Understanding the Issues

When people think of rural Indiana, they tend to think of rolling hillsides and sprawling cornfields – a place abundant in fresh air. Unfortunately, that isn’t an accurate picture. In fact, there are pockets of Indiana where people get exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution.

You can’t see or even smell it in the air, but particulate pollution (from sources ranging from coal plants to cars to outdoor wood boilers) in Indiana is impossible to miss when viewing national health statistics.  Indiana ranks #47 in air quality, in terms of average exposure to fine particulate matter (United Health Foundation, 2015).

Indiana’s addiction to fossil fuels also perpetuates coal mining — a sector that employs less people in Indiana than the Indiana solar jobs sector does — and yet does damage to our rivers and our air.

With the proper investment in energy conservation, energy efficiency, customer-owned renewable energy, and utility-scale renewable energy resources (i.e., the kind that you see at the Indianapolis airport), Indiana can meet future electricity demand at a lesser cost both to our pocketbooks and our health than our current approach.

It’s time for Indiana to invest in clean energy sources at a much faster pace and scale than planned. It’s the smart choice – for both our bodies and our bank accounts.

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