Mother of alleged El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius called police about son owning assault rifle


first_imgRouzes/iStock(ALLEN, Texas) — The El Paso shooting suspect’s mother called the Allen Police Department weeks before the shooting because she was concerned about her son owning an “AK”-type firearm, lawyers for the family told ABC News.Chris Ayres and R. Jack Ayres, the lawyers representing the family of alleged shooter Patrick Crusius, said his mother contacted police because she was worried about her son owning the weapon given his age, maturity level and lack of experience handling such a firearm.His mother was transferred to a public safety officer who allegedly told her that her son, 21, was legally allowed to purchase the weapon, lawyers said. The mother did not provide her name or her son’s name, and police did not seek any additional information from her before the call concluded, according to the attorneys.CNN was first to report the call to law enforcement.The Allen Police Department, in a statement, confirmed that on June 27, 2019, at approximately 11:15 a.m., a call came into the main line of the police department. While calls made to the department’s main line are not recorded, an internal security camera recorded one side of the conversation, police said.“The Public Safety Officer answered informational questions about firearms possession and ownership and additionally inquired about the emotional state and intentions of the person who had ordered the weapon,” according to the police statement. “The information relayed by the caller did not warrant additional law enforcement involvement because, as reported in the CNN news article, the caller indicated that her inquiry ‘was not motivated out of a concern that her son posed a threat to anybody.’”The police official who spoke with Crusius’s mother did inquire if the person in question was “suicidal or have they made any threats towards any other person?” and the mother indicated he had not, police said.The mother’s concern was that her son did not have the training or maturity to own this type of firearm, officials said.The mother’s inquiry was “informational” in nature and was not motivated out of a concern that her son posed a threat to anybody, the lawyers said.It is not known whether the gun the mother inquired about is the weapon used in the attack.The Crusius family lives in Allen, Texas, a suburb of Dallas and about a 10-hour drive from El Paso.Crusius is accused to opening fire at an Walmart in the Texas border town, killing 22 people and injuring another 26. Crusius told law enforcement members he wanted to kill as many Mexicans as possible, sources told ABC News. The 21-year-old also allegedly wrote a “manifesto” outlining his hate for immigrants and Mexicans.He could face the death penalty on charges of capital murder.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Colleagues grieve slain Alabama officer who has 3rd child on the way


first_imgiStock(GARDENDALE, Ala.) — A young police officer gunned down in the line of duty was mourned by family, friends and fellow officers on a gloomy and rainy Monday in Alabama.Kimberly police officer Nick O’Rear was helping a neighboring community with a car chase on Feb. 4 when he was “ambushed” and shot, said Kimberly Mayor Bob Ellerbrock. A suspect was taken into custody.O’Rear was a father of two and has a third child on the way, the mayor said. He has a son due in April, according to a GoFundMe set up for his girlfriend and the baby.O’Rear was one of the “most unique individuals you’d ever meet,” and his “mischievous sense of humor” and “love for his fellow man was unmatched,” Kimberly Fire Rescue Capt. Robert Mashburn said at Monday’s funeral in Gardendale, Alabama.“Nick always made himself available to not only the city of Kimberly but to all surrounding municipalities,” he said.O’Rear wanted to become a certified sniper, which he accomplished in November, Mashburn said.He also aspired to become a K9 training officer, which he certified for in December. With Stella, his K9, it was “love at first site, and Nick worked tirelessly with her training,” Mashburn said.“There’s some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone, the light remains,” Mashburn said.O’Rear “dedicated his life to the service of others,” Mashburn said. “I owe it to be him to be worthy of his sacrifice.”Alabama Gov. tweeted Monday, “On this somber day, we remember the life of Kimberly Police Officer Nick O’Rear. We will lift his loved ones, comrades & the city of Kimberly in prayer, as Officer O’Rear is laid to rest.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

