Events
Vote NO on SB309 Anti-Solar Bill
2017 Legislative Session
SB 309 - Distributed Generation - anti-solar bill
Bill Origin: SB 309 was written by the Utility Lobby, the Indiana Energy Association
Author: SB 309 is being carried by Sen. Brandt Hershman (R)
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Generating your own solar power is key to building a more sustainable community for a variety of reasons including energy freedom, energy choice, energy independence and being self-sufficient.

Homeowners, businesses, schools, congregations, and governments have the right to harvest the sunshine on their own property and get fair credit for excess energy contributed to the grid. That's what Net Metering does and 43 states have it, including Indiana. However, the Indiana Utility lobby (IEA) is pushing hard to kill Net Metering in Indiana.

SB309, as amended in the House and Senate, would end Net Metering making solar unaffordable for most Hoosiers and killing Indiana's emerging solar sector and the jobs that go with it.

This bill is fundamentally about who owns the economic benefits of free energy from the sun.  Sure, legislators have added a few amendments to grandfather the few existing solar customers and exempt municipal and rural co-operative electric utilities.

But even with these amendments, SB309 ends Net Metering and effectively shifts the economic benefits of free solar energy away from the free market and gives it exclusively to the monopoly utilities.

And, despite receiving lots of calls, emails and testimony from angry constituents opposing SB309, almost every Republican senator voted for this bill.  Why would conservative legislators support a bill that protects monopolies and violates free market principles?

The utility lobby falsely claims that solar customers do not pay their fair share to support the grid and are subsidized by non-solar customer, but have NEVER shown any evidence to support this claim. Why aren't legislators asking for this evidence?

Solar customers have testified that not only did they invest their own money to generate their own electricity, they pay the same fees to support the grid like everyone else on their electric bill.

To resolve these complex regulatory issues, the pros and cons of Net Metering should be studied and analyzed by the experts at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission - as other states have done.  It should NOT be determined by legislators who receive campaign contributions from the Utility lobby.  If the utilities had evidence to prove their claim, the IURC may revise or repeal the existing net metering rule accordingly.  However, the fact that Utilities are seeking to end Net Metering through the General Assembly, instead of the IURC, suggests that they do NOT have the evidence to support their false claim of an unjust subsidy.

The cost of solar panels continue to drop making this renewable energy technology an economic opportunity similar to innovations such as cell phones and personal computers which have transformed the world.  Net Metering protects the free market for Indiana to take full advantage of this economic opportunity and remain competitive with other states.  Instead, as the price of solar and battery storage decrease, this bill would encourage solar customers to defect from the grid instead of remaining connected to the grid where they can provide benefits, including low cost electricity during summer peak periods, upgrade deferrals and congestion relief.

Help defend your solar rights to keep net metering for fair credit.

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ANTI-SOLAR BILL IS UP FOR COMMITTEE VOTE
2/21/17 -  SB 309 is scheduled for a vote on March 29 in the House Utilities, Energy & Telecommunications Committee.  Even as amended, SB309 would end Net Metering making solar unaffordable for most Hoosiers and killing Indiana's emerging solar sector and the jobs that go with it.

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ANTI-SOLAR BILL AMENDED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE
3/22/17 -  SB 309 was heard for over 6 hours on March 22nd by the House Utilities, Energy & Telecommunications Committee in the House Chambers (see video archive).  Like the Senate hearing last month, there was a huge turnout against SB309 to protect solar rights, including Barry Goldwater, Jr.  Many more people opposed the bill than supported it.

The bill was amended  in committee to:
  • Extend the grandfathering deadline for installing solar power from July 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017.  Customers with solar systems installed before the deadline would be grandfathered until 2047.
  • Allow the grandfathering process and the associated Net Metering agreement to be transferred to the property in the case of sale of the solar property.
  • Have public school corporations considered for interim summer study.

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BILL PASSES OUT OF SENATE AND SENATE UTILITIES COMMITEE
2/27/17 -  SB 309 passed out of the Senate Utilities Committee with an 8-2 vote and cleared the Senate with a 39-9 vote.

