Why I’m on a smokestack in Chicago

by Kelly Mitchell

May 24, 2011

Chicago Smokestack

Community activists in Chicago are fighting for their lives right now against Edison International – the giant utility company that owns the city’s two coal-fired power plants.

Pollution from the Fisk and Crawford plants prematurely kills 42 people every year. That human cost is paid entirely by the communities who live in the shadows of these two aging plants. You won’t find it on Edison International’s bottom-line.

But Chicagoans are fighting back. And Greenpeace is supporting them. That’s why I’m on the smokestack at the Fisk power plant today taking action with other Greenpeace activists. We’re sending a simple message to Edison International: Shut down these plants and quit coal. 

The corporate bottom-line for Edison International says that they can’t make money on these plants if they can’t poison the local community for free. Simple as that. It’s why they’re fighting city efforts to reduce toxic pollution and it’s why they really can’t afford the bad publicity right now. Which is why it’s so important you speak out.

Join us and tell Edison International CEO Ted Craver to shut down Fisk and Crawford.

What’s happening in Chicago isn’t unique. It plays out again and again every day in communities just like yours from Texas to Colorado to Pennsylvania. In fact, coal is costing Americans up to an extra HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS every year. Meanwhile, companies like Edison International are making a killing.

It has to stop and it’s why what these community activists in Chicago are doing is so important.

Edison International can make this change. They’ve already done it in California where their local subsidiary has become the largest purchaser of renewable energy among American utility companies and has plans to phase out ALL coal power by 2016.

Chicago deserves the same. Every community affected by a dirty coal-fired power plant deserves the same. That’s why Greenpeace is working and will continue working with communities across the country to make sure that coal companies like Edison International are no longer allowed to poison people for profit.

You can help support these communities by sending a message to Edison International CEO Ted Craver today. Let’s quit coal. 

Kelly Mitchell

By Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell is the Climate and Energy Campaign Director for Greenpeace, based in Chicago. Since 2006, she has worked with activists and organizations across the country to confront corporate polluters and transform U.S. energy policy. She currently leads Greenpeace's campaign for an economy powered by 100 percent renewable energy, pushing some of the largest companies in the world to embrace wind and solar and working alongside communities to develop a just and democratic energy system.

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