Chicago May Soon Have It’s First Wind Farm

Chicago
Courtesy of Aaron Crowe (Flickr CC0)

Following the lead of other big cities, MayorLori Lightfoot is planning a massive green energy overhaul in Chicago should she be elected. The goal of this plan is to make Chicago 100% renewable by 2035. This would be accomplished with a green jobs program that would create 20,000 permanent wind and solar industry jobs over the next five years and an additional 150,000 jobs in total across other industries.

The plan is supported by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal resolution, which proposes measures to shift the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. AOC’s resolution calls for initiatives such as upgrading power plants so they can run on clean and renewable energy while creating high-wage jobs

Lightfoot is planning a massive green energy overhaul in Chicago should she be elected. The plan includes moving the city toward 100% renewable energy by 2035.

Chicago
Courtesy of Paul (Flickr CC0)

This would include moving from its current reliance on coal-fired power plants and nuclear reactors to more sustainable options such as wind and solar power.

The Mayor has been outspoken about this initiative for some time now, even going so far as to vow not to accept donations from any fossil fuel companies should she be elected.

Chicago is a major city in the United States, with a population of more than 2.7 million people. The city has one of the largest economies in the country and is home to many industries, including finance, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Lightfoot’s platform includes moving the city toward 100 percent renewable energy by 2035 and “implementing comprehensive and fair climate action plans that promote equity across Chicago’s communities” as part of her Climate Action Plan 2020 policies.

In 2019 alone there have been two wind turbines installed on Lake Michigan near Chicago: one-off Navy Pier and another just south of Wrigley Field.

The term “green jobs” refers to employment in the clean energy industry, including wind and solar power. The clean energy sector has grown faster than any other U.S. industry since 2000, creating more than 2 million jobs nationwide over that period — a number that could grow even further with a green jobs program like this one.

A recent study commissioned by the Chicago Urban League found that a $10 million investment in Chicago’s wind turbine manufacturing industry would create 938 new direct job opportunities for black workers, who currently make up only 6% of the city’s workforce (compared with 11% nationally). This would also generate $162 million in total economic output for local businesses and create indirect job opportunities for an additional 3,243 people within five years after its launch; all told, that means nearly 4,200 Black workers could be hired through this program alone.

In March 2020, Ocasio-Cortez’s office released a press release, saying her resolution calls for initiatives such as upgrading power plants so they can run on clean and renewable energy while creating high-wage jobs.

“We can use our infrastructure projects to create good, well-paying union jobs that lift up the economy,” she said in the statement.”We work with labor leaders to make sure the needs of workers are met.”

The plan also includes a proposal for 100 percent carbon neutrality by 2029 and no more than 1 percent of GDP being spent on foreign oil by 2050.

Now a change may be coming to Chicago sooner than later. The Green New Deal resolution is a national plan that will help the city achieve its goal of becoming 100% renewable by 2035.

It’s clear that a change in the way that Chicago gets its energy is needed. The city has a long history of environmental activism, and this recent move toward green energy shows how important it is for people to stay on top of what’s happening in our world today. In just a few years, it could be said that Chicago was one of the first cities in America to achieve 100% renewable energy — and it all starts with one vote.

Written by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

Chicago: Mayor Lightfoot Announces Agreement to Purchase 100% Clean, Renewable Energy Starting in 2025
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Ocasio-Cortez, Markey Reintroduce Green New Deal Resolution
WBEZ: New bill could put first wind farm in Lake Michigan off Chicago’s Southeast Side

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Aaron Crowe‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Paul’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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