‘Clean energy … cannot mean a blank check’ / Money from a dying dog / Spot the slips

‘Clean energy … cannot mean a blank check.’ Consumer advocates are skeptical about ComEd’s rate-hike request, which stands to cost a typical household close to $7 a month next year …
Have an opinion? Comment to the Illinois Commerce Commission here.
A new report warns that EVs’ rise could cripple Illinois’ economy by cutting gas-tax revenue—and lends support to adoption of a “vehicle miles traveled” fee. (Illustration: AI-generated by DALL-E.)

Hot in here. Yeah, Chicago’s January has been unusually warm—at least the fourth warmest on record—and this week’s temps could bump it up on the list.
The Washington Post explains how dark-money groups led Ohio to redefine natural gas as “green energy.”
A professor of environmental engineering writes for The Conversation: “Direct impacts from gas stoves are a much more urgent concern for human health than for Earth’s climate.”
The Onion:Experts Warn Gas Stoves May Slowly Ingratiate Selves In Family To Kill And Take Place Of Matriarch.”
The guy who brought you the smart thermostat, triggering the “smart home” movement, is now pushing a plan to repurpose your kitchen garbage—landfills’ most abundant ingredient—into chicken feedstock.

‘Wearing a helmet is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.’ Science journalist Marion Renault takes a skeptical look at the history—and danger—of bike helmets.
Streetsblog Chicago editor John Greenfield tweets: “They’re definitely a good idea for riskier types of riding. But our focus should be on infra/laws that make helmets unnecessary for casual commuting.”
The parents of a 3-year-old girl killed by a trucker as they biked in Uptown last year are suing the companies involved and the City of Chicago …
 … in the hope it’ll lead to roads safer for bicyclists.

‘Nobody knows nothin’.’ With round one of the Chicago mayoral election less than two months out, the Reader’s Ben Joravsky counsels you to ignore “fake polls” that campaign strategists are using “to fire up their supporters and dispirit their opponents.”
As the Tribune editorial board begins its interviews with the candidates, here’s what four of them have said about city finances, schools and crime.
Candidate and U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia is pushing a “Women’s Agenda,” including free City Colleges tuition and student loan forgiveness.

Money from a dying dog. A disabled Navy vet says lying New York Rep. George Santos stole $3,000 from a GoFundMe account supposed to have paid for a service dog’s lifesaving surgery.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has handed Santos seats on committees overseeing science and small business …
 … triggering a round of mockery on Twitter.
PolitiFact rates as “mostly false” President Biden’s assertion that “workers’ wages are higher now than they were seven months ago, adjusted for inflation.”

He’s (maybe) back. Donald Trump’s campaign has formally petitioned Twitter and Facebook to let him return to their platforms.
A senior engineer at Twitter overlord Elon Musk’s Tesla has testified that a 2016 video the company used to promote its self-driving tech was staged.

‘The true priorities of the global elite.’ Popular Information’s Judd Legum turns a skeptical eye on the World Economic Forum’s Davos conclave—“a networking opportunity used by the powerful not to create a better world, but to maintain and expand their wealth and influence.”
Columnist Lauren Martinchek: “With the world’s richest people, [Sens.] Manchin and Sinema celebrated their obstruction.”

‘I’m giving y’all money so y’all can go against me?’ The New York Times exposes a National Restaurant Association program that charges restaurant workers—in Illinois and elsewhere—$15 for food-safety classes and then funnels that money into its efforts to keep those workers’ wages low.
Accused of union-busting, Apple’s agreed to an audit of its labor practices.

‘It’s messed up when Black people and the Proud Boys hate the same statue.’ Saturday Night Live alumna Leslie Jones kicked off her run as guest host of The Daily Show last night with a critical look at a controversial statue in Boston.
A Philadelphia public radio station spotlights Chicago’s music history in a podcast series beginning today here.

Spot the slips. Yesterday’s Chicago Public Square arrived with not one but two words that were absolutely wrong—one in a quote, the other just a plain old typo. See if you can identify them in the emailed edition before consulting the Square website, where corrections always can be found in red.
Mistakes are regrettable, but having readers who take the time to set things right—in this case, Robin Randall and Mike Fainman were first—is great.

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