Mar 1, 2012

Chicago Quits Coal

"Yesterday was a big day for clean air. For nearly 100 years, Edison International’s Fisk and Crawford coal plants have loomed over the City of Chicago... but the people of Chicago fought back -- and won. That’s right, the city of Chicago has quit coal!"
That's how the most remarkable email announcement I've ever read begins, from Greenpeace campaigner Kelly Mitchell. Quitting coal, especially in a metropolitan area this size, means making a significant financial commitment to cleaner air, water, unborn children, human health, climate change, and the environment et al. This is historic. But what's the timeline? Kelly continues, 
"The Fisk coal plant will shut down in 2012 and the Crawford coal plant will shut down by 2014."

Holy Better-World-Now. According to The NAACP, Crawford is the worst environmental justice offender in the United States and Fisk is #3. Final play? Mayor Rahm Emmanuel lowered the boom last week and the plant's owners quickly responded. Progress Chicago calls this, "a milestone for residents in the moderate-income, predominantly Latino neighborhoods." But wait, there's more from Kelly,
"And as if we didn’t already have enough to be excited about with the victory in Chicago, we had ANOTHER victory for the people of Pennsylvania and Ohio. GenOn announced that they will close seven coal plants..."
So, in short, this is awesome. And grassroots led. You probably know coal plants are the #1 creators of greenhouse gasses, mercury pollution, loads of carcinogenic compounds, and a list of other toxic outputs too long to go into. Thank you and congrats to everyone involved. I can't wait to see what comes next. Here's a 6 min video from Greenpeace's Chicago campaign: 


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