« Ind. Gov't. - "What’s a new hospital worth? In Porter County, it’s debatable" | Main | Ind. Gov't. - "Legislature rejecting Pence's wish list" »

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Environment - "Bill would eliminate Daniels’ clean-energy program"

From John Russell's IndyStar story last evening:

Indiana’s flagship clean-energy program, launched by then-Gov. Mitch Daniels and hailed by environmentalists as a way to cut costs and clean the air, would be scrapped at the end of the year under a last-minute amendment passed Tuesday by the House of Representatives.

The House voted 66-30 to shut down the program that requires all electricity customers to pay a monthly fee to promote energy-efficiency programs.

Since 2012, the state has used the funds to conduct energy audits and weatherization programs and to provide energy-saving light bulbs and other ­energy-saving programs.

The measure also would prohibit the state from forcing utilities to meet efficiency goals. The program had been set up to produce energy savings of 2 percent by 2019, cut air pollution and reduce the need to build addi­tional power plants.

Environmentalists said the program saved enough energy each year to power 64,000 homes. But some critics said the program amounted to ­executive overreach, ­because the legislature never approved it or got a chance to set up any reviews. They said it costs $2 to $3 a month for the average homeowner and much more for factories and other big users.

Rep. Heath VanNatter, R-Kokomo, introduced a wide-ranging amendment that would do away with the program. He ­attached it to a less sweeping energy bill that would have exempted utilities and other big ­users from paying the monthly fees.

The bill is SB 340.

ILB: I've highlighted the claim of "executive overreach." The story also notes that the program was set up by the IURC in 2009. Apparently it has taken 5 years for the General Assembly to object to the "overreach." Daniels joins President Obama, who has been attacked by these buzzwords, "executive overreach" and "regulatory overreach", since the State of the Union.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 26, 2014 09:38 AM
Posted to Environment