new coal bailout bill before Indiana legislature

The Indiana legislature is back in session.

House Bill 1414 just passed out of committee and will soon be voted on in the house. You can see coverage here and here and here. It would essentially add an unnecessary stage of delay to closing uneconomic coal power plants in the state.

Coal is no longer economic compared to renewable alternatives and plants are closing fast. These closures are saving tens of thousands of lives and rapidly reducing carbon dioxide emissions associated with energy production. The closures have not appeared to have any negative effects on the reliability of the electric grid.

The old guard do not appear to be making many pretenses about the bill. In my opinion, it seems to be again the issue of flexing power for narrow economic interests against the interest of the common good and the integrity of our biosphere. Those in opposition to the bill include the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, electric utilities, environmental groups, solar energy business owners, rate-payer advocates, and the NAACP, to name a few. Jared Noblitt of Indiana Conservative Alliance for Energy says called it an “affront to conservative values.”

We have tried our best to walk-the-walk at our own property, investing in the largest solar installation at any Indiana college or university to date. The energy transition is one of the largest stories of our species, and there are more changes coming.

If you have thoughts on this proposal, you may find your legislator’s contact information here. Probably sooner rather than later.

The old coal plant in my hometown of Crawfordsville, IN, on the banks of the Sugar Creek. While it did provide electricity for my home where I grew up, it also dusted our property in coal dust, poisoned the river, the lowhead dam has caused at least one or more drownings, and the industrial clean-up is a massive burden on the people who still call the area home.

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