2016-08-03 CPLC Press Release

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Waukegan Residents Join Hundreds in Chicago for Clean Energy Rally and EPA Hearing

Clean Energy Incentive Program Must Be Focused on Clean Energy Projects and Family-Sustaining Jobs in Low-Income Communities

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (August 3, 2016)—More than 40 people from Waukegan and surrounding Lake County communities joined activists from across the Midwest and as far away as Buffalo, N.Y., and Navajo land in the Southwest today to demonstrate public support for a strong and just Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), which prioritizes clean energy opportunities and savings for low-income communities.

The program is tied to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which set the nation’s first limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants. Under the CEIP, states and the U.S. EPA would offer early action credits for energy efficiency and solar projects that serve low-income communities and zero-emitting solar, wind, hydro and geothermal projects in other communities. These credits could later be used to comply with the CPP.

The EPA hearing held today in Chicago is the only one in which citizens from across the country will be allowed to offer public testimony about the CEIP.

Environmental advocates organized hundreds of people to rally in Federal Plaza and give testimony urging the EPA to lock in assurances that low-income communities will benefit from the program.

Pollution from power plants disproportionately impacts low-income communities, which often also are communities of color.

“It is vital to ensure that America’s move from dirty to clean energy not only makes these communities safer but allows them to share in its prosperity. A strong and just Clean Energy Incentive Program can help expedite this transition and ensure that the opportunities provided by the Clean Power Plan are equitable,” according to the Sierra Club, a lead partner in Clean Power Lake County.

About the Clean Power Lake County Campaign

The Clean Power Lake County Campaign aims to bring community members together to build a just future based on clean air, clean water, and a revitalized lakefront in Lake County. The coalition consists of Christ Episcopal Church of Waukegan, Environmental Law & Policy Center, the Exchange Club of North Chicago, Faith in Place, Father Gary Graf Center, Incinerator Free Lake County, Lake County Bike Project, League of Women Voters-Lake County, Moms Clean Air Force-Illinois, Most Blessed Trinity Parish of Waukegan, NAACP-Lake County Branch, Organizing for Action-Lake/McHenry Chapter, Respiratory Health Association, Sierra Club Woods & Wetlands Group, and Waukegan Community Church.