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About Illinois PIRG
Our team of researchers uncovers the facts; our staff bring our findings to the public, through the media as well as one-on-one interactions; and our advocates bring the voice of the public to the halls of power on behalf of consumers.
An Independent Voice For Consumers
Illinois PIRG is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.
For decades, we’ve stood up for consumers, countering the influence of big banks, insurers, chemical manufacturers and other powerful special interests.
Peoples Gas released its fourth quarter report Tuesday on its troubled pipe replacement program, which was the subject of a highly critical Illinois PIRG Education Fund report last June. Peoples Gas’ own data shows that for the eighth consecutive quarter -- a period that spans every quarterly report on the project -- the program is behind schedule and over budget.
Congress must hold companies accountable for failing to protect condumers' confidential information.
It’s common-sense: If something you own breaks, you should be able to fix it. But manufacturers don’t see it that way. Instead, they use a set of tactics to block independent repair because they want consumers to have to come to them to do repairs. Right to Repair made considerable progress in 2019, and just a little over a month into 2020, we’re seeing continued momentum.
On Friday, Peoples Gas submitted an engineering study to the Illinois Commerce Commission. The study gives Peoples Gas, the Commission, and the public the first empirical look at the condition of the Peoples Gas distribution system in decades. That’s critically important information as Peoples Gas continues to run its troubled pipe replacement program.
Facebook announced Wednesday that it had reached a $550 million settlement with plaintiffs over alleged violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), although Facebook has denied any wrongdoing. BIPA, passed in 2008, requires private entities to acquire informed consent before collecting individuals’ biometric information, such as facial recognition scans, thumbprints, or voiceprints.
Textbook publishers continue to add to the financial burden of college through a variety of tactics such as automatically charging students for textbooks on their tuition bill. Many of these automatic billing contracts fail to deliver real savings for students, reduce faculty and student choice, and give even more power to a handful of big publishing companies.
On Jan. 15, Chicago aldermen proposed an ordinance to stop the use of foam takeout containers and cups within city limits in favor of compostable and recyclable alternatives. The ordinance, which advocates at Illinois PIRG helped to create, would help Chicago cut down its plastic waste. Read more about our campaign to move Illinois beyond plastic.
On Jan. 30, EPA finalized its review of the main active ingredient in Bayer/Monsanto's ubiquitous weedkiller, Roundup. Despite its designation as a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization's cancer research agency, the EPA reaffirmed its stance that glyphosate is not a carcinogen. Read more about our campaign to ban Roundup.
On Feb. 11, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal introduced legislation that would phase out unnecessary single-use plastics, which commonly end up clogging our landfills and polluting our environment. It also provides funding for recycling and composting infrastructure, and would shift the financial burden of managing waste and recyclables from town and city governments to the manufacturers.
Your donation supports Illinois PIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.