The Indianapolis Star reports Indiana's second largest coal company is pushing for a moratorium on new electric generation projects with new lobbying help. AEE's Caryl Auslander's comments were included. See excerpts below and the entire Indianapolis Star story here:
In the final days of the legislature, an Indiana coal company has retained the support of a high-powered ally in its effort to pass legislation that would keep Indiana's coal-fired plants from closing as planned.
Scott Pruitt, who was President Trump's first head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has been tapped by Hallador Energy Company. Hallador, which is the parent company of RailPoint Solutions LLC and Sunrise Coal, Indiana's second largest coal company, is pushing, for a moratorium on new electric generation projects in Indiana.
Pruitt's lobbying is an "attempt to protect the ratepayers of Indiana from Vectren and NIPSCO rate increases," Rebecca Palumbo, vice president of corporate affairs for Hallador, said in a statement. Pruitt registered as a lobbyist in the state on Thursday. Palumbo said the company was asking the legislature to add the moratorium language as an amendment to the state budget.
NIPSCO and Vectren have both presented plans to state regulators that suggest closing their coal plants could save ratepayers a combined billions of dollars over the long run, but that could raise rates in the short term. Vectren has requested permission to build a natural gas plant, and NISPCO has requested approval to purchase wind power. Both cases are pending...
Mark Maassel of the Indiana Energy Association, which represents Indiana's five investor-owned utilities, called the amendment "terrible policy" that locked his members into decades-old technology. And Caryl Auslander of Indiana Advanced Energy Economy said the measure "favors the heavy-hand of government over public transparency at the expense of a modern advanced energy system..."
See the entire Indianapolis Star story here