How the fall semester could play out at US colleges


first_imgsshepard/iStockBy MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Delaying the start of the semester. Alternating blocks of students in lecture halls. One course for weeks at a time.Those are some of the scenarios that might play out this fall, as colleges across the country brainstorm ways to limit contact among students and faculty and staff members amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many schools abruptly emptied lecture halls and dorms in March and transitioned to remote learning for the rest of the spring semester in response to stay-at-home orders and other social distancing measures. Some institutions, such as Boston University and the University of Pittsburgh, have extended campus closures through the summer.With the start of the fall semester several months away, schools are planning for many different scenarios.“I think all schools are clamoring for something that probably is unknowable, which is, What’s August going to look like?” Peter McDonough, vice president and general counsel for American Council on Education, told ABC News.“I think everyone’s really waiting on this week-by-week, day-by-day type of information on the big questions — antibody testing and convalescent therapy,” Tom Green, associate executive director of consulting and SEM for American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, told ABC News.As a result, new students are equally unmoored. By this time of year, many incoming college freshmen have decided where they’re going to school in the fall. They may have submitted their first deposit and are thinking about who their roommate might be. Instead, decision day deadlines have been pushed back at hundreds of schools and, with rare exceptions, there are more questions than answers about the fall.“This is just a level of uncertainty where no one can really answer the question for them,” Green added. “We don’t know. And that’s a terrible place to be as a prospective college student.”Returning students, of course, also are affected. A national survey from ACE and the AACRAO released last week found that 83% of currently enrolled U.S. college students still plan to enroll in the fall, while 12% or uncertain or no longer plan to enroll due to COVID-19.Following their own playbookWith stay-at-home orders in various stages across the country, a school in Texas may feel emboldened to open up sooner than a school in New York. Each institution is following its own playbook and timeline.A small number of colleges have announced their intent to open their campuses in the fall, Inside Higher Ed reported. For the most part, though, most schools have communicated to students that they will be open in some form, whether that means on campus, virtually or a mix of both.In a message released on Monday, Harvard University provost Alan M. Garber was firm in the school’s decision to reopen for fall 2020, but said it would be communicating specific plans for fall courses “in the days and weeks ahead.”As some institutions begin to provide insight into the decision-making process and timeline, it appears there may be more answers in June.The University of Colorado, Boulder is scheduled to announce fall plans on or before June 1.“Our fall 2020 plans, enrollment projections and state and federal budget scenarios will begin to take clearer shape during the next three weeks,” Provost Russell Moore and Interim Chief Operating Officer Patrick O’Rourke wrote in a letter to faculty and staff on Monday.The University of Illinois told students it will provide updates on fall instruction by mid-June, and for now to assume fall classes would begin in-person as scheduled.Cal State Fullerton Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications Ellen Treanor pointed to the end of the faculty’s contracts as a deciding factor.“We’re hoping to have everything decided by the 22nd of May,” Treanor told ABC News. “But if things change, and this takes a bad turn, then we’re going to have to readjust.”Green sees June as the latest schools should get a message out to new students, as advisers do orientation and registration for new students in May and June.“Every single one of them of course is going to ask, Is this going to be in person? Is it online?” Green said. If students can’t get basic questions answered, like registration and move-in dates, they “will begin to rethink their bond and commitment to the institution in the fall.” ‘Plan for the worst, hope for the best’If universities are cautiously hopeful about an on-campus start to the fall, behind the scenes, in task force Zoom calls, they are preparing for anything.“It feels like there isn’t a spreadsheet that can have all of the options on it,” said Treanor. “There’s not a spreadsheet that’s big enough.”Treanor is on Cal State Fullerton’s infectious disease task force, which was formed in February and is involved in the school’s response during the pandemic. It’s guided by the latest information and protocols from the Orange County Health Department, the California State University system and the governor’s office.Right now, the strategy is “plan for the worst, hope for the best,” Treanor said. One option that hasn’t been mentioned by many schools is taking a gap semester.“No private institution I know has yet been talking about that,” Robert Zemsky, chair of the Learning Alliance for Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, told ABC News.Some institutions are considering the reality of delaying the start of the semester on campus. Boston University’s Recovery Plan acknowledges an in-person return could be January 2021 “in the unlikely event that public health officials deem it unsafe to open in the fall of 2020.”AACRAO has heard from several schools on a semester system, which usually begins in August, that are considering a delayed start given the “amount of time it takes to plan and try and execute any of this.”Class size and scheduling to accommodate social distancing also poses a challenge, Green said.“The really tough parts of that are when you have, say, 30 to 50,000 students in a fixed geographic campus, there are only so many places to have classes,” Green said. “It’s actually very, very difficult to figure out if it could even be possible if you did it 24/7, seven days a week just to even make that work.”To limit contact between students, Green could see schools having blocks of students that take classes together, or take one course at a time for several weeks. Cornell College in Iowa already follows the latter model. This week, the private school announced it will break up its 2020-2021 school year into 10, instead of its standard eight, blocks. That way, students can delay the start of their academic year and still have the option to graduate in four years. It also gives the school the flexibility to delay on-campus instruction.“We are prepared to start the year on campus, which is our goal,” President Jonathan Brand said in a statement. “If necessary, though, we are also prepared to take it block-by-block, starting the academic year online and pivoting back to campus when it is safe to do so.”Beloit College, a small private school in southern Wisconsin, plans to change both the start and structure of its fall semester. Instead of taking four courses in a semester, the semester will be split in half, with students taking two courses over seven weeks. The fall semester was pushed back two weeks, to Sept. 8.Virtual plan BRight now, going completely remote for the start of the fall semester is “plan B” for most schools, Green said.On ABC News’ Good Morning America, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said he’s hearing from students, “telling us they want to be here and want us to make that possible and safe for them, and for those around them.” The Indiana school hopes to start opening its campus July 1.Schools may lose students if all-remote instruction continues into the fall. In a recent survey, Tyton Partners found that over 40% of parents are uncertain or would not send their child to school for the fall semester in a remote-learning scenario.Still, schools are preparing for that. In an AACRAO survey of college officials, 58% of respondents said their colleges are considering or have decided to go fully online for the fall semester. Nearly three-quarters of responders — 73% — also are considering increasing or have increased the number of remote courses, and 62% are considering decreasing or have decreased the number of in-person courses.A blend of remote and face-to-face colleges is a real possibility. Cal State Fullerton is working on a “phased approach,” Treanor said.“I’m super optimistic that we’ll start in some sort of hybrid form in the fall, then transition back to in-person, face-to-face. That seems to be what the students want. They want the full campus experience,” she said.While nothing is decided yet, that could look like a class with half the students in person and half virtual; students rotating in-person throughout the week; or it could be all online until “social distancing is relaxed,” Treanor said. Larger auditorium classes, which fit up to 250, may be in-person later, while smaller lab classes “that are least likely to lend themselves to virtual environments” would be a priority to start, she said.Lately, there has been optimism about the possibility of face-to-face classes starting in the fall, said Treanor. But there is always the concern about a second wave of infections.“We want to be as flexible as possible,” Treanor said. “There’s a lot we do know. There’s a lot we don’t know.” Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

