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Trump coal order won't prompt restart of Indiana power plant

April 1, 2017

An Indiana coal-fired power plant that was shut down by President Barack Obama's emissions restrictions won't start up again under President Donald Trump's unwinding of environmental rules.

The Logansport Municipal Utilities' power plant burned through the last of its coal in January 2016 before shutting down because it couldn't meet Obama's guidelines to curb climate change. Duke Energy Indiana is now contracted to supply all of the utility company's power through 2018, the Logansport Pharos-Tribune reported.

Utility Superintendent Paul Hartman said the executive order Trump signed Tuesday aiming to dismantle Obama's climate rules still won't allow the power plant to fire up with coal again. Hartman said that because the power plant was not equipped to face Obama's rules, it wasn't decommissioned with the intent of restarting and has been free of operation and preservation for over a year.

"It's all just rusted in place at this point," he said.

The utility service also approved an agreement in October with NextEra Energy Power Marketing that will provide the utility's power from January 2019 through May 2024. The agreement lets the utility generate 10 percent of its own power as long as it's from a renewable source.

Mayor Dave Kitchell looked at the possibility of repurposing the former coal-fired plant to possibly install a natural gas turbine. But a March 27 report said the turbine "does not appear to be a good fit for Logansport" and that the plant's repurposing "would require significant investment to investigate" if any of the plant's current equipment could still be used.

Kitchell said Thursday that he's still interested in pursuing local solar power for energy generation.

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