2011 Indiana General Assembly - Dead Good Bills
This bill would allow us to elect the Indiana Utility Regulatory commissioners. Right now, all five of these commissioners are appointed by the governor, with no confirmation process. Indiana is one of only three states that does this. Thirteen states elect their commissioners, and the other thirty four states have the governors appoint the commissioners with one or both bodies of the legislature confirming the appointees.
Hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking) is a new and very controversial method being used to drill for natural gas. This bill would require those who want to hydrofrack in Indiana to disclose to the chemicals they use, as many of the chemicals used are highly toxic and carcinogenic. It would also require those operators to submit a plan that will show the effect that that the hydrofracking would have on the land and water of Indiana. It would also require those operators to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). One of the primary issues is that hydrofracking is currently exempt from the SDWA and the Clean Water Act, and those operators also are not required to disclose the million gallons of toxic chemicals they are using. This bill would eliminate many of the concerns with hydrofracking.
This is yet another chapter in the almost decade long struggle to improve Indiana’s dreadfully inadequate net metering rules. The IURC has promulgated a new net metering rule, but it is not in effect yet; and many believe, may not be put in place. Rep. Dvorak has been the champion of this cause and has expressed little confidence in the Commission’s promise to make improvements. The likelihood of this bill getting a hearing is slim.