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Coal industry arguing reliability for Indiana protection

Two large coal companies have started a new lobbying push as Indiana legislators are poised to again consider steps that could bolster the industry facing a shift toward renewable energy sources.

The companies launched a trade association named Reliable Power, aiming to rebrand coal from a polluting, low-tech fuel into a reliable source of electricity, the Indianapolis

Republican lawmakers are preparing proposals for the legislative session starting in January that they say will address stability and reliability on the electrical grid. Environmental and consumer groups, however, worry that legislation could stall the growth of wind and solar power while propping up the coal industry.

Indiana electric utilities have announced plans to shut down at least 10 of the state’s 13 coal-burning power units by 2028, while coal companies in the past year have laid off hundreds of workers at mines clustered in southwestern Indiana.

“Certainly, there have been a number of challenges over the past five to 10 years nationally,” said Reliable Power CEO Matt Bell, a former Republican legislator and a high-profile Statehouse lobbyist. “But when we look globally, the industry is strong. And we believe that coal has an important part to play in the future of energy production in the U.S., at least for the foreseeable future.”

Read full article at The Chicago Tribune