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Energizing Indiana on the ropes

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COURTESY OF HOOSIER ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL
  • Courtesy of Hoosier Environmental Council


The local NAACP chapter is one of many local nonprofit watchdogs to join several industry groups in asking Gov. Mike Pence to veto Senate Bill 340, which would kill Indiana's statewide energy efficiency program.

The Calumet Project of Hammond is one effort that benefits from Energizing Indiana, wrote Carlotta Blake-King, a community organizer in northwestern Indiana, in a letter of support. While promoting the environmental benefits of greater energy efficiency, the program helps seniors and others on fixed incomes to lower their utility bills, she noted. Johnson Controls, Honeywell, Siemens, Ingersoll Rand and United Technologies have also written in opposition to the bill because they say it will kill jobs and economic development. In its analysis, the Hoosier Environmental Council said the legislation "takes away the best strategy that Indiana has in place to manage energy costs."

COURTESY OF HOOSIER ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL/PURDUE UNIVERSITY
  • Courtesy of Hoosier Environmental Council/Purdue University


Proponents argue they are looking for proof that the benefits of the program support the cost - but opponents contend that existing examples of the program's success have been ignored. For example, Indiana inched up to 27th from 31st on the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's annual energy efficiency scorecard between 2012 and 2013.

Now it remains for the governor to decide.

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