CHICAGO (CBS) — An era is ending in Chicago: The last two coal-fired generating plants are in the process of shutting down over the next few weeks.
Chicago is the last major American city to have coal plants still operating. The facilities will be powered down because of environmental concerns.
WBBM’s Steve Miller talked to long-time workers who’ll be losing their jobs at the Fisk and Crawford plants.
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“I grew up with a lot of these guys,” said Larry Murillo. “I was 22 years old when I started there.”
Murillo is 55 now. He spent 33 years at the Crawford plant, which opened in the 1920s.
Dan Dore started his career at the Fisk station, which was built in 1903.
“We actually used to have a guardhouse log at our station, where Thomas Edison had actually came and visited the plant where he signed into the log,” Dore said. “And he signed, ‘Thomas Edison,’ and underneath there was, ‘Occupation:’ and he put ‘Inventor’ on there.”
Murillo says coal will make a comeback.
“To me it’s a cycle,” he said. “They’re not done with coal yet. It’s just going to come back. But right now, it’s an end of an era. For us. We won’t see it again.”
Dore says it’ll be hard to move on.
“I look at it more like, we’re kind of like all hiding our feelings from how we feel about it right now. But it’s almost like a family breaking up, you know?”