Chemistry and Issues in the Environment

Spring 2011

Should the Fisk and Crawford Power Plant be Closed?

Two power plants within the Chicago city limits have drawn fire from local residents. The Fisk Generating Station is located at 1111 W. Cermak (Pilsen) and the Crawford Generating Station is located at 3501 S. Pulaski (Little Village). Residents argue that emissions harm the health of local residents, especially children. Proponents of keeping the plants open cite jobs and concerns about reliable electricity generation. Midwest Generation owns both plants as well as several others in Illinois.

Recently, hearings have been held on a proposed ordinance called the Clean Power Ordinance that would require these plants to dramatically cut emissions.

Investigate this issue. Links are provided below to serve as a starting point. Bring to class a 2 page mini-essay draft describing your viewpoint. Your essay need not be long, but you should indicate your primary reasons for your decision and make appropriate references to evidence and information you have gathered from your research.

Some suggested questions you might include:

  1. What, in your view, is the most important issue surrounding this debate and how does this issue inform your opinion about whether the power plants should be closed?
  2. What alternatives are there to closing the FIsk and Crawford power plants and what are their pros and cons?
  3. Proponents of closing the plants sometimes frame this debate as a race/class issue. Why do you think this is so and why do you agree or disagree with this characterization?

Collect all sources at the end as well as citing within the text, see: Citation Guidelines.

General Background Links

Recent News

Sites favoring closing Fisk and Crawford

Sites Opposing Plant Closings or Generally Suportive of Coal Industry

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© K. Lawler-Sagarin, 2011