Surely Our Children Deserve Better!
Two of our nation’s oldest and dirtiest coal plants are located in the heart of Chicago. Each year they emit thousands of tons of harmful air pollutants that directly affect the health of its residents. In the last three years alone, these plants combined have spewed over 45,000 tons of pollution into the air that all Chicagoans breathe, compromising their health.
Those who live closest to these plants are the most affected, resulting in missed school days and work absenteeism. In fact, in some of our neighborhoods, 1 out of 3 children suffer from asthma and our asthma hospitalization rate is nearly double the national average! Surely, our children deserve better!
And that’s the point of this Coal PSA, prepared by our friends John Lyons and Jackie Rivet-River of Peace Productions. This 60-second video underscores the importance of moving Chicago toward a clean energy future for all who live here – but especially for our children.
Chicago Clean Power Campaign
EJC believes that protecting public health and welfare is a fundamental responsibility of government. Pursuant to its home rule authority, the City of Chicago can adopt regulations for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare of its residents. The City already has adopted an ordinance that regulates air emissions – but does not address those emitted from the two power plants.
That’s why last year Eco-Justice Collaborative worked to create a coalition of environmental and justice groups to launch a campaign for clean power in Chicago. Its mission focuses on building a clean energy future for Chicago, and its goals are to transition Chicago from its current dependance on fossil fuels to an energy future based on conservation, efficiency and clean renewable energy, recognizing that this will benefit the City economically by creating jobs. Central to the campaign is the premise that Chicago’s energy future needs to be just and equitable, embracing all people regardless of race, creed, color, ethnicity, income or other social or demographic distinctions. This pertains to access to energy, as well as jobs training and development.
Chicago Clean Power Ordinance
This campaign currently is focused on passing a Clean Power Ordinance that not only reduces the particulates that cause asthma and other respiratory diseases, but also would reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore introduced the ordinance to Chicago’s City Council in April. Since that time, the coalition, now at 50 member organizations and growing has helped obtain the support of 13 aldermen. If adopted, Chicago would be the first major city in the country to regulate both particulates and carbon dioxide. More importantly, adopting this Ordinance will make a strong statement that the City of Chicago has decided to make the health and safety of its residents a high priority.
If you live in the City of Chicago, please get involved in the campaign! If you want to learn more, visit the Chicago Clean Power Coalition’s website, www.cleanpowerchicago.org.