Lake Erie and Presque State Park
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The Midwest has more to gain from embracing clean energy than perhaps any other region in the country. Its abundant sunlight, water, wind, and fertile soil can fuel a national energy revolution—and NRDC is helping bring this brighter future to life.

From its Chicago office, NRDC's experts focus on cleaning up dirty energy and local rivers, protecting communities and the Great Lakes ecosystem, and promoting policies and practices that encourage the growth of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Some of our accomplishments:

  • NRDC helped push forward renewable energy portfolios in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, and other states that will help to transform the energy sectors throughout the region by promoting wind, solar, and other clean energy technologies.
  • We stopped dirty coal projects in Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan, halting the construction of a massive new plant and a coal-to-liquid refinery.
  • NRDC partnered with local community groups to force the cleanup of dangerous refinery pollution that was plaguing Chicago’s Southeast Side.
  • Our experts led the fight to stop municipalities from dumping sewage into the Chicago River and are advancing new solutions to counter the threat of invasive species in the Great Lakes, which provide more than 40 million people with drinking water.
  • We battled the expansion of tar sands oil—the dirtiest oil on the planet—pointing out dangers in the aging pipeline system.
NRDC in Action

Residents of the Windy City are fighting the tar sands industry from spreading its toxic petcoke around town.


At every turn, the Tar Sands Invasion would put people and the environment in harm's way.

on the front lines

Starchitect Jeanne Gang wants to stop pollution and save the Great Lakes from invasive species. Her solution is simpler than you'd think.

NRDC in Action

Toxic algal blooms are suffocating waterways from the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Erie.