Despite receiving lots of calls, emails and testimony from angry constituents opposing SB309, almost every Republican senator voted for this bill.  Senator John Ruckelshaus was the only Hamilton County Republican to vote against the bill.  Unfortunately, Hamilton County Senators Delph, Kenley, Merritt and Buck all voted for SB309.  Why would conservative legislators support a bill that protects monopolies, violates free market principles and would kill the Indiana solar industry?

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ANTI-SOLAR BILL AMENDED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
2/9/17 -  SB309, was heard in Senate Utilities Committee in over 4 hours of testimony (see video archive).  There was a large turnout to protect solar rights.  Many more people spoke against the bill than supported it.  The most salient point made by the opposition is that the Utilities have never ever provided any data to support their claim that net metering is a subsidy.  Over and over again opponents testified that they are in fact paying all the same fees everyone else pays to support the grid.  Over and over again experts testified that studies done in other states have shown that excess solar energy provides a net benefit to the grid that is actually worth more than the net metering retail rate -- solar is NOT a subsidy.  The bill was amended to get rid of the outrageous Buy All-Sell All provision, but it still eliminates Net Metering.

The bill was amended to:

  • Remove the Buy All - Sell All provision
  • End Net Metering in 2022, instead of 2027 in the original bill.
  • Sets compensation for excess solar energy at 1.25 times wholesale rates, about 30% of retail. This delays the return on investment for rooftop solar, from about 10 years at retail rate, to 20-25 years, and will discourage most homeowners, businesses, schools, churches and governments from investing in solar.  The original bill was set for 1 times wholesale.
  • Grandfather existing solar customers, however it is not transferrable in case of death or sale of property.  Customers with solar systems before July 2017 would be grandfathered until 2047.  Customers with systems installed after July 2017 and before July 2022 would be grandfathered until 2032.  No Net Metering after 2022.   The original bill did not grandfather any customers.
  • Increase the cap to 1.5% of peak summer load, and sets aside 15% of the cap for agriculture and 40% for residential.  The current Net Metering rule has a 1% cap with no set asides. But as you can see, we are nowhere close to the 1% cap, and it's highly unlikely we would reach the 1.5% cap by 2022 when NM ends.  They could have increased the cap to 20% and it wouldn't have made a difference.   The original bill did not change the cap.

Utility                               Installed as of 2016           Current NM Cap
Indiana Michigan Power............0.02 %...........................1.00 %
IPL.............................................0.06 %...........................1.00 % 
NIPSCO.....................................0.08 %...........................1.00 % 
Duke Energy..............................0.10 %...........................1.00 % 
Vectren.......................................0.11 %...........................1.00 %

 


ANTI-SOLAR BILL INTRODUCED

2/2/17 -  The utility lobby has introduced a bill to kill the rooftop solar industry in Indiana again this session.  SB309 would permenantly ban Net Metering and replace it with Buy All-Sell All This bill tramples on Energy Freedom, infringes on your private property rights, and violates fundamental free market principles. They want to kill the competition by doing away with the net metering rule.  Without a fair net metering rule, solar is less affordable.  Attacks on solar are happening all over the country. Click here to see the IEA's unsuccessful attack on rooftop solar in 2015. SB 309 is much more extreme, please see Key Facts below.

 

WHAT'S NEXT?
SB 309 is scheduled for a vote on Wednesday, March 29 in the House Utilities, Energy & Telecommunications Committee.  Please urge your state representative to vote NO on SB309.

 

TAKE ACTION NOW!
1) Please take a minute to urge your state representative to tell Rep. Dave Ober, chair of the House Utilities, Energy & Telecommunications Committee to not move SB 309 forward when he hears the bill.  You might want to copy Representative Dave Ober, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

2) Click here to find your State Senator

3) You can also click here and scroll down to see listing of Hamilton County State Representatives and Senators

4) SB 309 violates free market principles and tramples on Energy Freedom and Choice. SB309 would make solar power prohibitively expensive for Hoosiers, and squash Indiana's growing free market solar industry.   Let them know why this is important to you and be sure to include your name and address. Click here for additional information.

