Reality Check: How Rauner Failed to Protect the Environment

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


Chicago, IL – Days after the U.S. EPA slammed a company tied to Bruce Rauner for toxic air pollution that could cause cancer, Rauner and former lobbyist turned IEPA Director Alec Messina are holding a press conference on the Volkswagen settlement. As Bruce Rauner tries to take credit for the work of others today, let’s take a look at his real record on the environment:

Here’s how Rauner failed to protect the environment as governor:

  • Rauner appointed energy-sector lobbyist Alec Messina to head up the IEPA.
  • Days after Messina’s appointment, an ethics officer ruled that Rauner’s appointee was barred from issuing some pollution permits to comply with federal law.
  • Rauner’s regulators signed off on the state’s first fracking permits “despite more than 5,000 public comments opposing the permit.”
  • A week later, the company Rauner approved for fracking was found to have over two dozen violations.
  • The Rauner administration proposed eliminating caps on the rate of pollution at eight coal plants and replacing them with less-stringent annual caps “that could lead to dirtier air in Chicago and other downwind communities as far away as New York.”
  • Earlier this year, Rauner’s IEPA testified that it ignores communities impacted by new rule changes that could increase pollution.
  • Rauner consistently fails to stand up to Donald Trump’s aggressive dismantling of the federal Environmental Protection Agency and refused to sign Illinois into the U.S. Climate Alliance to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement in our state.

“Bruce Rauner has consistently failed to protect the environment, gutting environmental protections and showing complete disregard for the Illinois communities he is hurting,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “This is insult to injury from a failed governor who has been absent in the national fight to resist Donald Trump’s devastating policies and has unleashed his own attacks on the environment in Illinois.”



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