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Scrapbook: Club Prevails In Fight Against Illinois Coal Plant

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Sierra Club Scrapbook

January 09, 2008

Club Prevails In Fight Against Illinois Coal Plant


The Sierra Club notched another victory in its efforts to stop the coal rush the first week of January when Indeck Energy Services scrapped plans to build a $1 billion, 660-megawatt coal-burning power plant 55 miles south of Chicago. The Club has been fighting the project since 2003, when the Illinois EPA granted Indeck an air permit for the plant. But grassroots and legal action by the Club and its allies prompted the City of Chicago to file a brief in support of the Club's position, and the U.S. EPA struck down the state permit in 2006. Since then, Indeck and developer CenterPoint Properties have tried to resuscitate the project, but they finally threw in the towel on January 4.

"My very first project when I joined the Club's Illinois Clean Air Campaign in 2002 was to investigate the Indeck plant," says Club Midwest Rep Bruce Nilles. "After getting to know Verena Owen, our joint investigation uncovered that this would be a massive new source of air pollution, and we launched a multi-faceted campaign to block this project." Owen and Nilles are pictured above after the decision to scrap the plant was announced.

"Indeck's decision to abandon coal comes at the same time other companies are embracing wind and solar energy here in Illinois," Owen told the suburban Chicago Daily Herald. "We are creating family-supporting clean energy jobs that don't jeopardize our children's future or accelerate global warming."

The Sierra Club has helped defeat dozens of coal plant proposals in Illinois and elsewhere since the Indeck fight began five years ago. "But Indeck was the first battle we undertook," says Nilles, "and it makes this victory oh so sweet." Read more about this and other Sierra Club's successes in stopping the coal rush.


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