New poll results show that voters in every part of Chicago support efforts by the City to reduce pollution from the Fisk and Crawford coal plants. 72% of Chicago voters said they would support a plan that reduces soot pollution from the coal plants by 90% and carbon dioxide pollution by 50%. Even after hearing arguments in opposition to, and in favor of stricter pollution standards, 64% of respondents said they would support City efforts to reduce pollution from Fisk and Crawford.
“This poll shows that people all across our city want cleaner air,” said Kim Wasserman, Director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization. “Northsiders and southsiders, men and women, Latino, black and white voters all want the City to clean up or shut down the Fisk and Crawford coal plants.”
The poll found that voters in every part of the City want to reduce coal plant pollution, but support was particularly strong in Latino neighborhoods and the South Side. The Fisk coal plant is located in Pilsen and the Crawford coal plant is located in Little Village. Both plants are owned by Midwest Generation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Edison International.
“Pollution from Fisk and Crawford affects everyone in Chicago,” said Maria Torres, an Organizaer with Pilsen Alliance. “People in Pilsen and Little Village have been fighting coal plant pollution for years, but it’s clear the rest of the city understands that their health is at risk too.”
In a separate question, 56% of those surveyed said that protecting the environment is good for the economy. “Chicagoans understand that we don’t need to choose between clean air and economic growth,” said Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “Reducing pollution will protect public health and make Chicago’s economy stronger.”
Researchers from the Clean Air Task Force found that pollution from Fisk and Crawford causes 42 premature deaths, 66 heart attacks and 720 asthma attacks each year. The National Research Council found that pollution from Fisk and Crawford costs the public over $120 million each year in health and related damages. One in four Chicagoans live within a three-mile radius of the smokestacks.
Fako & Associates conducted the poll of 600 registered voters in Chicago between October 3 and October 5, 2011. The poll has a margin of error of 4%. The poll was commissioned by the Chicago Clean Power Coalition, a grassroots coalition of over 60 organizations in Chicago who support a transition from the use of fossil fuel energy to a reliance on clean, safe and renewable energy sources.