That's right, the Indy 2,000—as in two thousand petitions the Sierra Club delivered to Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) on November 28, marking the official launch of the Club's Indianapolis Beyond Coal campaign. The petitions call on the electrical utility to retire its Harding Street coal plant, one of the dirtiest coal-burning power plants in the nation.
[Click on the image above to watch a video about the Harding Street plant.]
Indiana Beyond Coal organizer Megan Anderson, below at center, holding stack of petitions, was among the roughly 50 activists who rallied in downtown Indy and delivered the petitions to IPL headquarters.
"The Harding Street coal plant is less than seven miles from the heart of Indianapolis," Anderson said. "We collected the petition signatures over the past two months. Right now everything is on the line—decisions being made right now will determine our energy future for decades to come."
Photo courtesy of NUVO News
The Harding Street Station, as the plant is officially known, is the largest source of carbon pollution in Indianapolis. The Clean Air Task Force attributes 75 deaths, 120 heart attacks, and 1,300 asthma attacks each year to the plant's toxic emissions.
"While other utilities across the country move toward clean energy solutions like wind power and energy efficiency, IPL wants to charge customers millions of dollars to stay dependent on coal and continue to expose Indianapolis to toxic coal pollution," Anderson, at left, said at the November 28 rally.
"These upgrades will fail to address dangerous carbon pollution and coal ash. Indianapolis has a better vision for a clean energy future that protects both our health and our utility rates."
Anderson spearheaded the petition drive and recruited Sierra Club members and others to be "letter captains." Leading up to the petition delivery, Club volunteers and staff held phone banks, produced fact sheets, did online and social media outreach, and tabled and canvassed with volunteers at events in Indianapolis and other locales around central Indiana to gather petition signatures.