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Clean Power Advocates Protest At City Hall

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Activists demonstrate in favor of the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 12/08/10 1:51 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Some Chicago aldermen got coal in their stockings Wednesday.

Activists campaigning for the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance were joined by Santa and his elves outside City Hall Wednesday morning, passing out candy canes, and urging Chicagoans to call their aldermen to pass the ordinance.

The activists also planned to give aldermen either candy canes or coal, depending on where they stand on the ordinance.

The Chicago Clean Power Ordinance calls for a 66 percent reduction of emissions from the city’s two coal-fired power plants – Fisk Generating Station at 1111 W. Cermak Rd., and the Crawford Generating Station at 3501 S. Pulaski Rd.

The Chicago Clean Power Coalition says coal-fired power plants are a major source of both air pollution and global warming, particularly in Chicago. The coalition also says coal plants cause respiratory problems, lung disease and neurological damage.

The coalition says further that existing plants such as Crawford and Fisk were grandfathered when the federal government changed the regulations for pollution because of their age. Fisk was built in 1903, Crawford in 1924 – although they have been renovated since.

A 2001 study by the Harvard School of Public Health says Chicago is the second hardest-hit city in the country for the impact of power plant pollution, according to the coalition.

The Chicago Clean Power Ordinance is currently pending in the City Council Committee on Health, and the Committee on Energy, Environmental Protection and Public Utilities.

The protest Wednesday is set for 8 to 11 a.m.