Chicago Clean Energy
ELPC works in Chicago to advance clean energy solutions and clean up old-technology coal plants to make the city a greener place to live and work. Our work includes:
The 2008 Chicago Climate Action Plan established a goal of reducing Chicago’s greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020. Developing new sources of clean and renewable energy will be a big part of the plan’s implementation, and ELPC has played a key role shaping the strategy.
At the request of Mayor Daley, ELPC and the City of Chicago Department of Environment co-chaired a working group comprised of clean energy business executives, entrepreneurs, academics, finance experts, government and utility representatives. Working with this group, ELPC developed a set of policy and program recommendations that, if implemented, will set the city on a path to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals and ancillary objectives such as economic development and job creation.
The Clean and Renewable Policy and Program Recommendations Report is now complete. Recommendations are organized along two tracks with elements addressing: (1) policy advocacy objectives, with a primary goal of greening the grid through full implementation of the Illinois Renewable Energy Standard, and (2) local program development at the city level, aimed at increasing distributed generation in Chicago. Stay tuned for an announcement about a press conference with Mayor Daley to formally release the report and present the implementation plan.
Despite advances in renewable energy, the nation still depends on coal plants for more than half of its electricity. Coal combustion produces smog, soot, acid rain, the neurotoxin mercury, and is the largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions, a leading cause of global warming.
A loophole in the Clean Air Act has allowed existing power plants to avoid installing modern pollution controls. ELPC is working with numerous environmental groups, state governments and others to require aging coal-fired power plants to install these modern technologies.
In Chicago, we are working to reduce pollution from the Fisk and Crawford coal plants, as well as other plants owned by Midwest Generation. ELPC is actively working with Chicago Alderman Joe Moore and a coalition of business and community groups to advocate for the passage of a City ordinance that would significantly reduce soot and greenhouse gas pollution from Chicago’s coal plants. The Clean Power Ordinance would make Chicago the first city in the nation to regulate pollution from coal plants.