Edward Smith, email@example.com
Kansas City, MO – After three years, Ameren Missouri and Evergy have regressed in their plans to move from coal and gas to clean energy, while Associated Electric Cooperatives Incorporated (AECI) maintained the worst possible score. This assessment comes from the Sierra Club’s updated The Dirty Truth About Utility Climate Pledges report.
According to the updated report, Evergy’s score went from 18 out of 100 (D) to 9 out of 100 (F), Ameren Missouri’s score lowered from 32 out of 100 (D) to 31 out of 100 (D), meanwhile AECI saw its score remain at 0 out of 100 (F). Ameren’s score would be around 26 out of 100 (D) taking into consideration its new energy plan released two weeks ago, after the data for this report was collected. Evergy’s score decreased because of its plan to add more fossil fuels while reducing investments in clean energy before the end of the decade.
The Sierra Club assigned utilities scores based on their plans in three areas: 1) commitments to retire coal by 2030, 2) plans to build gas through 2030, and 3) plans to build or purchase clean energy by 2030. The score is on a scale of 0 to 100, with a utility earning points by committing to retire coal and adding clean energy and losing points by adding new gas. The inaugural Dirty Truth About Utility Climate Pledges report was released in January 2021.
Justification for utility scores include:
Ameren Missouri was profiled as a case study in this year’s Dirty Truth report; however, its plans to build a new gas-burning plant in 2028 was not considered in this report, which will likely see Ameren’s score go down next year. Of the 55 parent companies evaluated in the report, Ameren ranks as the 9th most coal-dependent utility in the country by 2030.
AECI’s score remained a 0 out of 100, but if it had a score higher than the lowest score possible, it would have decreased since the cooperative announced plans to add 900 megawatts of gas-burning power before the end of 2030. Of the 55 parent companies evaluated in the report, AECI ranks as the 12th most coal-dependent utility in the country by 2030.
Evergy’s score plummeted because the utility announced plans to build more than one gigawatt of new gas-burning power plants before the end of 2030 while reducing its investment in wind and solar by the end of the decade. Evergy’s score remains low because it plans on burning a massive amount of coal at its Iatan II power plant into the 2040s. Of the 55 parent companies evaluated in the report, Evergy ranks as the 6th most coal-dependent utility in the country by 2030.
Statement from Gretchen Waddell Barwick, Chapter Director of the Missouri Sierra Club:
“As Missouri farmers pray for rain to combat the worst drought Missouri has experienced since the Dust Bowl, utility executives at Ameren, AECI, and Evergy could fight climate change by accelerating their shift from coal and gas to clean energy. It’s maddening to see Missouri utilities regress when the Inflation Reduction Act offers incredible incentives to invest in clean energy and storage. The current plans of every single one of our major utilities are inadequate at best when it comes to meaningful climate action. Together, Missourians can work together to move our utilities toward energy investments that will help our farmers, not set them up for future failure as the droughts we experience today continue to worsen.”
Statement from Ty Gorman, Kansas Field Organizer for Sierra Club:
“Evergy’s CEO, David Campbell, doesn't have to look any further than the Public Service Company of Oklahoma, which received an A+ on our scorecard the last two years. The Oklahoma utility is showing that it’s possible to retire coal plants before 2030, expand renewable energy investments without major new gas infrastructure, and save customers money using the Inflation Reduction Act. Knowing a clean energy transition is possible and that it’s happening in Oklahoma makes it even more frustrating that Evergy is prolonging the life of its Lawrence coal plant while deferring investments in renewable energy while prioritizing investments in a new gas-burning power plant. It’s technically and financially achievable for Evergy to be powered by clean energy; it’s up to David Campbell to make it happen.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.