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Blog Post | Transportation

Update: USDOT now accepting applications for the Reconnecting American Communities program | Lisa Frank

Many communities were cut off by highway projects. A new program aims to help.

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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

New data: Auto insurance companies made windfall profits at consumers’ expense during pandemic

Auto insurance companies’ profits soared during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, as many Illinoisans were driving less and “sheltering in place.” The risks associated with driving plummeted but insurers did not lower premiums or offer rebates in proportion to the reduction in risk, according to new data released by the Illinois Department of Insurance Thursday. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

STATEMENT: Flyers embarking on holiday travel should know their rights

As travelers try to navigate air travel this holiday weekend and in the weeks ahead, they should know their rights to a refund under federal law, and understand airlines’ policies on credits and vouchers, which flyers don’t have to accept when the airline cancels the flight.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund and NRDC

Consumer advocacy groups launch campaign to get Columbia Sportswear to phase out toxic ‘forever chemicals’

 

U.S. PIRG Education Fund and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) launched a campaign on Tuesday calling on outdoor gear and apparel brand Columbia Sportswear to phase out the use of PFAS in its products and supply chains. Last month, the company received low marks in a scorecard report released by the advocacy groups. The report found that Columbia Sportswear has failed to adopt policies that ban PFAS chemicals or provide up-to-date, publicly available information on any ongoing efforts to phase out these toxic chemicals from their products.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund & Environment America Research and Policy Center

Interactive map shows widespread lead contamination in schools drinking water

Lead contamination of school drinking water is more pervasive than previously thought, according to testing data from across the nation published on Thursday by Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund on a new interactive map. The groups urged public officials to take swift action to “get the lead out” of schools’ drinking water.

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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

New scorecard grades popular apparel brands on commitments to avoiding PFAS

Illinois PIRG Education Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.(NRDC) and Fashion FWD released a scorecard on Wednesday ranking popular retail and apparel brands on policy commitments to eliminate a dangerous class of toxic “forever chemicals,” known as PFAS, from their products.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Burger King commits to eliminating toxic “forever chemicals” in food packaging globally

Restaurant Brands International (RBI), parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes, announced Wednesday evening a new global commitment to eliminate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging used in its restaurants by 2025.

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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

Illinois Department of Insurance requests data from car insurers on overcharges during the pandemic

The Illinois Department of Insurance called on auto insurers Wednesday to provide detailed data that will allow for greater understanding on how much insurance companies overcharged Illinois drivers during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The “data call” comes in response to a letter sent by 16 state senators and nine advocacy organizations in January. Insurers will have through mid-May to respond, and the information will be made public by June.

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Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

Blocking Rooftop Solar

Utilities increasingly fear that the falling prices and rising availability of clean solar power will threaten their business model, which ties profits to the amount of capital investment they make in the grid, and sometimes to the amount of electricity sold. Consequently, in states across the country, utilities are using their money and clout to push policymakers to undercut solar power and make it harder for homeowners and small business owners to produce their own clean energy. 

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Looking Inward

We surveyed nearly 1,000 personal care products from 26 popular cosmetics companies and scored them on ingredient safety and disclosure. The major takeaway: most companies need to do a lot more to inform their customers about what ingredients are in their products.

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Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

What are Illinoisans Fixing?

According to a review of data from iFixit, which describes itself as the “repair guide for everything, written by everyone,” 2.2 million unique users from Illinois went to www.iFixit.com to look up how to repair something in 2020. 

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Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

Electric Buildings

To prevent air and water pollution and avoid the worst impacts of global warming, America must move toward meeting our energy needs with 100% renewable energy. Getting there will require that we get the most out of every bit of energy we use – and that we stop burning fossil fuels in our homes and commercial buildings. 

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Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Transform Transportation

America's transportation system is wrecking our health. Traffic-related air pollution kills an estimated 58,000 Americans every year, and increases the risk of serious health conditions, including lung cancer, stroke, heart disease, asthma, and even dementia.

There is a better way. By rebuilding our transportation system to give more people the option to spend less time in a car, by expanding access to active means of travel such as walking and biking, and by adopting zeroemission electric cars and buses, we can make our transportation safer, healthier,cleaner and more efficient.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips, Food, Solid Waste

How to minimize food waste this 4th of July | Danielle Melgar

Planning ahead and getting creative with leftovers reduces food waste for a fun, sustainable celebration.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

How to make sure your credit reports don’t include paid medical debt | Patricia Kelmar

Medical debt, even when it is paid off, remained on credit reports for up to seven years. That's about to change. Here's how to make sure paid medical debt doesn't lower your credit score.

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Blog Post

Buying a car should be less confusing - and the FTC can help | R.J. Cross

It's easy to spend thousands more on a car than you meant to, especially when dealerships use tricks and traps to lock you into bad deals. The FTC has proposed new rules to help.

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Blog Post

There are lessons for pre-schoolers, pre-teens, high schoolers and certainly, young adults going off to college or moving out.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Manufacturers will need to ensure that the battery compartments that use button or coin batteries are not easily accessible by children age 6 and younger.

Blog Post

Here are the steps to getting a written good faith estimate before receiving scheduled medical care. 

Blog Post

One year after new law, robocalls are down and compliance is up, but skyrocketing robotexts are the latest problem

Solid Waste

PIRG hosts webinar with MythBusters' Adam Savage on Right to Repair

Our national network and the Right to Repair team organized a summit featuring keynote speaker Adam Savage from MythBusters. He shared his thoughts with us on the movement and we discussed our current progress on the Right to Repair campaign.

 

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