Indiana ranks third in the nation for coal plant retirements, but the state is still heavily reliant on coal to meet its energy needs.
According to data compiled by the Sierra Club, the state will retire more than 2,400 megawatts of coal by 2030. More than 5,000 megawatts have already been retired in Indiana since the organization’s Beyond Coal campaign began eight years ago.
Wendy Bredhold is the senior representative for the campaign in Indiana and Kentucky. She says this may seem like a victory for anti-coal activists, but the state still depends on 70 percent of its electricity to come from coal.
Bredhold says southern Indiana also has some of the largest coal plants in the country.
“We are a hub of large, super polluting coal plants that dominate the landscape,” she says.
Bredhold says state leaders need to figure out how they’re going to prepare Indiana for future coal retirements.
“Because this transition is happening and it’s going to impact communities if we don’t have a plan,” she says.
We couldn’t reach the Indiana Coal Council in time for comment.
Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.