Eventually the current Illinois governor will have to change his name to “Governor Green”. Governor Patrick Quinn, who has already been recognized for his leadership and support in environmental causes since his days as lieutenant governor (he fought for green building, created a state day to praise and protect rivers, helped pass legislation on solar and wind energy, and backed measures for rain gardens for water conservation), is now in headlines again with his latest green announcement on the ever-so-appropriate Earth Day, April 22. The state has awarded Amtrak a $300,000 energy efficiency grant to help improve the train yard in Chicago occupied by the passenger rail agency. The grant is funded by the Illinois Energy Now (IEN), a program that offers incentives for natural gas and electric efficiency to public businesses.
This project has let Amtrak replace an old steam heat system, get rid of thousands of feet of steam piping, un-insulated piping, leaks, and broken traps, for a more effective, systematic heat source. The IEN grant is expected to reduce natural gas consumption by more than two million therms each year. In addition, about 30 new construction jobs were created over a two-year period as a result of the project.
This project is one of many the Illinois Energy Now has manifested. Millions of dollars have been poured into public facilities that make high quality equipment for improving electric and natural gas systems. The more groups, such as IEN and others, are willing to give back to the environment, the brighter and greener the future. Thank you Governor Quinn, IEN, Amtrak and the state of Illinois.