Climate Change

Solving our climate change problems is the moral, economic, policy, political and technological challenge of our generation. The Midwest is the center of our nation’s carbon pollution problems – six Midwest states cause 22% of our nation’s and 5% of the world’s CO2 pollution. This pollution is generated primarily by our region’s heavy concentration of old, highly polluting coal plants and the transportation hub centered in Chicago. But we can also be a fulcrum for solutions that make good economic and environmental sense – clean renewable energy and energy efficiency policies, clean air implementation and enforcement, and clean transportation innovation.

What is ELPC Doing?

ELPC is transforming the Midwest region into a center for climate solutions that address the two most predominant sources of carbon pollution – energy generation and transportation. This work spans our programs on:

  • Fighting Back Against the Proposal to Replace the Clean Power Plan – ELPC and many environmental, public health, governmental and business allies are opposing the Trump Administration’s proposed “Affordable Clean Energy” rule which would increase use of coal plants and substantially weaken requirements for coal plants to reduce CO2 emissions. ELPC will be submitting comments and engaging in advocacy to challenge this regulatory proposal that weakens protections for healthier clean air.
  • Clean Cities – With the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, mayors across the country are stepping up to combat climate change. ELPC will work with cities to adopt high-value actions to reduce carbon pollution and transform their public commitments into meaningful climate actions.
  • Clean Air – Coal plants are the #1 source of climate change pollution. ELPC’s Clean Air Act legal advocacy is forcing the clean up or shut down of thousands of megawatts of Midwest coal plants.
  • Clean Transportation – Transportation is the #2 source of climate change pollution. ELPC advances cleaner forms of transportation that can reduce pollution while increasing mobility, spurring economic development and creating jobs. Our long-time vision for a Midwest high-speed rail network is becoming a reality, and our support for innovative new clean car technologies is helping create a Midwest-hub for smart electric vehicles.
  • Clean Energy – A core part of ELPC’s ethos is that we don’t just “say no” to sources of pollution; we also say yes to clean energy solutions that make sense for job creation, economic development, and a changing energy marketplace. Alongside our litigation pressure, ELPC’s policy advocates are designing and advancing renewable energy policies that help make wind and solar power competitive versus coal as well as energy efficiency policies that are helping hold down energy demand. These clean energy development policies, combined with technological advances and competitive economic market pressures, are further helping to “squeeze out” coal from the energy marketplace.


These climate change solutions create new jobs, grow the economy and protect public health in communities throughout the Midwest.

ELPC’s Founding Vision is Becoming Today’s Sustainability Reality

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