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As environmentalists and those who want to protect the planet celebrate the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day today, organizers of this past weekend's festivities in Forest Park urge everyone to go-green as much as possible. Cassandra Haije, the Executive Director of St. Louis Earth Day, says protecting the planet is a daily responsibility.
"You know while the Earth Day event is one day," Haije said. "Our organization is actually a year round organization now. And that's the message we're trying to get across is that it's not just Earth Day, it's really everyday."
She says the message seems to have a big audience. Haije says the popularity of the event is evident in the size of the crowd and the number of vendors.
"We had 250 booths year and we actually sold out so we're going to have to go back to the drawing board for next year," said Haije.
Haije estimates a record crowd over 35,000 attended the Earth Day celebration this year.
Opponents of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," held a rally and lobbied Illinois legislators Tuesday. They're hoping to win support for a two-year moratorium on the practice instead of regulations that would allow it.
Fracking opponents say they were ignored during negotiations over a regulatory bill, which proponents say would give Illinois the nation's toughest regulations.
Protesters say they fear the water around their southern Illinois homes could be polluted by the practice.
Fracking uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack rock formations to release oil and natural gas.
The Columbia Missourian reports that eight environmental advocacy organizations filed complaints with the Missouri Public Service Commission in late January against Ameren Missouri, Empire District Electric Co. and Kansas City Power & Light.
A 2008 law approved by Missouri voters required investor-owned utilities to generate at least 2 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2011. That requirement increases to 10 percent in 2018 and 15 percent by 2021. Utilities that didn't meet the standard could buy power from other sources to help cover the gap.
The utilities say they are following the law