Thumbs Down: Coal ash and climate change
Clean energy, or "the three Cs," as the Hoosier Environmental Council's Jesse Kharbanda called them last Saturday at the HEC's 5th annual Greening the Statehouse Forum, will be a central focus of environmental advocates' efforts in 2013. Kharbanda encouraged his fellow advocates to acknowledge "really great improvements in (Indiana's) air quality," as it pertains to EPA attainment standards, but also noted "a troubling lack of moral urgency at the state level; Indiana does not have a climate action plan." Another area of concern: Indiana may be the 15th most populated state and 38th in terms of geographical area, but it is No. 1 in the nation for the number of coal ash sludge lagoons. Kharbanda advised the audience to keep an eye on Congress, where movements "to derail future federal safeguards to protect drinking water from coal ash" are underway. Finally, state lawmakers can expect to hear some idea about how the state can do more to foster clean energy given the enormous untapped economic potential of wind, solar and geothermal in Indiana.