PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts React to Victory for Coal Power in Indiana

Published April 26, 2019

‘Hoosiers continue to enjoy some of the lowest electricity prices in the nation thanks to coal power.’

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (April 24, 2019) – The Indiana Regulatory Commission (IURC) today rejected a plan by the electricity utility Vectren to replace a coal-fired power plant with a new $900 million natural gas plant. The project’s rejection means the coal plant will continue to operate for the foreseeable future.

The following statements from energy and environment experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Media Specialist Billy Aouste at [email protected] and 312/377-4000.

“The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) deserves praise for standing up for electricity consumers. Monopoly utilities don’t have to worry about competition, so they are increasingly proposing to shut-down cost-effective coal power plants and spending big money – and reaping huge guaranteed profits – by replacing them with newly built alternative sources. Congratulations to the IURC for seeing through Vectren’s plan to profit off the backs of captive Hoosier consumers.

“Indiana enjoys lower-than-national-average electricity prices precisely because coal powers the lion’s share of the state’s electricity. In 15 of the 18 states in which coal dominates electricity generation, prices are below the national average. The only three in which prices are higher – Kansas, Michigan, and Wisconsin – are higher precisely because of expensive wind power. Kansas has the second highest percentage of wind power in the nation, and Michigan and Wisconsin are two of the five fastest-growing wind power states.

“Hoosiers continue to enjoy some of the lowest electricity prices in the nation thanks to coal power. Hopefully, the IURC will continue to abide by long-established wisdom: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.'”

James Taylor
Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Indiana’s coal plants deliver inexpensive, reliable energy. There is no need at this time to replace them, so the state’s regulatory commission was right to reject Vectren’s plan. The proposal was about increasing profits for an already profitable company at the expense of Indiana’s ratepayers.

“This decision is a win for Hoosier electric customers. Let’s hope the commission takes the same view of even more costly attempts by NIPSCO to switch reliable coal for renewables.”

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, 
Environment & Climate News
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 35-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our website or call 312/377-4000.