AES should move to renewable faster

I serve as the social action coordinator of the IN Conference of the United Women in Faith, formerly known as United Methodist Women. Climate justice is one of our top priority issues. This summer, we collected petitions from hundreds of individuals of faith from around the state calling on AES to move away from coal to renewable energy.

Gen. 2:15 says of our world that we are to “till and keep it.” We are to “cultivate and care for it.” For far too long our world has been polluted. We are not taking care of the world if we do not start planning today to use more renewable energy.

While AES Indiana has publicly promised that it is going coal-free by 2025, it is not helping our environment and Hoosiers by doubling down on gas. The utility announced this week that it wants to convert the two remaining coal-fired units at Petersburg to natural gas by 2025 [“AES Indiana seeks to convert coal-fired units at Petersburg plant to natural gas,” Oct. 25]. Moving away from coal is a laudable step, but embracing gas will be a costly mistake that central Indiana customers—including those on limited incomes like the retired—will wind up paying for.

AES Indiana is planning to add more renewables to its portfolio, but many of those additions are happening too far down the road. AES should pursue that path instead of just switching to gas. Other utilities in Indiana are planning larger amounts of solar significantly faster than AES. CenterPoint Energy is planning 765 megawatts and NIPSCO is planning more than 2,300 megawatts in the next few years. AES has added virtually no new solar in its five-year action plan and where are any plans for using wind energy in their plans?

We are accountable for how we are taking care of God’s creation and have a chance to encourage AES Indiana towards a better future by holding them accountable for their promise of a true clean energy transition.

__________

Carol Tiller,
social action coordinator,
IN Conference, United Women in Faith

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