MPs blast regulations record


first_imgMPs blast regulations recordOn 4 Apr 2000 in Personnel Today The Government has come under fire from its backbenchers for botching theconsultation on the draft Part-time Work regulations.The House of Commons Education and Employment Committee, which has beenscrutinising the legislative process and is made up mainly of Labour MPs, haspublished a scathing report on the Government’s handling of the regulations.It echoed the criticisms already made by employers in Personnel Today thatthe six weeks provided for consultation was not long enough and the documentwas short and badly written (News, 8 February). Meanwhile, the final draft of the law has still not been published despitebeing due to go live this Friday (7 April). It will not be known until it comes out whether the law will apply to”employees” or the much wider group of “workers”.As Personnel Today went to press, ministers were still consideringconsultation responses. A DTI spokeswoman was unable to say whether theimplementation date will be put back.Tom Fleming HR director of Jewson said: “This reinforces my view thatthe whole time table is driven by a desire to get the legislation in place andactive rather than the desire to get it right.”Robbie Gilbert, chief executive of the Employers’ Forum on Statute andPractice and Personnel Today’s partner in the campaign for better consultation,said this has been the worst example of the Government getting it wrong.”After his experience with Rover you would have thought Stephen Byerswould be more sympathetic for the need to consult before things happen,”he said. He called for the implementation date to be delayed by a month.The Education and Employment Committee said it was not convinced by theGovernment’s reasons for the short consultation process.”Although we recognise the value of private and informal consultation,we do not believe it should be treated as a substitute for an open publicconsultation exercise,” the report says.www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/edemhome Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Sheriff and County Government Leaders Attend Appreciation Luncheon


first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Sheriff Dave Wedding took members of the Vanderburgh County Council, Vanderburgh County Commissioners and Vanderburgh County Surveyor’s Office out for lunch this afternoon. The luncheon was held in appreciation for the outstanding collaboration that has taken place between our offices this past year.Sheriff Wedding stated, “I am proud to be a part of this committed group of community leaders and look forward to accomplishing even more together in 2016.”Pictured above (left to right): Councilman Ed Bassemier, Councilman Mike Goebel, County Surveyor Jeff Mueller, Council Attorney Jeff Ahlers, Commissioner Bruce Ungethiem, Councilman John Montrastelle, Sheriff Dave Wedding, Councilman Tom Shetler, Chief Deputy Sheriff John Strange and Councilman James Raben.last_img read more

