Friday, November 11, 2011

Pollution Control Board Briefs

An example of a coal gasification plant.
First -- no test on Monday. We will need to take one later in the week, likely Friday.

The Leucadia/Chicago Clean Energy, Inc. Issue
Leucadia National Corporation is a holding company that does business in many different fields. One of its focuses is on energy production. Now the company would like to open a coal gasification plant on Chicago's southeast side.

You represent one of 5 stakeholder groups:
  • Leucadia National Corporation
  • Illinois Coal Association
  • Sierra Club
  • Allergy and Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics
  • Solar Service, Inc.
In addition to Leucadia's real life bid, we are adding a little twist -- Solar Service, Inc. would like to purchase the same land to open a solar panel production factory.

Your group will need to produce a brief in support of or in opposition to Leucadia's bid.

The brief must be 3-4 pages in length PLUS a title page. An effective brief will likely be closer to 4 pages plus the title page.

This is a group project grade, and it is worth 80 points based on this rubric. You will also need to complete a 25 point works cited page, based on this rubric. Finally, your group will receive an additional 50 point grade  for your presentation at the Illinois Pollution Control Board (yes -- this is a real group) hearing on Wednesday.

This brief, prepared on behalf of the Sierra Club, is way too long for our purposes, but it gives an excellent example of the format you should follow.

If you cannot open the pdf, this link should work.

First, we will need to decide on a list of issues to address.
  • Choose one member to represent your group for today only.
  • The rest of the group members should go to this page produced by Chicago Clean Energy, Inc., a subsidiary of Leucadia.
Representatives will meet with members of other "friendly" groups to plan your side's attack. Other group members should watch at least 2 of the videos on the Chicago Clean Energy page in order to get a better idea of exactly what the issue is.

First, the slides presented by Ms. Furey and the EPA speakers on Wednesday and Thursday are available for you to view in the "Y:\Ramin American Politics\EPA Slide Shows" folder.

Once you have the two issues your group will focus on in its brief, you will need to find at least five sources to use in your project. Include these in a minimum 5-source bibliography. 

These sources could be:
  • Information from your organization's website
  • News sources
  • Academic papers
  • Federal/State evaluations of the site
  • EPA information on coal gasification and sequestration
  • Etc., etc.
Make sure each fits with the points you plan to make!

Cite each source using proper MLA format, as demonstrated on the Purdue OWL website. Each group will turn in one bibliography.

For the sake of time, I will not require you to annotate your sources. However, take notes on them as you go through them -- this will make sure that you are including accurate information in your brief. I will not check your notes, but the quality of the notes you take will be evident in your final brief and in your presentation to the pollution control board.

The Brief
Follow the example Sierra Club brief to format your information correctly. You will need to:
  • Mirror the format of the Sierra Club's title page
  • Include a header on each page similar to the one on the example brief
  • Do NOT include a table of contents (unless you really want to -- this will not count toward your page limit)
  • Include an introduction your group, the reasons for your interest in the proposed Leucadia site, and the  issues you will adress
  • Your group's evaluation of the proposed site and its impact on your position (environmental hazard? Job creator? Etc.?)
  • Your analysis of related issues
  • A defense of your position
  • An refutation of the opposition's position
Remember -- hopefully you'll be presenting
for Governor Quinn!
The brief, remember, is just the beginning. You will need to make a reasonable, impassioned argument before the Pollution Control Board. Even now, you should be thinking of your two speakers and what they will say.

You need to convince the board to vote for your position -- whether or not to approve Leucadia's proposed coal gasification project on Chicago's SE side.

This is all due at the end of Monday's class. Make sure you divide anything that you will be accomplishing this weekend.

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