On Sept. 26, Ben Rayhill gave testimony to the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission about IPL's 97 million dollar request to upgrade the Petersburg coal plant. This request essentially commits this plant to burning coal for the decades ahead, a decision that ensures our already changing climate will continue to get worse. Here is his testimony:
I am 15 and a sophomore at the International School of Indiana. I am a Climate Camper and over this year I will by joining the youth of Indiana to fight climate change. People say that renewable energy is the future and I agree but I believe that renewable energy is something the world needs now.
The clock is ticking; climate change is now and there will be consequences.
Indiana has taken great steps in getting off of coal in Marion County and Morgan County and the news broke on the 23rd of September that Hamilton County school district is switching to solar power.
This investment into the AES Petersburg coal burning power plant is taking a step back from the progress that we have made in the recent years and if we are going to become a state that is in the 21st century we need a world-class energy plan. I hope that IPL will consider taking the 100 million dollars and investing it into energy that is renewable, while also providing better air and water quality.
The real reason that I am so passionate about climate change as a whole is because I want my future to be in a world that is green and full of life. I want to be able to show my kids New York City above water. I want to be able to take my kids to the zoo and see a polar bear in real life and not just read about them in books. I want my kids to grow up in a world where they can breath clean air and drink clean water, and live a life surrounded by nature and life. If climate change is not fixed, that horror will become a reality.
Indiana has improved greatly over the last couple of years and IPL has been a part of the progress that Indiana has made in lowering our carbon footprint. I ask IPL to make Indiana a state of renewable energy. I believe that we can do it.
Please, for my generation, for my children and their children, do not invest money into coal.