Our own Ray Wilson, H-IPL Vice-Chair, spoke at the Indianapolis Power & Light Integrated Resource Plan public meeting on March 13th, 2019.

Below are his words of advocacy on behalf of H-IPL and the promotion of climate care.  Thank you for your great work, Ray!

Hello, my name is Ray Wilson.  I am here representing Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light and my church, The Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis.

I have participated in developing Integrated Resource Plans before. This time must be different.  The world has changed since the last time we did this.

I suggest this time we need to approach our work with a different paradigm. This time we need to start with the end in mind. And the end we need to start with is, within 20 years, the timeframe of this plan, we need to stop burning all fossil fuels.  It is as simple as that.

Collectively, we in this room can figure this out. We don’t have a choice.  We need to do our part to save the planet.

I am here representing Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light.  Our mission is to bring Hoosiers of faith together as stewards of creation in order to promote renewable energy, energy conservation, and efficiency, as a faith response to climate change.   Since the last time we met, several dire reports have been issued dealing with climate change

For one, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which is charged with assessing the science related to climate change, in a nutshell, reported that we must limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. And to do that we must have social and technological change on a scale for which “there is no documented historic precedent.  Emissions must fall rapidly by 2030 to prevent catastrophic climate change.”  

Recently over 15,000 scientists endorsed a letter which concluded, “Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out.  We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.”

We all personally know it.  The glaciers are melting, the coral is dying, and storms are more intense. Just last week I spoke to a long time roofer who said roofs are leaking that never leaked before.  The rainwater cannot get off the roof fast enough without backing up under the shingles.

This IRP cannot be business as usual.  We need to start with the end in mind and work backward.

The plan must call for us to stop burning fossil fuels as fast as possible.

First, we need to stop burning coal to generate electricity.

We need to stop burning natural gas to generate electricity.

We need to stop burning natural gas to heat our buildings and water.

We need to stop running our cars with gasoline and convert to electricity.

I feel that this plan has to include consideration of all of these elements, and we need to be well on our way to doing all of this in the time frame of this IRP.

In just the last two days there have been two more articles written showing that we are at the cross over point where wind and solar generate electricity that is less expensive than installed coal-fired generation.  And we have models to follow. Just last week the governor of New Mexico signed legislation that calls for them to be at 50% renewable generation by 2030, 80% in 2040 and 100% in 2045.

I want to remind us all that Mayor Hogsett, the City-County Council, and our recently adopted THRIVE plan call for the city to be carbon neutral by 2050.  We can’t get there by waiting until 2040 to start working on it.

Other cities and their electric suppliers are doing this. We can and must also.

Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light

Ray Wilson, P.E.