SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Bill advances to pause Indiana coal power plant closings

A proposal aimed at making it more difficult for Indiana electric companies to close additional coal-fired power plants faces objections from consumer and environmental groups who argue it could stifle growth in renewable energy such as wind and solar power.

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 9:15 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A proposal aimed at making it more difficult for Indiana electric companies to close additional coal-fired power plants faces objections from consumer and environmental groups who argue it could stifle growth in renewable energy such as wind and solar power.

The Indiana House utilities committee voted 9-4 Wednesday along party lines to advance the bill to the full House. That vote came after the committee scaled back the bill so that restrictions on power plant closures only last until July 2021.

Republican Rep. Ed Soliday of Valparaiso, the bill's sponsor, said he wanted a one-year pause in additional plant closings because of what he sees as a gap for when renewable sources can provide reliable and stable electricity service. He also said he wants the delay so more plant closings aren't in motion before a state energy task force completes a report for legislators that's due in late 2020.

“We will need the backup power until this thing sorts out,” Soliday said.

The proposal comes as Indiana’s four main electric utilities intend on closing several coal-burning plants in the coming years. Those include plans from Indianapolis Power & Light Co. to retire by 2023 two of the four coal-burning units at its Petersburg Generating Station in southeastern Indiana, while Merrillville-based Northern Indiana Public Service Co. aims to shut down four of its five remaining coal-fired units within five years.

Coal industry analyst Emily Medine argued in support of the bill, saying existing coal-burning plants provide affordable and reliable power, and closing those plants would be an irreversible decision.

The consumer group Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana maintains the pause unnecessarily hampers the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and gives incentives to an outdated power source.

“It interferes in the market place,” said Kerwin Olson, the group’s executive director. “It is going to cost customers money, it’s going to increase regulatory lag.”

Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, said he worried about the one-year pause being extended and hindering the development of cleaner energy sources.

“Right now, the bill is a temporary roadblock to modernizing the power sector in Indiana but we’re worried about it becoming a permanent roadblock,” Kharbanda said.

Lafayette
Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 28°
Kokomo
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 25°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 27°
Lafayette
Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 28°
Danville
Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 33°
Frankfort
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 25°
Frankfort
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 25°
Monticello
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 32°
Monticello
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 32°
Logansport
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 32°
Ice, Rain & Snow.....
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
Wabash304551
Adams302136
Ripley300046
Putnam297850
Huntington293159
Jasper290534
White274143
Daviess271274
Jefferson264738
Decatur248983
Fayette247848
Greene241162
Posey240328
Wells236451
LaGrange229662
Scott225739
Clay223532
Randolph214948
Jennings199336
Sullivan192933
Spencer192422
Washington187523
Fountain184627
Starke175643
Jay168223
Owen166837
Fulton164230
Orange160835
Carroll159115
Rush155818
Perry155229
Vermillion149334
Franklin149033
Tipton133033
Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events