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City Council Clears The Air

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City Council Clears The Air
City Council Clears The Air

AP

In this Dec. 16, 2009 file photo, steam and smoke rises from a coal power station in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

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The Chicago Clean Power Ordinance, which failed to pass the City Council in April after it was blocked by a committee chairman, was reintroduced Thursday -- by the chairman of the committee overseeing the measure.

Ald. George Cardenas, who heads the Health and Environment Committee, introduced the ordinance as part of his committee’s report to the full council.

In the last council, the bill fell under the now-abolished Energy, Environmental Protection and Public Utilities, which was chaired by Ald. Virginia Rugai, of the conservative 19th Ward. Rugai tabled the bill, saying it required "more investigation." But Rugai and her committee have both been retired. Cardenas is one of the bill’s 31 co-sponsors.

"The coal burned at these plants is mined in Wyoming, the power is sold out of state, the profits go to a California company, and we in Chicago are left with one thing -- the pollution," Ald. Joe Moore (49th) said at a City Hall press conference Thursday morning. "This is the year Chicagoans will win the right to breathe clean air."

Ald. Danny Solis, whose 25th Ward includes the Fisk Generating Station, a coal-burning plant targeted by the ordinance, also appeared at the press conference.

"There is no doubt that these coal power plants need to be cleaned up immediately to protect the fundamental health and safety of our communities," Solis said, according to a report by the Environmental Law & Policy Center. "I am proud to have played a leading role in sponsoring the Clean Power Ordinance. I thank my 31 colleagues for joining me in support of this important ordinance."

Clean air fans can follow the progress of the ordinance by using the #chicoal hashtag on Twitter.

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