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Environment/Sustainability Tue Nov 10 2009

Chicago Gets a Role in Greenpeace Climate Video

Members of Greenpeace recently uploaded a video on YouTube that shows activists fighting for climate action across cities in the U.S., including St. Louis, Raleigh, Chicago, Baltimore and L.A. Activists marched in support of International Day of Climate Action, held October 24, where environmentally-minded individuals gathered at key spots in cities worldwide to support the need for an international climate treaty and to raise awareness about climate change. In Chicago, dozens of activists gathered around the Fisk Generating Station at 1111 W. Cermak Rd. in Pilsen. The coal-fired plant is one of the worst polluters in Chicago.

At least watch the video until it hits our fair city (around the 2:01 mark) -- you'll hear activists ask how Obama's energy and global warming plan could let a coal-powered factory like Fisk, which is proven to contribute to the neighborhood's asthma problem, stay open. "Chicago claims to be a green city even though we have two coal-power plants located in predominately Latino neighborhoods," activist Moises Moreno, of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, says in the video. "The coal factories, we feel, haven't been held accountable for the violations they've committed."

According to a Greenpeace rep, photos and videos from these events were delivered recently to delegates in Barcelona at the final UN Climate meeting. Activists are hoping their message is heard before critical discussions begin next month in Copenhagen.

Check out the Greenpeace video here:

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Roland S / November 11, 2009 1:41 PM

I agree that ComEd needs to refit Fisk to be not just modernized, but a prototype for clean coal for the 21st century. Fisk itself SHOULD be a Chicago landmark - it's quite historic, being Samuel Insull's first large-scale power plant - essentially the birthplace of electricity in Chicago.

On the other hand, I disagree that any of ComEd's actions are racially motivated. The plant was built in 1903 and renovated in the 1950s. Most of ComEd's other plants are gas-fired or nuclear, much newer, and were located in more isolated areas as power transmission lines got better to allow plants far outside the city. Fisk (and Crawford) are unfortunate, but rather than protesting, why not suggest a small tax district in neighborhoods along the South Branch to pay for improvements to these power stations? Somebody needs to pay for the improvements - if cap and trade ever passes, the electricity rates from these power plants will skyrocket as ComEd passes along the costs of emissions credits to consumers. Obviously, many of the asthma and other medical problems will not go away once Fisk and Crawford are cleaned up, but the community should actually SAVE money in the long run, due to lower medical expenses, even if they do have to pay for the power plant improvements themselves.

ChessyQ / November 11, 2009 11:24 PM

This is only one way to show the government that not all people are approved of coal-power plants. The harmful effects of coal-burning factories in health of the people and environment are surely be opposed by the people, eventhou it may provide local jobs to us. U.S. debt and Climate Change are just one of the primary problems that our government is facing on. And as the citizen of this state we should demand to our leaders the good life they've been promising in their platforms when running to the position desired. Let our voices be heard and don't be contented wandering in country that if hopeless and unstable.

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By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

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By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

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