Unsustainable energy sources are so 40 years ago but they continue to feed the need and in the process, muck up our lives and our planet.
Recently, IMPs met up with one of the leaders of the Chicago Clean Power Coalition Becky Clayborn at the April meeting of PDA Illinois. Clayborn, also of the Sierra Club, pointed out the deadly health and environmental risks of coal-fired power plants in the United States and in Chicago.
Specifically, the Fisk and Crawford plants on the South and near South West side of Chicago. These two plants have caused major health problems in their surrounding communities of Pilsen and Little Village.
“They have the highest population of individuals around these two coal-fired power plants in Chicago than of any other coal-fired power plant in America,” Clayborn said.
Among the many noxious toxins that these plants belch out, it’s the fine particulate matter that becomes disturbingly deeply embedded.
“Basically, it’s as if the inside of your lungs have been sunburned,” Clayborn said.
These particles can also be carried over long distances by wind and then settle on ground or water. This settlement makes lakes and streams acidic; changes the nutrient balance in coastal waters and large river basins; depletes the nutrients in soil; damages sensitive forests and farm crops; and affects the diversity of ecosystems.
Clayborn also discussed the plans to pass a new Chicago-Clean Power Ordinance that would significantly reduce these harmful emissions from Chicago’s coal plants, championed by Alderman Joe Moore of the 49th Ward.
At his April 13 City Hall press conference in front of nearly 200 supporters from a variety of environmental, social justice, health and neighborhood organizations Moore said:
“We’re asking these plants to do business in a way that does not endanger the health of Chicago’s citizens,” said Alderman Moore. “I’m asking my fellow council members to protect public health and improve Chicagoan’s quality of life by voting for the Clean Power Ordinance.”
Here’s Moore himself at PDA’s May meeting asking for our support in getting our Alderpeople on board this historic city ordinance. “Chicago can lead the way.”
This kind of pollution does not respect Ward boundaries, so good on every member who signs on.