We are concerned that the ethics issues at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and Duke Energy are being used by opponents to derail plans for the Edwardsport IGCC Power Plant. It is critical the issues be separated and dealt with independently.
Many opponents of coal are uninformed about the technology that makes modern coal mining and coal-fired energy generation cleaner, safer and more economically essential than ever before.
Roughly 95 percent of Indiana’s electricity is generated from coal with many power plants that are beyond their normal retirement age. Our high use of coal makes Indiana among the best for low-cost energy rates in the country. Duke Energy should be commended for moving forward with the construction of this cleaner-burning coal-fired facility. The Edwardsport project would bring benefits:
• The plant will use regional coal mined from the Illinois Basin, which supports over 10,000 Hoosier jobs.
• Wind and solar do not provide a consistent energy source and the infrastructure to develop renewable sources is more expensive than coal gasification.
• Coal is abundant. America has more than 250 billion tons of recoverable coal reserves—more than three times Saudi Arabia’s proven oil reserves.
The bottom line for our energy future is that it is going to take a portfolio solution that will include many energy sources, along with conservation efforts. Indiana has an opportunity to be a leader in cleaner energy with this plant. We need to support the Edwardsport project and deal with the ethics issues separately.
We urge business and community leaders to support Edwardsport and coal-fired generation.
J. Nathan Noland
President, Indiana Coal Council Inc.