 

KEY FACTS ABOUT SB309 AS AMENDED

  1. SB 309 was amended to ban Net Metering in 2022, instead of 2027 in the original bill.  Net Metering makes investment in solar technology affordable for Hoosiers.  Solar systems installed after July 1, 2022 would be prohibited from Net Metering. They would not be allowed to received retail-price credit for excess solar energy contributed to the grid, and would instead receive only 1.25 times the wholesale rate.  This delays the return on investment from about 10 years to about 20-25 years, making it very difficult for the average homeowner, business, school, church or government to invest in solar technology.   

    The bill was also amended in the Senate Utilities Committee to grandfather solar systems installed prior to July 1, 1017. These existing solar customers would receive retail credit for excess solar energy until 2047.  In addition, systems installed between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2022 would be allowed to Net Meter until 2032.
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    The House Utilities Committee further amended the bill to extend the grandfathering deadline for installing solar power from July 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017.  Customers with solar systems installed before the deadline would be grandfathered until 2047.  The House committee also amended the bill to allow the grandfathering process and the associated Net Metering agreement to be transferred to the property in the case of sale of the solar property.
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  2. .The bill mandates Buy-All, Sell-All which prohibits solar owners from using any of their own solar power, requiring them instead to "Buy-All" the electricity they use from their Utility and  "Sell-All" by delivering 100% of their solar power to the grid.  Solar owners would be prohibited from receiving the benefit of their own private investment in solar technology on their own private property. No other state has mandatory Buy All-Sell All. The Buy All-Sell All provision was removed in the amended bill.
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  3. The bill goes on to dictate what utilities would pay for your solar power.  In a move that goes around IURC's rate-making authority and process, this bill mandates the IURC to fix the compensation rate at the Utility's avoided costs/wholesale rate, far below fair market value that grossly undervalues the benefits local generation provides to the grid. Read this report on the value of solar.   But wait, the utilities wrote the bill, so really the utilities are dictating to themselves, that by law they'll only pay you wholesale for your solar. The amended bill increased the compensation rate to 1.25 times Utility's average marginal price/wholesale rate, roughly 4 cents per KWhr.
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  4. SB 309 profoundly violates free market principles. It enshrines into law that Utilities are authorized to profit from your private solar investment by paying you wholesale rates, about 2-4 cents, and turning around and selling to your neighbor at full retail rates, about 11-16 cents per kilowatt-hour.  It's like telling farmers, they can grow corn, but they have to sell it all at pre-fixed, below market rates, and must buy any corn they use at full retail rate, while the utility sells your corn to your neighbor at full retail price.  SB309 authorizes the Utility in effect to confiscate your private property, profit from your private investment in solar without fair compensation. Taking a broader view, mandatory Buy All - Sell All and price the fixing below fair market value might violate the 5th amendment of the US Constitution: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
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  5. So what's in Indiana's best interest? Indiana needs to diversify its energy portfolio which includes supporting clean energy and clean energy jobs!  But, SB309 would make home-grown clean energy unaffordable and kill Indiana's emerging rooftop solar sector and jobs.  In a recent IBJ article, "Employment in the U.S. solar business last year grew 12 times faster than overall job creation... Indiana is home to more than 72 solar companies employing 1,567 people who design, engineer, install and repair solar panels."  But SB309 would eviscerate these jobs along with expected growth in the solar sector. Case in point, new residential solar installations plunged 92% in Nevada after drastically curtailing its net-metering policy, prompting Solar City, Sunrun, and Vivint Solar—the state’s three largest providers of rooftop panels—to leave the Nevada market entirely. Indiana lawmakers might as well hang a banner on the statehouse saying "Solar Jobs Not Wanted in Indiana."
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  6. Why are Utilities lobbying for changes that would kill rooftop solar in Indiana when there's no problem to fix. Let's get real! The current Net Metering Rule already protects Utilities by limiting the number of customer-owned generation to a measly cap of 1% of Summer Peak Load. Other states have higher caps.  According to the IBJ article, Indiana utilities are nowhere close to their cap.

