Why I’m on a smokestack in Chicago
by Kelly Mitchell
May 24, 2011
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.
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.
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.