new report ranks Illinois as the fifth-best U.S. state when it comes to
reducing carbon pollution and saving water thanks to wind power.
Illinois generated 7.7 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity through wind power in the state last year, according to the "Wind Energy for a Cleaner America"
report from Environment Illinois. That wind energy prevented some 4.7 million
metric tons of harmful carbon pollution from getting in the atmosphere, similar to removing 971,000
cars from the road, according to the report.
Wind power in the Prairie State also helped to save 2 billion gallons of water in 2012, which would have instead been used to support coal-fired power plants, the report reads. Those 2 billion gallons of water are enough to meet the daily needs of more than 63,000 people.
the wind energy Illinois generated last year stopped 4,300 tons of
nitrogen oxide and 5,400 tons of sulfur dioxide from being released into the air.
“Wind energy has
given us a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving,” Lisa Nikodem of
Environment Illinois said in a statement. “Now our state and national
leaders need to take action to make sure we don’t leave this cornucopia
of environmental benefits on the table.”