|Pro-Consumer Voting Percentage||80%||83%||100%||93%||88%|
Campaign Contributions from Utility,
Coal, Oil, and Railroad Corporations
2010 Campaign Contributions accepted from Utility, Coal, Oil and Railroad Corporations: $600
Pro-Consumer Percentage: 93%
The following is a synopsis of how the Representative voted in the 2011 General Assembly on the bills that CAC was tracking. We consider that 80% is a passing grade for the legislators, meaning that if their "Pro-Consumer Voting Percentage" is 80% or above, they are working to protect consumers in the State House. If their percentage is below 80%, they are not working to protect consumers.
SB 251: This bill was the mother lode for the utilities this year. It does the following:
Rep. Fry's Vote on SB 251: 10 votes - 9 Pro-Consumer, 1 Anti-Consumer
HB 1128: This bill was essentially the same as SB 251, except that it did not include the eminent domain.
Rep. Fry's Vote on SB 1128: 2 votes - both Pro-Consumer
SB 71: This bill will essentially open the State of Indiana to hydrofracking (hydraulic fracturing) coal seams for the purpose of extracting coal bed methane, with no requirement that the operators of these wells comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act or even allow the public to comment on the permits or know the location of where these operations will take place.
Rep. Fry's Vote on SB 71: Pro-Consumer
SB 66: This bill amends the definition of "renewable energy resources" in utilities law to add low temperature, oxygen starved gasification of municipal solid waste (burning trash to make electricity).
Rep. Fry's Vote on SB 66: Pro-Consumer
2008 Campaign Contributions accepted from Utility, Coal, Oil and Railroad Corporations: $550
Pro-Consumer Percentage: 100%
The following is a synopsis of how the Senator voted in the 2010 General Assembly on the bills that CAC was tracking. We consider that 80% is a passing grade for the legislators, meaning that if their “Pro-Consumer Voting Percentage” is 80% or above, they are working to protect consumers in the State House. If their percentage is below 80%, they are not working to protect consumers.
SB 313: Net Metering
SB 313 would expand eligible net metering customer classes to allow individuals, businesses, commercial industries, and universities to interconnect to the grid and generate their own power. SB 313 would not set a limit on the size of the system a customer could install, unless you are a residential customer or K-12 schools, in which case you remain captive to the current rule. This bill encourages renewable energy production, energy independence, and customer owned generation.
Rep. Fry’s Vote on SB 313: Pro-Consumer
HB 1063: Energy Efficient Buildings
HB 1063 requires a government building to be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained to achieve or exceed the level of energy efficiency required under certain rating systems. Buildings represent 39% of the energy, 72% of the electricity, and 55% of the natural gas in the U.S. annually. The benefits of green building are a significant cost savings for Indiana taxpayers, improved worker health and productivity, improved public and environmental health, and a huge reduction in CO2 emissions.
Rep. Fry’s Vote on HB 1063: Pro-Consumer
HB 1094 : Net Metering
Currently, net metering is limited to only 10 kilowatts, and only to residential customers and K-12 schools. Authored by Rep. Ryan Dvorak (D, South Bend) this bill would expand eligible customers classes to allow individuals, businesses, commercial industries, and universities to generate their own electricity. The utility would also be required to add a credit to the customer's bill for any surplus power that is generated. This bill encourages renewable energy production, energy independence. and customer owned generation.
Rep. Fry’s Vote on HB 1094: Pro-Consumer
2008 Campaign Contributions accepted from Utility, Coal, Oil, and Railroad Corporations: $550
Pro-Consumer Percentage: 83%
The following is a synopsis of how the Representative voted in the 2009 General Assembly on the bills that CAC was tracking. We consider that 80% is a passing grade for the legislators, meaning that if their “Pro-Consumer Voting Percentage” is 80% or above, they are working to protect consumers in the State House. If their percentage is below 80%, they are not working to protect consumers.
HB 1080: Sales tax exemption for home energy assistance
Status: Died in the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee
HB 1080 would have made the sales tax exemption for low-income home energy assistance permanent. The exemption is set to expire on July 1, 2009. Households that receive home energy assistance live at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. The federal poverty level for a family of 4 is currently set at $22,050. These families receive these dollars out of need. Poor families struggle daily to provide food, shelter, clothing, and health care for themselves and family members. This daily struggle to survive is exacerbated in the winter time, as their energy costs significantly increase, trying to keep their family warm. Adding additional expense by taxing these assistance dollars is inhumane and wrong. It should also be noted that LIHEAP dollars come from the Federal Government, or taxpayers. These funds are a result of tax dollars, and there is something fundamentally wrong and unethical about assessing a State tax on Federal tax dollars.
Rep. Fry's Vote on HB 1080: Excused
HB 1347: Net Metering
Status: Died in the Senate Utilities & Technology Committee
HB 1347 expanded Indiana’s net metering rule to allow any utility customer, including customers of cooperatives and municipals, to connect a renewable energy system with a capacity of 5 megawatts, up from the current law of 10 kilowatts. Current law also limits the program to residential and K-12 schools only. HB 1347 would have expanded the program to all customer classes.
