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State approves $511M in IPL upgrades

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State regulators approved Indianapolis Power and Light Co.'s plans for $511 million in upgrades to its Harding Street plant and an operation in the southern Indiana town of Petersburg.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on Wednesday afternoon voted in favor of the projects despite objections from environmental groups saying the upgrades were inadequate.

IPL plans to revamp its coal plants to comply with federal mercury standards that go into full effect in 2016.

Due to the work, IPL expects to raise rates between 2 percent and 3 percent a year between 2014 and 2017. However, any rate increases would require additional IURC approval.

The Sierra Club challenged the project, urging IPL to shut down the power plants altogether and replace them with more modern technology, as the company intends to do with its $631 million natural gas plant planned for Martinsville.

IPL has said the upgrades to the Harding Street and Petersburg plants were the more cost-effective route when compared to demolition and reconstruction. But critics say the power company used sub-par research and reporting to justify the expenses.

Jodi Perras, Indiana’s representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, said the organization plans to speak with its attorneys to find other ways to stop IPL’s projects after the IURC ruling in favor of the work.

“We’ll be looking at all of our options; there’s more than one way to skin a cat so to speak,” Perras said.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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