"Midwest Generation To Close 2 Chicago Coal Plants Early"

"Edison International announced Wednesday that Midwest Generation will shutter Chicago's Fisk and Crawford coal plants in September, ahead of schedule and years before a state-imposed deadline to clean up or shut down the plants.

Chicago is the only major U.S. city with coal plants operating within its borders. For years, environmental and community groups have blamed Fisk and Crawford for high asthma rates and other health problems in their predominantly Latino, low-income neighborhoods. A 2010 report by the National Research Council estimated that pollution from the coal plants costs surrounding areas $127 million a year in hidden health costs.

In total, 150 to 180 employees are expected to lose their jobs, according to Edison International.  Severance benefits are not required under the collective bargaining agreement.

In connection with the shut down, the company expects to receive a tax deduction of $64 million for Fisk and $87 million for Crawford. Environmental groups applauded the earlier shut downs Wednesday."

Julie Wernau reports for the Chicago Tribune May 2, 2012.

Thursday, May 3, 2012