Rep. Fry's Vote on HB 1347: Pro-Consumer
HB 1348: Energy conservation codes and standards
Status: Vetoed by the Governor
Authored by Rep. Ryan Dvorak (D, South Bend), and joined by co-authors Rep. Pierce and Rep. Bill Ruppel (R, N. Manchester), requires the Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission to adopt the most recent edition of the (1) International Energy Conservation Code as published by the International Code Council; or (2) American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, or Air-Conditioning Engineers Standard 90.1; for commercial structures before July 1, 2010.
Rep. Fry's Votes on HB 1348: 2 votes, both Pro-Consumer
HB 1352: The Climate Registry
Status: Died in the Senate Energy and Environmental Affairs Committee
HB 1352 would have required the state of Indiana to become a member of and participate in the Climate Registry concerning greenhouse gas emissions reporting and reduction. This bill would have ensured Indiana’s place at the table in developing policies related to carbon dioxide air emissions. Given Indiana’s disproportionate contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, Indiana’s participation in the Climate Registry is a key to acknowledging our shortcomings and facing our challenges for the betterment of generations to come. However thanks to the influence of special interests, Indiana continues to stand in the middle of the railroad tracks, waiting to be run over by the freight train known as climate legislation.
Rep. Fry's Vote on HB 1352: Pro-Consumer
HB 1360: Alternative energy incentives for REMCs
Status: Died in the Senate
Originally, HB 1360 intended to create an alternative energy fund for the REMCs. After the bill moved out of the House, it was assigned to the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy committee and became a vehicle for Sen. Hershman to do the bidding of the utilities. The bill moved out of committee by a vote of 10-1. However, when the bill was scheduled for 2nd reading on the Senate floor, 15 amendments were offered, most of which were offered by CAC and AT&T. The amendments muddied the waters so much, that the bill was not called down and died.
Rep. Fry's Vote on HB 1360: Anti-Consumer
HB 1415: Tax deduction for solar powered roof vents and fans
Status: Died in the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee
This bill provides an individual income tax deduction of up to $5,000 for the installation of solar-powered roof vents or fans. Solar attic fans have proven to save consumers $75-$150 per year on their energy bills. Not only do these fans save consumers money, they also reduce energy by lowering cooling and heating bills and by using the power of the sun to power the systems. These roof vents and fans will help mitigate climate change, by reducing the need to burn dirty, fossil fuels. Indiana is home to one of the largest manufacturers of these fans; therefore this bill will create new, green manufacturing jobs for our State. HB 1415 will help protect our environment, our health, save consumers money, and help to create new, green jobs.
Rep. Fry's Vote on HB 1415: Pro-Consumer
HB 1620: Energy Efficient Buildings
Status: Died in the Senate Energy and Environmental Affairs Committee
HB 1620 would have required certain government buildings be designed and constructed to achieve or exceed the level of energy efficiency required under certain rating systems. Opposition to this legislation is short sighted and is effectively a mandate on taxpayers to pay more for utilities, and fails to recognize the positive impact that green building design has on worker productivity and worker health. By failing to move this bill for a second year in a row, the Indiana Senate is costing the taxpayers of Indiana millions of dollars in unnecessary utility bills, ignoring the environmental impacts of fossil fuel emissions and pollution, and undermining the economy of our State.
Rep. Fry's Vote on HB 1620: Pro-Consumer
HB 1669: Geothermal conversion loans
Status: Effective 7-1-09
HB 1669 establishes the Geothermal Conversion Revolving Fund for the purpose of making loans to school corporations that: (1) install a geothermal heating and cooling system in a new facility; or (2) install a geothermal heating and cooling system that replaces a conventional heating and cooling system.
Rep. Fry's Votes on HB 1669: 2 votes, both Pro-Consumer
SB 300: Net Metering
Status: Died in Conference Committee
SB 300 expanded Indiana’s net metering rule to allow a customer of an investor owned utility to connect to the grid a renewable energy system with a capacity of 100 kW or less, up from the current law of only 10 kW. Current law also limits the program to residential and K-12 schools only. SB 300 would have expanded the program to all customer classes. Net metering is currently an administrative rule of the IURC; SB 300 would have codified net metering and put it into statute. The bill was written by the Indiana Energy Association, or the investor owned utilities.
Rep. Fry's Vote on SB 300: Pro-Consumer
SB 420: Renewable energy (Redefining “renewable energy” & Opening Indiana’s Door to Nuclear Power)
Status: Died in Conference Committee
This bill redefined “renewable energy” to include coal, amended Indiana’s terrible CWIP (construction work in progress) laws to include nuclear power plants (allowing the utilities to charge ratepayers for a nuclear power plant as it is being constructed, before it produces any electricity), and added trackers for the cost recovery of fees associated with siting, design, licensing, and permitting of the new generation facility even if the new facility is never built or placed in service.
