Updated: Jan 3, 2021
In 2021, Duke Energy Indiana will release its 20-year integrated resource plan. This is Indiana’s chance to urge Duke to commit to a renewable energy future. As a 14-year-old, it pains me to see the planet I am growing up in being polluted.
According to the Center for Public Integrity, Indiana has more super polluters than any other state, and Duke’s Gibson County coal plant is one of them. Each year, it emits 16,891,617 tons of carbon dioxide that result in 110 deaths, according to the Clean Air Task Force.
With more than 90% of its energy coming from coal, Duke’s pollution exacerbates climate change and public health.
Rhatsa26X, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.
In 2019, Duke released its preferred integrated resource plan, revealing no intentions to reduce its carbon pollution in the near future. It plans on retiring one unit at the Gibson plant in 2026 and waiting until 2034 to start retiring the other four units. It will also wait until 2028 to retire its Cayuga Station coal plant, replacing it with an unnecessary fracked gas plant. Although the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends that carbon emissions be dramatically reduced by 2030, Duke would burn fossil fuels for more than 70% of its energy in 2037.
How many lives must be lost for Duke to understand the urgent need for clean energy? All Hoosiers must pressure its state president, Stan Pinegar, to transition Duke to renewable energy by 2030.
This blog post, written by Rahul Durai, was originally published in the Indianapolis Star as a letter to the editor on October 29, 2020.