After over two hard years of campaigning and lobbying by concerned citizens, community leaders, and students in Chicago neighborhoods (ranging from Pilsen, Hyde Park, and areas across the North Side) Midwest Generation, a subsidiary of Edison International, announced on March 1st 2012 that it would be retiring its Fisk and Crawford coal plants, two of the oldest and dirtiest in the nation.
Thanks to the mobilization of students and the formation of entities like the Chicago Youth Climate Coalition – students helped through personal lobbying, policy writing, and protest to close down the coal plants that were killing more than forty people every year.
According to agreements signed by Midwest Generation, the Clean Power Coalition, and the City of Chicago, the Fisk coal plant in Pilsen will shut down in 2012 and the Crawford coal plant in Little Village will shut down in 2014. Terms of the agreement also call for the creation of a community advisory council to address issues such as the toxicity and future use of the sites.
Today, clean power advocates can celebrate the end of the most recent 2 1/2-year long campaign that successfully brought about an end to pollution from Chicago’s two coal plants. Nearly 60 organizations and groups came together to work side by side with communities affected by coal pollution to make Chicago a coal-free city.
The agreement is a direct result of the intense pressure placed on Midwest Generation and City Hall by the Chicago Clean Power Coalition and its supporters. Together, we stood up to corporate polluters and claimed our right to clean air and a healthy environment.