Rep. Fry's Vote on SB 420: No Vote (Anti-Consumer)
SB 423: Substitute natural gas contracts
Status: Signed into law by Governor Daniels on 3-24-09
SB 423 permits the Indiana Finance Authority to enter into contracts for the purchase and sale of substitute natural gas (SNG) from coal gasification facilities to regulated energy utilities for delivery to retail end use customers. It also requires the authority to establish the Substitute Natural Gas Account to provide funding for SNG related business.
Rep. Fry's Vote on SB 423: Pro-Consumer
2006 Campaign Contributions accepted from Utility, Coal, Oil, and Railroad Corporations: $1,050
Pro-Consumer Percentage: 80%
The following is a synopsis of how the Representative voted in the 2008 General Assembly on the bills that CAC was tracking. We consider that 80% is a passing grade for the legislators, meaning that if their “Pro-Consumer Voting Percentage” is 80% or above, they are working to protect consumers in the State House. If their percentage is below 80%, they are not working to protect consumers.
SB 223 & HB 1117: Coal Gasification and Substitute Natural Gas
Status of SB 223: Signed into law by the Governor.
Status of HB 1117: Dead
SB 223 was authored by Senator Brandt Hershman (R, Monticello), with Senator Ryan Mishler (R, Bremen) as a second author and Senators Karen Tallian (D, Portage), John Waterman (R, Shelburn), and Dennis Kruse (R, Auburn) as co-authors. HB 1117 was authored by Representative Russell Stilwell (D, Boonville), with co-authors Reps. Eric Koch (R, Bedford), Kreg Battles (D, Vincennes), and Jack Lutz, (R, Anderson).
These bills contained identical language that allow an out-of-state venture capitalist firm (Leucadia) that seeks to build a coal gasification plant in Southern Indiana to assign tax credits to coal and substitute natural gas producers outside of Indiana. CAC opposed last year’s legislation, which paved the way for construction of this coal plant, as it locked natural gas suppliers, and hence ratepayers, into 30 year contracts for the substitute natural gas, whatever the price, that neither the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission or other governmental entity could subsequently change or even review. CAC raised concerns that it would also spew millions of new tons of CO2 into Indiana’s atmosphere each year.
Promises made last year to garner support for the coal plant – that it would use Indiana coal and produce substitute natural gas in Indiana – were removed in SB 223 in a classic “bait & switch” scheme designed to secure financing regardless of the negative impact to Indiana ratepayers or the economic best interests of the state.
Rep. Fry's Vote on SB 223: Pro-Consumer
Rep. Fry's Vote on HB 1117: No Vote (Anti-Consumer)
HB 1102: State Renewable Electricity Standard (RES)
Authored by Representative Dave Crooks (Washington), HB 1102 was designed to jumpstart a renewable energy market in Indiana by establishing a statewide Renewable Electricity Standard. Over fifty percent the states in the country now have an RES. Most wind development, for instance, is in those states. Indiana has enormous wind potential but the legislation failed in committee due to a bipartisan effort among Republicans and Democrats alike to support the utility and coal industries against the greater interests of ratepayers and economy of Indiana. An RES mandates utility companies to provide a certain percent of their electric generation using renewable energy resources. HB 1102 envisioned 10% renewables by 2018, giving utilities leeway if compliance proved to be unachievable, which, given the experience in other states, would be next to impossible. In addition, studies in Indiana and across the nation demonstrate that the rate impacts of RES’ are minimal, at most 5% but usually 1 to 2 percent over the designated time periods. However, the economic gains in terms of investment and job growth are enormous.
Rep. Fry's Vote on HB 1102: Not on the Committee
HB 1090: Climate Registry
HB 1090 would have required Indiana to become a member of the Climate Registry, a collaboration between states (39 have joined), Canadian provinces and tribes to develop and manage a common greenhouse gas emissions reporting system in anticipation of future mandatory reduction policies. Authored by Representative Ryan Dvorak (D, South Bend), HB 1090 would have ensured Indiana’s place at the table in developing policies related to CO2 air emissions. Given Indiana’s disproportionate contribution to greenhouse gas emissions (1st in the nation in per person CO2 air emissions and 5th in CO2 air emissions from coal-fired power plants overall), Indiana’s participation in the Climate Registry is key to acknowledging our shortcomings and facing our challenges for the betterment of generations to come.
Rep. Fry's Vote on HB 1090: Pro-Consumer
HB 1280: Green Building Standards
Status: Passed to a Summer Study Committee
Authored by Rep. Matt Pierce (D, Bloomington), and joined by co-authors Terri Austin (D, Anderson) and Greg Porter (D, Indianapolis), as introduced HB 1280 would have required large, state, educational, and local public works building projects (other than public schools) – those that are newly constructed, as well as those subject to repair or alteration – to be designed with the goal of achieving the silver rating under the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, the Green Globes Two Globes level or an equivalent rating system accredited by the American National Standards Institute. These systems rate buildings based on the sustainability of the site, the materials and other resources, water and energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design.
Rep. Fry's Votes on HB 1280: 2 votes - both Pro-Consumer
These are the issues of immediate importance we are working on right now.