The NAACP is encouraging Indiana chapters to evaluate how utility and fossil fuel companies are responding to environmental justice issues and their impacts upon African American communities.
The Indiana chapter of the NAACP is advocating for energy justice and is working to ensure that African Americans will be able to benefit from Indiana’s clean energy movement, according to the Energy News Network.
In addition to supporting green legislation, the Indiana NAACP also works directly with Hoosiers to encourage them to get involved in environmental and energy-related conversations in their communities.
In Indiana, African Americans face energy injustices from organizations like the Northern Indiana Public Service Company, NAACP State President Barbara Bolling told the Energy News Network. In 2018, NIPSCO announced the imminent closing of two plants – one in Wheatfield, Indiana, and one in Michigan City.
The Wheatfield plant, located in a predominantly white area, was scheduled to be closed by 2023, while the Michigan City plant, which is located near a predominantly African American area, would remain open until 2028 and continue to negatively affect the health of nearby communities.
NAACP officials see decisions like these as evidence of energy inequality in the state and are encouraging Hoosiers to be aware of these issues and support energy justice movements.
The organization plants to continue advocating for more solar and wind energy in Indiana and supporting energy equality legislation, hoping to raise Indiana’s prominence as a solar state. Currently, Indiana ranks 23rd in the United States for solar capacity.
One way the organization hopes to accomplish this is through national energy justice campaign “This is Us,” which aims to educate Hoosiers about solar and make it more accessible to African Americans.
The full article from the Energy News Network, which looks in-depth at the NAACP’s environmental initiatives, is available here.