    Utility Installed... Cap
    Indiana Michigan Power............
    IPL.............................................
    NIPSCO.....................................
    Duke Energy..............................
    Vectren .......................................
    0.02 %
    0.06 %
    0.08 %
    0.10 %
    0.11 %
    1.00 %
    1.00 %
    1.00 %
    1.00 %
    1.00 %
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  7. Net Metering should be handled at the IURC, NOT the Statehouse. While it's true that the increase in solar raises tricky issues for Utilities, why rush disruptive changes through the statehouse?  The IURC is the state body that has the expertise, resources and time to examine complicated ratemaking issues (like net metering and distributed generation), and it's their job to do so on behalf of the public interest.  The IURC process for setting utility rates requires the utility to file a case and provide evidence which can be reviewed and refuted if necessary by stakeholders and intervening parties in a public hearing.  This process, which places the burden of proof on the Utility, was created in exchange for granting monopoly service territories to Utilities in order to protect the public against monopoly abuse.  But, SB 309 undermines the IURC's authority and undercuts the entire regulatory process which exists to protect Hoosiers.  There is no burden of proof at the statehouse, and it's not the right place for setting policy for regulated Utilities.
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  8. Rooftop Solar Provides More Benefits than Costs to the Grid Indiana utilities have claimed that net metering amounts to a subsidy and results in a cost shift to non-solar ratepayers.  However, they have never shown any evidence or data to support this claim.  In fact, states that have analyzed the costs and benefits of solar have found the opposite to be the case.  Many studies show that solar owners provide more benefits than costs to the grid.
    • Solar owners produce power at the most expensive time of day, during periods of peak demand. This reduces the need to purchase expensive electricity at peak times which reduces the cost for all ratepayers.
    • Producing power during peak demand also benefits the grid by avoiding or postponing the need for infrastructure investments, like a new power plant to handle peak loads. This benefits all ratepayers. For examples, PG&E (a California utility) was able to cancel 13 grid upgrade projects due to solar reducing peak load on the system, saving ratepayers $292M, IIRC.
    • When solar power is delivered to the local distribution grid, the nearest transformer passes it along to the nearest neighbors who enjoy using clean energy generated by the solar owner at their personal expense.  The neighbor does not pay extra for clean energy, and just pays the electric company at the normal retail rate.
    • Because distributed solar power is generated and consumed locally, solar owners reduce the load on transmission and distribution lines, which reduces the cost of the grid for all ratepayers.  Distributed solar offsets the extra electricity that the Utility's remote, centralized power plant would have had to produce due to electricity losses during transmission over power lines.
    • In addition to all of these benefits to the grid and ratepayers, by making a private investment in rooftop solar, solar owners are actually paying more than their fair share to support the grid.
    • Net metering is a billing arrangement between a solar customer and their utility.  When the solar panels produce more electricity than is needed, the excess electricity is delivered to the local distribution grid causing the meter to run backwards.  The solar customer pays the net difference between the energy that was used minus the energy that was delivered to the local grid. It amounts to an even exchange of energy.  Net metered customers do not get any special breaks, just like everyone else, they pay the full retail rate for the electricity they use from the grid, along with monthly customer charges, which cover the costs of overhead such as billing and meter-reading and do not receive any type of payment for energy delivered to the grid.  In effect, net metered customers are credited or compensated at retail rates for the energy and benefits they provide to the grid. Some studies have shown that distributed solar generation is worth more than retail and that net metering actually undervalues the benefits provided to the grid.

 

Comparison of versions of the bill

Original Bill

Senate Version

House Version

Bans Net Metering in 2027

Bans NM in 2022

Same as Senate

No grandfather provision.

Grandfathers solar systems installed prior to July 1, 1017. These existing solar customers would receive NM retail credit for excess solar energy until 2047.