Saint Mary’s senior education majors transition into student teaching


first_imgSenior education majors at Saint Mary’s are beginning their transition into student teaching this week. The students will begin teaching at local elementary and secondary schools and will work on their portfolios, lesson plans and testing.Maeve Sullivan is an elementary education major with a minor in mild intervention which, she said, consists of “helping students who have mild cognitive or physical disabilities.” “Education is becoming more inclusive to those who are cognitively and physically disabled, and mild intervention is why I got into education,” she said. “Indiana has mild, moderate and severe categories of [educational] intervention.”Samantha Allen said she has always wanted to be a teacher and is glad to be teaching kindergarten this semester. “I really enjoy having students learn how to tie their shoes,” she said. “It’s such a small thing that people don’t realize they learned at one point, and the students feel so overwhelmed at the beginning — to the point of tears — and it’s so sad but a little bit funny. I teach them the steps, and then we go over the steps each time — shoes come untied every five minutes, so there’s always a learning opportunity. It’s truly the joy of my day. They know I’m the teacher who will call them out on their shoe-tying.”Allen said most students began teaching Tuesday. “I have eight full weeks in a general classroom and then seven weeks in an English-as-a-second-language classroom,” she said.  Although she initially came to Saint Mary’s to be a nursing major, Sullivan said she easily made the switch to education, as the two have similar philosophies. “Nursing and education really bring in people who serve others and want to make a difference in the lives of others,” she said. “I’m Catholic, so serving others has been a huge driving force for me.”Sullivan said their semester began with a seminar discussing the transition, including the necessary exams and portfolios. “We had an introduction into our portfolios, which are where we compile student work and lesson plans from different content areas,” she said. “They’re a huge part of the student teaching process.”Education majors have regular assessments that consist of testing and teaching lessons to the students, Allen said. “We have to do an assessment cycle where we have to give a pretest and then teach a lesson and then give another test until we give them a final test,” she said. “That’s the minimum requirement.” Saint Mary’s has given Sullivan the opportunity to encounter real-life experiences as a teacher, she said. “Saint Mary’s has put me in so many different types of schools with different types of students and in different areas of South Bend,” she said. “They’ve really allowed us to come into contact with some of the things we’ll see as teachers so that we’ll have already learned how to respond to them.” Allen said the College expects the best from its education majors.“Saint Mary’s is very extensive about what they require of education majors in order to best prepare us,” she said. “In the moment, it seems very overwhelming, but they’re so supportive and encouraging. They want the best for you, and they expect the best from you.”Sullivan is worried her penchant for perfection will cause her to overestimate and exhaust herself, she said. “I’m a perfectionist, so a fear of mine is knowing you can only do so much on your end as a teacher,” she said. “One has to understand that there is human limitation — there’s only so much you can do as a teacher. You have to teach and they have to learn, and that child’s future is literally in your hands.”Allen’s goal is to create a productive and healthy classroom environment, she said. “I’m working on classroom management, which is learning how to best de-escalate any situation or how to be the one in charge but still have fun and have students enjoy learning,” she said.  Allen said she hopes those who want to become teachers are passionate about teaching and are not just teaching as a backup plan.  “I think people who feel a passion towards education and lifelong learning are people who would really benefit from going into education,” she said. “I hope that people teach from a place of love and not from a place of desperation.”Sullivan said her goal for the semester is to get to know her class personally and academically. “I’ve gotten all the tools from Saint Mary’s, so I’m excited to see what I can do and also surprise myself a little, too,” she said. Tags: education, learning, Saint Mary’s education major, student teachinglast_img read more

Saint Mary’s director of campus safety resigns


first_imgRobert Post resigned from his position as director of campus safety at Saint Mary’s on Tuesday, vice president of student affairs Karen Johnson announced in a Wednesday email.Post was named the director of campus safety Feb. 18 following the retirement of former director Dave Gariepy earlier that month.Campus Safety will continue to be staffed around the clock and stands ready to assist those on campus, Johnson said in the email.“Campus and student safety is always our first priority,” she said. “We have begun the search process for a replacement and in the meantime, everything is in place for the department to operate as normal.”Tags: director of campus safety, robert post, Saint Mary’s Campus Safety, Saint Mary’s Collegelast_img read more

