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Historic Renewable Energy Bill Voted Down, Ignoring Extraordinary Benefits to the State

Today, the Indiana House Utilities committee took a historic vote on House Bill 1102, a bill that would require electric utilities to obtain 10% of its power from renewable resources by 2018.

The bill sponsored by Chairman David Crooks (D-Washington), and co-authored by Rep. John Ulmer (R-Goshen) represented the first time in the Indiana legislature that a renewable bill without coal or coal waste had been offered for a vote in committee.

While HB 1102 did not pass, it makes a clear distinction between those who vigorously support strong policy to promote renewable energy and economic development, and those who would forgo billions in investment and improved air quality.

The bill was strongly backed by the Indiana Coalition for Renewable Energy and Economic Development (ICREED), a diverse group of renewable energy businesses, and clean energy, consumer, environmental and public health organizations. ICREED members commend Representative Crooks and the other committee members who supported the legislation for their leadership in pursuing a foresighted policy for Indiana.

Citing a recent Indianapolis Star poll which asked “Do you support a measure to require Indiana to generate 10% of its power from wind, solar and other renewable sources by 2018,” seventy three percent responded yes.

Grant Smith, Executive Director for the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, a member of ICREED said “Chairman Crooks along with the other committee members who supported this effort recognize the significant liability Indiana faces with future carbon regulation, and they recognize that an RES is the best policy approach to attracting new investment and creating jobs in the emerging renewable energy sector. This was the first true test of were committee members stand and leaves those who voted against the RES clearly at odds with public opinion on the issue.”

Indiana is 95% dependent on coal and faces huge rate increase with coming carbon regulation. An RES would diversify the energy mix and could help to mitigate the future rate impacts from our heavy dependence on coal fired power.

Jesse Kharbanda, Executive Director of the Hoosier Environmental Council and a member of ICREED said “Today was a golden opportunity for Indiana to send a strong signal to investors outside of Indiana, and to budding entrepreneur’s in-state that Indiana is open for a new type of business, a business that anticipates the dramatically different energy future ahead. Sadly that welcome message was not sent, and that is a missed opportunity for our state’s environment and our economy. We intend to let the public know how these legislators voted on this critical bill.”

Voting in favor of the RES were Representatives Dave Crooks, (D-Washington), Ryan Dvorak (D-South Bend), and Sandra Blanton (D-Orleans).

Voting against were Representatives Dan Stevenson, (D-Highland), Chet Dobis, (D-Merrillville), Kreg Battles, (D-Vincennes), Jack Lutz, (R-Anderson), Tim Neese, (R-Elkhart), Edmond Soliday, (R-Valparaiso), Bob Behning, (R-Indianapolis), and Dave Frizzel, (R-Indianapolis).

Rep. Paul Robertson, (D-DePauw) was absent.


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