The War On Coal

Activists cite public-health hazards in a new campaign against coal. Opponents say cleaner is too costly

Don Farrall—Photodisc/Getty Images

The War on Coal

On a 99F July Sunday, there's no cooler place to be in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood than the public pool in Dvorak Park, where you can catch a fleeting breeze in this working-class, heavily Latino community. Unfortunately, the air in Pilsen isn't very cool--and it isn't very clean. Chicago's air on July 17 was so polluted that the government recommended that children and people with respiratory ailments--too common in a city that has nearly double the national asthma-hospitalization rate--limit their time outdoors. "People are getting sick in Chicago because of the air," says Brian Urbaszewski, director of environmental-health programs at the Respiratory...

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