and how's it's being used in Illinois. Do you  have questions about clean coal? Join our conversation on Facebook and Twitter.


(Duration: 50:38)

a piece of coal

There are a number of clean coal projects underway in Illinois, but what does “clean coal” really mean? Is there such a thing? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Evan Tracey of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity about clean coal technology, how it works and what’s in the future for the clean coal power in Illinois. We’ll also talk with Chris Hamby, a reporter at the Center for Public Integrity and Tomasz Wiltowski, the Director of the Coal Research Center at Southern Illinois University, who is working to improve the methods we use to extract coal. 

Categories: Climate Change, Energy

WILL - Focus - January 15, 2013

Solar Power in Illinois


(Duration: 51:30)

Solar Panels in Front of a Midwestern Home

The price of solar panels has fallen in recent years, but installation is still expensive and time intensive. Despite the cost, the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana is in the process of finalizing plans to build a 20 acre solar farm on campus, and some residents of downstate Illinois are starting to feed power into the grid with solar panels installed on their homes.

Categories: Energy

WILL - Focus - November 01, 2012

Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love


(Duration: 55:03)

There are many reasons to purchase goods or services from one company over another: price, quality, and convenience. But sometimes, the decision is a moral one; we seek out businesses we believe support or represent our world view – or avoid those that defy it. (The debate earlier this summer over Chick-Fil-A was a demonstration of both).

At the heart of such decisions is whether we deem a company to be socially responsible. But how do you really know? How can you be sure that a reputation is accurate and deserved? And what if the truth is mixed – what if a company leads on one ethical precept, but falls short on another?

Journalist Fran Hawthorne has contemplated these questions, and set out to uncover whether some of the most beloved, trusted companies who have built up a socially responsible reputation really live up to the hype. In the book Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love, Hawthorne takes us behind the scenes of companies with powerful brand loyalty, companies like Tom’s of Maine, Starbucks, and Apple. Along the way, Hawthorne finds out why these companies have earned seemingly unflagging devotion from socially conscious consumers. And she calls out the companies and consumers alike with a provocative question: Is it really about being socially conscious, or just looking like you are?

This is a repeat broadcast from Tuesday, September 04, 2012, 10 am

WILL - Focus - October 04, 2012

Harvest The Wind: America’s Journey to Jobs, Energy Independence and Climate Stability


(Duration: 51:20)

Philip Warburg, Author and former president of the Conservation Law Foundation, New England's leading environmental advocacy group

Host: Craig Cohen

Ask five people what alternative form of energy might best someday supplant fossil fuels and you’re likely to get five different answers. Some are bullish on solar power, others hydro-electric, or geothermal, or bio-fuel, hydrogen, ethanol. Heck, there are ways to derive fuel from algae. But actually replacing coal, oil, and nuclear? That’s a tall order.

Author Philip Warburg believes America’s path towards energy independence is lined with windmills. He writes about it in his book Harvest the Wind, and we’ll talk with him about wind energy on Focus.

Categories: Energy

WILL - Focus - August 03, 2012

Powering The Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology


(Duration: 55:01)

Alexid Madrigal, a Senior Editor, The Atlantic

Host: David Inge

In 1900, people could use the sun to heat water for their homes. They could ride across New York City in an electric cab. In 1945 you could have bought a solar home or a one-megawatt wind turbine. Green technology has been viable for more than a century, so…why aren’t we using it? Our guest will be Alexis Madrigal, senior editor at the Atlantic and author of "Powering the Dream." His book explores the history of green technology, and argues that history has the potential to reshape the way we think about energy today.

This is a repeat broadcast from Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 11 am

Categories: Energy

WILL - Focus - June 14, 2012

The Future of Coal Energy


(Duration: 51:26)

Massoud Rostam-Abadi, Ph.D., ., Principal Chemical Engineer, Illinois State Geological Survey, Prairie Research Institute; Adjunct Professor of Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois

Scott D. Elrick, M.S., Associate Geologist, Coal and Petroleum Geology Section, Illinois State Geological Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois

Host: David Inge

Availability and price helped make coal a major energy source for the U.S. and other countries. Now, concerns about its environmental impact, coupled with falling prices for other forms of energy, have led some to argue that coal has no future. Should we give up on coal?  We’ll look at what might be done to make coal an acceptable source of energy. We’ll have two guests, both from the Illinois State Geological Survey, Massoud Rostam-Abadi and Scott Elrick.

Categories: Energy, Environment

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