November 1, 2019

Should Climate Change Be Considered In Making The State's Energy Plan?

Article origination IPBS-RJC
President and CEO of America’s Power Michelle Bloodworth spoke at the Oct. 31 energy task force meeting. She was the sixth coal supporter invited to speak to the task force. - Rebecca Thiele/IPB News

President and CEO of America’s Power Michelle Bloodworth spoke at the Oct. 31 energy task force meeting. She was the sixth coal supporter invited to speak to the task force.

Rebecca Thiele/IPB News

The state needs to consider climate change as it creates its energy plan. That was the opinion of Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) on Thursday at the Energy Policy Development Task Force, which won’t meet again until next year. 

Pierce's comments were in response to a presentation from coal advocates that argued renewable energy sources have hidden costs. America’s Power argues too much wind and solar in a utility’s energy mix can drive up costs when that utility has to supplement power from the grid.

Task force co-chair, Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) says the state needs renewables, but there have to be other energy sources in the mix.

“Great, if you can make them reliable enough, let’s do them all — but I don’t think we’re there yet,” he says.

But Pierce says the state also needs to consider the hidden costs of coal too. 

READ MORE: Report: Closing Coal Plants Would Save Indiana Customers Money, Reduce Pollution  

“If you think that carbon is having a detrimental impact on the environment and public health in general, then that would have — your energy policy would have to reflect that,” he says.

Pierce says the task force should hear more about energy efficiency and smaller sources like rooftop solar in its meetings next year.

Contact Rebecca at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

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.

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