Letter: Retiring two coal-fired plants isn’t enough

Thank you for your article [IPL to retire two of its four coal-fired power units by 2023, Dec. 13] describing IPL’s plans to partially, but not completely, retire coal burning units at the Petersburg super polluter coal plant. While IPL’s proposal may initially sound like good news, by planning to leave two coal-fired units in operation until 2042, IPL demonstrates its lack of foresight and limited understanding of how carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels are already harming Indiana’s economy and health, with more severe effects to come.

According to research from Purdue University, climate change will lead to higher flood risks, reduced crop yields, longer active seasons for disease-carrying insects, reduced air quality, and an increase in temperature-related deaths, all right here in Indiana—not to mention the ways we’ll be affected by global instability as other regions experience even more severe effects.

Hoosiers can’t afford to allow utilities to drag their feet on transitioning to a clean energy economy. Thankfully, a federal bill currently in the House of Representatives could give companies a financial incentive to act more quickly. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act is a bipartisan, market-based solution that will unleash American creativity and technological development, resulting in a 40% reduction in carbon emissions in 12 years. Hoosiers will also benefit by receiving monthly dividend payments to spend as they see fit, and by sharing in the 2.1 million new jobs generated by local economic growth.

I encourage IPL customers to contact their federal representatives and urge them to sponsor the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, since we apparently can’t trust our local utilities to act in our long-term best interest.

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Julia Spangler

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