Buy Seasoned Firewood


first_imgNothing can make firewood sales go up quite like temperatures goingdown. But University of Georgia scientistssay buying firewood to burn right away can lead to problems if you don’tget seasoned wood.It isn’t always easy to tell if firewood is dry enough to burn well,said Julian Beckwith,an Extension Service wood productsspecialist with the D.B. Warnell Schoolof Forest Resources at UGA.The best indicator, he said, is weight.”When firewood is cut, it holds a lot of water — up to 50 percent ofits weight,” he said. “In fact, one fresh-cut cord of oak firewood cancontain nearly enough water to fill six 55-gallon drums.”In a wood-burning stove or fireplace, that wood has to dry out beforeit will burn, he said. And boiling off the water steals a lot of heat awayfrom the house.”The critical word when buying firewood is ‘seasoned,'” Beckwith said.”Seasoned means the wood has been dried to a level that will allow it toburn easily, and to give up a high proportion of its heat value.”Because of the water in it, unseasoned wood is heavier than dry wood.If you don’t know whether your firewood is seasoned, Beckwith suggestscomparing its weight to seasoned wood of the same type. Use a bathroomscale to weigh a fixed volume, such as a cardboard boxful, of each.There are other signs of wet, fresh-cut wood.”Split a fireplace log and look at the split surfaces,” Beckwith said.”Recently cut wood will have a darker, wet-looking center with lighter,drier-looking wood near the edges or ends that have been exposed sincecutting.”Wet wood will be easier to split than dry wood, too. And when firewoodis very fresh, he said, the bark will be tightly attached. Bark on verydry logs usually can be pulled off easily.Pound for pound, all seasoned firewood produces about the same heat,Beckwith said, although pine may yield slightly more heat per pound becauseof natural resins in the wood.But woods vary greatly in density. Oak and hickory logs weigh more thansweet gum or pine logs of the same size. So it takes more pine or sweetgum logs to produce the same heat as oak or hickory.Beckwith said the gum-like resins in pine wood lead people to thinkpine produces more residue or buildup, called creosote, than hardwood.But it doesn’t. Burning any seasoned wood in full, hot fires will avoidcreosote buildup.”Creosote buildup on fireplace or wood-heater walls, chimneys and fluepipes,” he said, “seems more a result of burning wood at relatively lowtemperatures.”When wood is heated, he said, some of its chemical ingredients are firstchanged to gases and then ignited if the fire is hot enough. At temperaturestoo low for them to burn, though, they become part of the smoke.”If these gases contact a cool-enough surface, they condense back toa liquid or solid there,” he said. “Over time, they form a thick layerof creosote that a hot fire can ignite, causing a dangerous chimney fire.”Filling a wood stove at night and closing the damper to reduce airflowcan keep a fire burning slowly until morning. But it can also help creosoteto form. So can building little fires just to “knock the chill off.””Burning wood that hasn’t been seasoned long enough favors creosotebuildup, too,” Beckwith said, “because evaporating water cools the burningprocess.”last_img read more

