The Coal Wars

With America Ferrera

Why this story needs to be told

I couldn't help but build a personal connection to the people that I've met whose lives are being affected by this.

America Ferrera
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America Ferrera and the Coal Wars

America Ferrera returns to Years of Living Dangerously for season 2.

America Ferrera and the Coal Wars

America Ferrera returns to Years of Living Dangerously for season 2.

Introduction

Even though coal plants are shutting down across the country, coal remains a major source of energy in the U.S., and burning it emits toxic pollutants and climate-altering carbon dioxide. America Ferrera journeys to Illinois, where a still-functioning coal plant is creating tension between those who want to shut it down and those — like the local mayor — who want to keep it open. She meets a group of activists fighting hard to close it in favor of an option that can provide clean energy and green jobs.

READ MORE:
The Untold Story About the End of Coal by David Crane, former CEO of NRG 

STORY UPDATE:
In December of 2016, the Illinois legislature passed the Future Energy Jobs Bill, a version of the legislation Waukeganites lobbied for earlier that year. Over the next 15 years, the bill will provide incentives to attract $12-$15 billion in private sector investments in renewable energy and $6 billion in utility investments in energy efficiency. Governor Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law on December 7, giving Waukegan its best opportunity yet to move beyond coal.

Meet The Characters

Christine Nannicelli  Illinois Representative, Beyond Coal campaign at Sierra Club
Dulce Ortiz Waukegan Resident and member of Clean Power Lake County
Mary Anne Hitt Director, Beyond Coal campaign at Sierra Club
Bruce Nilles  Senior Director, Beyond Coal campaign at Sierra Club
Wayne Motley Mayor of Waukegan
Karen Long Macleod  Member of Clean Power Lake County
REV. EILEEN SHANLEY  Christ Episcopal Church in Waukegan & member of Clean Power Lake County
JULIO GUZMAN Member of Clean Power Lake County
SISTER KATHLEEN LONG Most Blessed Trinity Parish & member of Clean Power Lake County
CELESTE FLORES Most Blessed Trinity Parish and Member of Clean Power Lake County
David Crane Former CEO of NRG
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG Former Mayor of New York City, Philanthropist