A year ago at this time, UCAN was spending the summer waiting for the chance to take a larger role in the city’s environmental movements. Fisk and Crawford didn’t have any huge updates; there weren’t any major hearings for the EPA, and UCAN was a small but willing group.
When I think back over the past year, it seems a little surreal still. UCAN grew to almost double its previous size, we held an amazing panel which over 100 students attended, we testified for the EPA’s carbon standards hearing in Chicago, and we made national impact with securing acceptable closing dates for the Fisk and Crawford coal plants. All of this happened with extreme dedication and support from UCAN members and allegiances.
As this past school year closed, I think our group strongly recognized the strides we had already made within Chicago, but it was also very clear that there are always more battles to fight. There were many other battles on our radar during the past year, such as the landfill issue which was thankfully also resolved in our favor, and many others that haven’t been completely finished such as Leucadia and Tenaska. The Coal Curriculum has made great progress as well, but will need a much larger push to move it closer to being cancelled. So many of these projects are incredibly uncertain as well, like the Keystone XL Pipeline (which I think we would all agree is the most obnoxious zombie we’ve ever met), but the one thing I can say for certain is that UCAN has the passion and potential to follow all of these issues through.
You’ll have to excuse me for being so cheesy and sentimental, but I gained so many friends this year and I don’t think UCAN couldn’t have been nearly as successful without each and every one of our members.
I hope everybody has a great summer, and we can come back next year ready to do anything.