Columbus, OH – February 25 – Today a coalition of citizen groups, states and U.S. EPA announced a landmark settlement agreement with American Electric Power (AEP) requiring AEP to stop burning coal by 2015 at three power plants in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. AEP also agreed to replace a portion of these coal plants with new wind and solar investments in Indiana and Michigan, bringing more clean energy on line to meet the region’s electricity needs.
This is a drop in the bucket, yes. But this is going on everywhere, despite the kicking and screaming of the GOP, Koch Brothers and all their anachronistic carbon burning cronies. People on the ground are smarter about the future and their options, including some of the retrograde industry companies. Given just a little push by the EPA, smart companies are voluntarily closing the oldest dirtiest coal plants and getting into renewables. There are at least three big solar panel projects that have gone up in my neighborhood in the last 2 years. This is no-brainer territory.
Coal-fired power plants are the nation’s largest source of mercury, sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution, carbon pollution and many other deadly pollutants that can trigger heart attacks and contribute to respiratory problems. According to estimates from the Clean Air Task Force, 203 deaths, 310 heart attacks, 3,160 asthma attacks, and 188 emergency room visits per year will be averted once the Muskingum River, Tanners Creek and Big Sandy power plants stop burning coal.