Planning for emergencies


first_imgPreparing GeorgiaAs officials in Mississippi and Louisiana now know firsthand, anaction plan is needed to make sure food is available during adisaster.”We typically have about a seven-day food supply in our grocerystores,” said Wade Hutcheson, a UGA Extension agent in SpaldingCounty. “That’s not including the items that are supplied dailylike milk and bread. When there’s snow or a hurricane headed ourway, those items just fly off the shelves.”Hutcheson said the main goals of the agrosecurity trainings areto educate responders on possible threats and to encouragecommunities to prepare disaster plans.”Georgia’s farmers and farm workers must be aware of the damageforeign plant diseases and pests can do to their crops,” he said.”A safe, secure and inexpensive food supply is the foundation ofour society. An increased awareness of crop biosecurity couldkeep Georgia’s food secure in the short and long term.” Ag – big contributor to state’s economyIn Georgia alone, two-thirds of the state’s counties reportagriculture as the largest or second largest sector of theeconomy, Lynch said.Threats to food production can come from terrorists, naturaldisasters and accidental and intentional diseases, Lynch saidduring a recent training for 60 emergency workers from fivemiddle Georgia counties.Trainings like this are being taught statewide by experts fromthe Georgia Department of Agriculture and UGA College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences. More than 3,000emergency first responders should be trained by the year’s end.”Ag workers and traditional responders need to be ready torapidly and effectively resolve an emergency situation beforecatastrophic consequences occur,” Lynch said.In addition to the loss of crops and herds, an agriculturaldisaster can also affect a producer’s mental state. Emergencypersonnel must also be prepared to deal with these issues aswell, she said. In agricultural emergencies, improper disposal of diseased animalcarcasses can have environmental and economic consequences, Lynchsaid. If a poultry disease strikes in Georgia, the entire nationwould be affected. By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaAlong the Gulf Coast, the nation has seen firsthand how a naturaldisaster can quickly destroy food supplies. In Georgia, farm anduniversity experts are teaching emergency workers and people inagriculture how to identify and handle threats to the foodproduction.”Our food supply … needs to be protected,” said Dana Lynch, aUniversity of Georgia Cooperative Extension nutrition specialist.”Our nation is the largest exporter of food products. And about17 percent of all the jobs in the U.S. are linked to the foodindustry.”center_img Plants, animals must be protected”Georgia produces 24.6 million pounds of chicken meat in oneday,” said John Pope, UGA Extension agent for Monroe County. “Ifdiseases like avian influenza and Exotic Newcastle strike thepoultry industry, they would have a serious negative impact.”Plant diseases are a threat, too. UGA plant pathologist MilaPearce says most people don’t realize that ornamental plantdiseases can also affect production.”You may say, ‘Who cares about what’s killing Ms. Johnson’sgeraniums?’ ” Pearce said. “Geraniums and potatoes are from thesame family, and you probably do care about french fries andmashed potatoes.”Pesticide costs and yield losses from plant diseases cost theU.S. $20 billion a year, Pearce said.”We fight a constant battle against diseases every day,” shesaid. “Never mind what some terrorist has up his sleeve.”Pearce does have good news. Intentional introduction of a plantdisease is a “very, very difficult” task.”Introducing a plant disease into our food production would notbe a very good tactic for a terrorist,” she said. “It’s virtuallyimpossible to do. Spreading disease is an abominable task. It’svery hard for even us to do in our research labs.”last_img read more

Editorial: Illinois Utility Strives to Thwart Electricity-Generation Transition


first_imgEditorial: Illinois Utility Strives to Thwart Electricity-Generation Transition FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus (Moline):Barely eight months after Illinois’ landmark Future Energy Jobs Act became law, Ameren Illinois wants state regulators to rewrite the rules.Critics estimate that, if the Illinois Commerce Commission accepts the lower energy savings targets contained in the efficiency plan Ameren filed with the ICC, consumers could pay 30 percent more on their bills.Meanwhile, the downstate energy provider which serves thousands in our area, will reap millions in bonuses despite not meeting the original 16 percent waste reduction target originally required by the law to trigger them.A spokesman says the utility asked for the reduction because it prefers to spend its dollars helping low-income communities. Ameren hasn’t spelled out how higher monthly bills will help those already struggling to keep the lights on, or why such a corporate cost shift is necessary given the additional low-income assistance built into the act.For those reasons and more regulators should reject Ameren’s effort to slice by more than a quarter these critical goals for cutting energy waste. ICC commissioners should do so not only for customers, but for all energy consumers in the state, those who work in the industry and for the good of the environment.As readers know, the Future Energy Jobs Act has been lauded as trailblazing state energy policy that should serve as a model for the nation. To achieve it, negotiators brought to the table such unlikely allies as energy providers, conservationists and consumer advocates.The provision that preserved Illinois nuclear energy production including at Exelon in the Quad-Cities, captured most of the headlines. But, importantly, the act also increased the use of renewable energy, protected thousand of jobs and is expected to add thousands more while promoting energy efficiency, thus decreasing — not increasing — costs to consumers.Those energy saving rules are the ones which Ameren seeks to rewrite. It’s interesting to note that ComEd has not asked for a similar reduction, despite energy savings targets which were set higher than Ameren’s. If Ameren wins the day, will a request from ComEd follow? Will it embolden utilities to ask for other changes?More: Tell the ICC not to lower energy savings targetslast_img read more