Chicago Alderman Danny Solis (25th), who is in an April 5th runoff with community activist Cuahutemoc Morfin, has reversed his stance on the Clean Power Ordinance.
The Clean Power Ordinance will require the Midwest Generation Plants in Pilsen and Little Village to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and particulates released into the atmosphere. Originally, Solis, backed by Midwest Generation, a subsidiary of Edison International, opposed the Clean Power Ordinance. Midwest Generation contributed heavily to Solis’ re-election campaign.
The Service Employees International Union, 50 environmental groups, and numerous community residents, opposed Solis, forcing him into a runoff with Morfin.
Solis and doctors affiliated with SEIU appeared together today to announce that Solis will support the Clean Power Ordinance.
On August 28, 2009, The New York Times reported, “The Obama administration and the Illinois attorney general filed a lawsuit today against a Midwestern energy company for alleged Clean Air Act violations at six coal-fired power plants, including five in the Chicago area.
The 38-count complaint said Midwest Generation made major modifications at the facilities without also installing the proper pollution control equipment, efforts that have led to unsafe air quality in the region, including high levels of ground-level ozone and soot that are linked to asthma and other respiratory ailments.
“EPA’s first priority is to protect the health of the people who live near these six plants and are most exposed to their pollution,” said Bharat Mathur, the acting chief of the U.S. EPA regional office in Chicago. “Today’s filing is a significant step toward improving the air quality not only of the communities in the shadow of these plants but for those downwind of their emissions as well.”
Midwest Generation has long been the subject of state and federal scrutiny for violating the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review program, as well as other provisions of the law.
In December 2006, the company reached an agreement with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) that put it on track to reduce mercury, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide emissions over the next decade. But EPA under President George W. Bush wasn’t satisfied, and it filed a notice of alleged violations in August 2007 that laid the groundwork for today’s suit.”
It’s saying a lot that the EPA under George Bush had a problem with the amount of toxins Midwest Generation was releasing into the environment.
If a politician, a public servant, weighs the voices of his or her constituents, considers the facts and empirical evidence, and decides that they were wrong, and changes their position, that does not make them ‘flip-floppers.’
It means they’re doing the job they were elected to do.