Waukegan Voters Support Transition Plan for NRG Coal Plant: Poll

NRG’s Waukegan coal plant, on the Lake Michigan shore, is the largest source of air and water pollution in Lake County. [Photo by Lisa Long/Clean Power Lake County]

In December, we went to Waukegan City Hall to deliver 2,082 petitions requesting formation of a task force to plan the responsible transition of NRG Energy’s outdated coal-fired power plant on the Waukegan lakefront.

This month, we went back to Waukegan City Hall—this time, to deliver the results of an exciting new bipartisan poll that bolsters our argument that Waukegan is ready to transition to renewable energy.

An overwhelming 70 percent of Waukegan voters participating in the poll support a transition plan that sets a retirement date for the coal plant, considers clean energy alternatives, and promotes redevelopment of polluted sites along the lakefront.

Nearly eight in 10 voters in the city want this part of Illinois to start producing more electricity from solar energy, according to the poll. Conversely, most voters want this area to produce less electricity from coal.

The Global Strategy Group poll, released January 14, involved interviews with 300 registered voters in Waukegan between December 11 and December 20, 2015. It was commissioned by the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. For full poll results, click sierraclub.org/waukegan.

Add the convincing poll evidence to the recommendations of Waukegan’s own lakefront development consultants, Edgewater Resources:  These give Mayor Wayne Motley and the Waukegan City Council ample justification to bring NRG to the table to discuss a responsible transition away from coal in Waukegan.

Mayor Motley says he has contacted NRG Energy more than once about meeting with community stakeholders (see Poll: Waukegan residents want transition from coal to clean energy ).

In the meantime, Clean Power Lake County volunteers will continue working to build support for the transition task force.

Clean Power Lake County Gets the Word Out at Monarch Festival

Clean Power Lake County volunteers talked with hundreds of Waukegan residents of all ages on September 7 during the fifth annual Monarch Festival in downtown Waukegan.

Designed to raise awareness about the environment and healthy living, the family-friendly festival was an appropriate venue for the Clean Power campaign’s positive messages — moving beyond coal, and bringing clean energy to the community.

CPLC at Monarch Festival 2014
Clean Power Lake County volunteers promote clean energy during the Waukegan Public Library’s Monarch Festival. [Photo by Clean Power Lake County Campaign.]

Several festival-goers posed for photo petitions addressed to David Crane, CEO of NRG Energy, the owner of the coal-burning power plant on Waukegan’s lakefront. Petitions — in English and Spanish — urged Crane to move beyond fossil fuels and to ensure a healthy lakefront.

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A local family addresses photo petitions in English and Spanish to David Crane of NRG Energy. [Photo by Clean Power Lake County Campaign.]











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Representatives of Most Blessed Trinity, a partner in the Clean Power Lake County campaign, look on as a festival-goer poses for a photo petition. [Photo by Clean Power Lake County Campaign.]