January 31, 2011

Ald. Moore to Hold City Council Hearing on Chicago Clean Power Ordinance February 14

CHICAGO – Alderman Joe Moore (49th) will convene an ad hoc City Council hearing on the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance on February 14th. Moore is the chief sponsor of the Clean Power Ordinance that would clean up pollution from the coal plants located on the City’s southwest side. The hearing will feature testimony from concerned residents who live near the plants as well as public health professionals, economists and legal experts who support the clean power ordinance. Moore announced the ad hoc hearing after Daley Administration allies in the City Council postponed a planned City Council hearing for that date.

“Though I intend to continue pushing for an official City Council hearing, we’ve waited almost a year to be heard” said Moore. “The time has long since passed for a hearing to allow the experts and the public at large to weigh in on this landmark piece of legislation,” Moore added.

Moore decried the Daley Administration’s stalling tactics.  “My colleagues and I introduced this ordinance in April and we’ve waited nine long months to be heard,”  Moore noted.  “I know the Administration would like us to just go away, but the health and well-being of Chicago residents and the future health of our children and grandchildren are at stake,” Moore said.

The Clean Power Ordinance is co-sponsored by 16 Aldermen and backed by the The Chicago Clean Power Coalition, an alliance of over 50 health, community, environmental and business groups. The ordinance was introduced in April 2010 and was referred jointly to the City Council’s Committee on Health and the Committee on Energy, Environmental Protection and Public Utilities. After months of delay, a Health Committee hearing was set for Feb 14th.  However, Moore was informed that the hearing would be delayed indefinitely.

“The delay orchestrated by the Administration allies in the City Council proves once again that politics as usual continues to permeate City Hall, except this time it’s killing people.” said Edyta Sitko from Greenpeace, a member of the Chicago Clean Power Coalition. “These plants have killed 30 people killed since this ordinance was introduced. Chicagoans deserve a hearing on this issue immediately.”

A 2010 report released by the Clean Air Task Force stated that the Fisk plant in Pilsen and the Crawford plant in Little Village are responsible for over 40 deaths and 720 asthma attacks annually. According to a 2010 research from the National Research Council and the Environmental Law & Policy Center, the coal plants are also responsible for over $127 million in public health costs every year.

“Emissions from coal plants are responsible for hundreds of asthma attacks and dozens of heart attacks every year,” said Emilie Junge from Doctor’s Council, SEIU, a member of the Chicago Clean Power Coalition. “As the largest union in Chicago and the State of Illinois, SEIU recognizes that Chicago residents need to have input on the plants that cost so many lives in our city each year.”

Chicago Mayoral Candidates Chico, Moseley Braun, and Del Valle have announced their support for the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance. Candidate Emanuel announced he will work to reduce pollution from the plants.  The hearing on the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance, chaired by chief sponsor Alderman Joe Moore, will take place in the City Council Chambers at 10am, Monday, February 14th.

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The Chicago Clean Power Ordinance is supported by over 50 organizations:
8th Day Center for Justice * 49th Ward Green Corps * Action Now * Aerotecture International Inc. * American Renewable Energy & Power, LLC * American Medical Student Association-UIC * Blacks in Green * Buddhist Peace Fellowship * CAPOW! Citizens Act to Protect Our Water * Citizen Action / Illinois * Citizens Committee for a Clean Blue Island * Collective Consciousness Movement * Consolidated Printing * David Weiner & Associates * Design Makes Change * Doctors Council SEIU * Eco-Justice Collaborative * Energy Action Coalition * Environment Illinois * Environmental Law & Policy Center * Faith in Place * Gaia Movement USA * Green Guy Solutions * Green Sanctuary Group, Beverly Unitarian Church * Greenpeace * Growing Station Community Garden * KenJiva Energy Systems *Illinois Solar Energy Association * Illinois Student Environmental Coalition * Little Village Env. Justice Organization * Loyola University, Student Env. Alliance * Natural Resources Defense Council * Nuclear Energy Information Service * Oikos: The Religion and Environment Initiative * Peace Productions * Physicians for Social Responsibility * Pilsen Env. Rights & Reform Organization * Progressive Democrats of America * Protestants for the Common Good * Rainforest Action Network Chicago * Ravenswood Community Council * Resource Center*Respiratory Health Assoc. of Metro. Chicago* Southeast Environmental Task Force * Sierra Club * SolAir Works, Inc. * Team 15 United * Topless America * Union of Concerned Scientists * UIC College of Medicine, Community Action Program * Urban Sustain * Wellington Avenue UCC * Windy City Green Power

Eco-Justice Collaborative is a founding member of the Chicago Clean Power Coalition
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