Chicago’s motto is Urbs in Horto (City in a Garden), and our city works hard to live up to that reputation, however the 2 coal plants in our city puts a serious dent in our green dreams.
Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and environmental groups will announce that a deal has been made to shut the coal plants earlier than previously planned. Midwest Generation will close the Fisk plant in the Pilsen neighborhood by December and the Crawford plant in Little Village by the end of 2014. 100s of coal plants across the nation recently have been shutting down amid competition from abundant and relatively cheap natural gas and much more strict federal air pollution limits.
Under a 2006 deal with state regulators Midwest Generation had agreed to clean up or shut down the Chicago coal plants by 2018. But now, that deadline has been bumped up several years.
Environmental groups pushed for tighter deadlines and enlisted a majority of Chicago alderman to push an ordinance that would force Midwest Generation to substantially reduce lung- and heart-damaging air pollution emitted by the two plants.
This is great news for Chicago as we aim to be the nation’s greenest city.