Friday, February 24, 2012

Chicago Clean Power Ordinance Threatens Coal Fired Power Shutdown

Chicago’s new Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas and 25th Ward Alderman Danny Solis have given Edison subsidiary Midwest Generation a two week ultimatum to come up with an air pollution reduction plan for the company’s Fisk coal fired power plant in the Pilsen neighborhood on the near west side, and its Crawford coal fired plant in the Little Village neighborhood on the southwest side, or the politicians threaten to push through the proposed Chicago Clean Power Ordinance, which if passed will require closure of both power plants within two years.  Both plants, grandfathered out of the federal Clean Air Act, burn strip mined coal brought into Illinois by rail from Wyoming, and contribute mightily to air pollution in two of Chicago’s predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods.

A deal to shut down the two facilities in exchange for a long term wind power contract between an Edison company and the City of Chicago was scuttled last fall by Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, and ongoing negotiations concerning the fate of the plants have apparently stalled.

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