In the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Cause Number 45749, Duke Energy Indiana wants customers to pay for their coal ash cleanup (plus a profit) by raising rates more than $273 million between now and 2030, plus tens of millions of dollars more after that.
Duke Energy is proposing to close seven coal ash ponds and landfills at its current or former Gallagher, Gibson, Wabash River, and Edwardsport coal-fired power plants. However, instead of cleaning up all of the toxic coal ash it has improperly dumped at these sites, Duke Energy is requesting permission to keep 94% of the toxic coal ash in the coal ash ponds and landfills included in this proceeding in unlined ponds and landfills that sit right next to the Ohio, Wabash, and White Rivers. When coal ash comes into contact with water, toxic pollution can flow out of the coal ash ponds and landfills and into groundwater and surrounding areas. Keeping millions of cubic yards of toxic coal ash sitting next to these critically important bodies of water is a disaster waiting to happen. Duke Energy’s own monitoring wells at its coal ash ponds has shown toxic chemicals like arsenic are already getting into groundwater.
Duke Energy requested to raise rates by more than $273 million between now and 2030, plus tens of millions of dollars more after that, to pay for these expensive projects that won’t even clean up the messes it created. Furthermore, Duke Energy wants Hoosier families to subsidize the coal ash clean-up costs so it can give a large discount to its large industrial customers – and so its Wall Street shareholders don’t have to pay a dime. If approved, Duke Energy’s plan would increase a typical residential customer’s bill by $1.64 per month in 2024. Duke Energy’s proposal would allow its shareholders to make millions of dollars in profit on its flawed clean-up plan while families foot the bill.
CAC is demanding a complete cleanup of all coal ash that has been unsafely disposed of at Duke Energy’s coal-fired power plants in Indiana. We are also fighting back on Duke Energy’s unfair proposals to make Duke Energy customers instead of Duke Energy shareholders pay for the cleanup. Duke Energy should not be allowed to profit on its failure to properly dispose toxic coal ash for many decades!
For more information, see IURC Cause No. 45749. Duke Energy filed its petition in July 2022. The evidentiary hearing was held in November 2022. The IURC is expected to issue a final decision in early 2023. CAC’s written testimony is available here (PDF Download).