Fate of Chicago coal plants could hang on election

An ordinance to clean up or shut down two Chicago coal-fired power plants is getting a fresh look from officials and candidates.

February 14, 2011

By Gabriel Spitzer

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WBEZ/Gabriel Spitzer
Activists speak in front of the the Fisk coal-fired power plant.

New leadership in Chicago’s City Hall could reopen some old fights, including a long-standing battle over two power plants: Crawford and Fisk. In spite of lawsuits, regulations and politicking, the coal-fired plants still churn out electricity, and pollution.

Now a local ordinance to force them to clean up or shut down is getting a fresh look from officials and candidates. They’re holding an unofficial hearing in the City Council chambers today. But just what would happen if they succeed remains a big question mark.

WBEZ’s Gabriel Spitzer spoke with host Melba Lara to explain why the outlook for coal in Chicago may be about to change.