What Does Bill McKibben, Founder, 350.org
Have to say to Mayor Daley, City of Chicago?

April 14, 2011

The Honorable Richard M. Daley
Office of the Mayor City Hall
121 N. LaSalle Street, Room 507
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Dear Mayor Daley and the Chicago City Council,

Chicago has become widely known in recent years for its many green initiatives, from tree-planting and green roofs to solar-panel manufacturing. Many of our colleagues in countries around the world have watched your efforts with great interest.

But we hope very much that you’ll take the next logical step, one that would do more for the planet than any other possible action: close down the two aging coal-fired power stations that pour pollution into your local air, and that produce huge quantities of the carbon dioxide now rapidly warming the earth.

Coal is at the heart of our environmental problems–it is the dirtiest of fuel sources, a technology largely unchanged over the last two hundred years. Your two aging plants stand as relics of a different era, not symbols of the energy future we so desperately need.

350.org, the campaign which I founded, has conducted 15,000 rallies in 189 countries in the past two years, what CNN called ‘the most widespread… political action in the planet’s history.’ We have many colleagues in Illinois and across the Midwest, who would be happy to supply you with more information. But since Chicago is a city, among other things, rich with immigrants, please be aware that the carbon from your ancient power plants is already causing great damage to people and places around the planet: rising waters, spreading disease, and a long list of other trouble.

I know that you wish the same green future for other people that you’re building for yourselves, and hope that you will decide that closing these plants is a necessary way to help assure that result!

Bill McKibben
Founder, 350.org

NOTE: EJC is a founding partner of the Chicago Clean Power Campaign.  For updated information on the updated hearing, visit these websites: Eco-Justice Collaborative.org or Chicago Clean Power Coalition.


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