Clean energy advocates launched a statewide ad campaign to compel Indiana-Michigan Power to close their coal-fired Rockport plant, the largest in the state. But as Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Nick Janzen reports, the power company says it is already on track to convert to cleaner energy.
The Sierra Club, Ball State University students, and community leaders unveiled a new ad campaign to compel I&M to shut the plant down.
Sierra Club Beyond Coal representative Jodi Perras said, “We want to call attention to the fact that I&M, they’re looking to pour billions of dollars into that plant, billions of customers’ dollars into that plant,” adding the campaign’s goal is to push I&M to adopt cleaner, more modern energy solutions. The Environmental Protection Agency identified Rockport as the sixth largest carbon polluter nationally in 2014.
Many coal-fired power plants are converting to natural gas or closing because of federal standards coming online. At Rockport, I&M is investing $3 billion in pollution control measures.
But switching completely to renewable energy sources at the rate the Sierra Club is advocating would be prohibitively expensive for customers, according to I&M Communications Director Brian Bergsma. “That would add more than $100 a year over 20 years to a customer’s energy bill,” Bergsma said.
About sixty percent of the energy I&M generated in 2015 was carbon free, according to Bergsma.