Ald. Gilbert Villegas Urges City Council to Reconsider Clean and Affordable Buildings Ordinance

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Alderman Gilbert Villegas and fellow alderpersons, joined by members of the Clean Energy Choice Coalition (CECC) and other supporters, held a news conference on Wednesday calling for support of a resolution being introduced on the reconsideration of the Clean and Affordable Buildings Ordinance. The Clean and Affordable Buildings Ordinance is neither clean nor affordable. Banning natural gas in Chicago will dramatically increase electric energy costs and impose a regressive tax on the impoverished and the middle class. Electric heat costs more than two times higher than natural gas, even with new electric heat pumps. In the wake of frigid temperatures with tens of thousands of Chicagoans losing power, this resolution would allow the Council to hear from those who would be affected and advocate for choice. Villegas and supporters say there are better ways to save the environment and want time to do it right.

“Make no mistake, Chicago must work to reduce its carbon footprint,” said Gilbert Villegas, Alderman, 36th Ward. “But, during the winter’s frigid temperatures, where tens of thousands of Chicagoans were left without electricity, now is the worst possible time to hastily slam through an ordinance without examining true costs, infrastructure requirements, and, most importantly, hearing from residents.” Joining Alderman Villegas are members of the Clean Energy Choice Coalition, IUOE Local 150, the Gas Workers Union 18007, LIUNA, the Building Industry Association of Greater Chicago, the Southland Black Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and NPL Construction. “Any code change of this magnitude demands public hearings and an open public process to assess the impact fully from all sides,” said Paul Colgan with the Clean Energy Choice Coalition. “We are requesting what is appropriate: a choice. For Chicago to move to reduce its carbon footprint, a lot needs to be considered, and the Clean Energy Choice Coalition stands with Alderman Villegas.”

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