Extends the grandfathering deadline for installing solar power from July 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017.  Customers with solar systems installed before the deadline would be grandfathered until 2047.

 

 

Allows the grandfathering process and the associated Net Metering agreement to be transferred to the property in the case of sale of the solar property.

 

Systems installed between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2022 would be allowed to Net Meter until 2032

Same as Senate

Mandates Buy-All, Sell-All which prohibits solar owners from using any of their own solar power, requiring them instead to "Buy-All" the electricity they use from their Utility and  "Sell-All" by delivering 100% of their solar power to the grid.  Solar owners would be prohibited from receiving the benefit of their own private investment in solar technology on their own private property. No other state has mandatory Buy All-Sell All.

Removes Buy All-Sell All provision.

Same as Senate

Dictates what utilities would pay for your solar power.  In a move that goes around IURC's rate-making authority and process, this bill mandates the IURC to fix the compensation rate at the Utility's avoided costs/wholesale rate, roughly 3 cents per KWhr, far below fair market value that grossly undervalues the benefits local generation provides to the grid. Read this report on the value of solar

Sets the compensation rate for excess solar to 1.25 times Utility's average marginal price/wholesale rate, roughly 4 cents per KWhr, still far below the fair market value of distributed generation.

Same as Senate

 
Sustainable Living Seminar-Climate Change in Indiana

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Carmel Clay Public Library
55 4th Avenue Southeast, Carmel, IN 46032

PCCRC_infographic_Indiana

Our climate shapes our lives. The ways we build our roads, manage our farms, move our water, and use our energy are all influenced by our unique Indiana climate. But our climate has been changing, and it will continue changing in ways that will affect our productivity, our safety, and our livelihoods.

Experts from around the state, led by the Purdue Climate Change Research Center, have come together to synthesize the best available science on climate change impacts into a series of reports that discuss how a changing climate will affect state and local interests.

Key topics include public health, water resources, agriculture, infrastructure and more. A guest speaker from the Purdue Climate Change Research Center will highlight their key findings and what climate change means for Indiana. Come find out the top challenges facing Hoosiers and what, if any, opportunities might arise in these changing times.

 

 

 

 
2016 Mass Transit

Carmel Green Initiative continues to work with a broad coalition of municipalities, businesses and organizations in support of a regional mass transit system for Central Indiana.

Mass transit is necessary for achieving a more sustainable region as well as addressing a wide range of economic development and quality of life issues.  Central Indiana needs more energy efficient transportation options to retain young professionals and compete with peer communities for new businesses and jobs.

A 2013 Inside Indiana Business poll showed that mass transit is considered to be the #1 missing infrastructure by a significant margin.  What is missing from downtown Indianapolis?

More mass transit                           62.42%
More retail/restaurants                    17.88%
More housing                                   9.09%
More school options                         5.76%
More hotels                                      4.85%
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In 2014, the Indiana legislature passed a bill to give local citizens in Central Indiana the opportunity to have a vote on local funding of mass transit for their region. In order to put it on the ballot, the referendum must be approved by local county or township officials.
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  • Learn more about the regional mass transit at Indy Connect.
  • The IndyGO Marion County Transit Plan includes extended service hours, shorter wait times, and the creation of three rapid-transit bus lines.
  • The proposed Red Line is a rapid-transit bus line that would eventually run from Westfield to Greenwood.
  • The first phase of the Red Line runs from 66th Street in Broad Ripple to the University of Indianapolis, and is expected to cost $96 million to build, with $75 million coming from a federal grant.  Construction is expected to start in spring 2017, with routes open for service in fall 2018.    The annual operating funds are expected to be $6 million and would be covered through dedicated funding.
  • The funding rate is 0.25%.  That is 25 cents per $100.  Take the income x 0.0025 to get your personal  amount.
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2016 Referendum
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Marion County

 

Clay Township, Hamilton County
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Do you favor mass transit? Button_MassTransit_do_you_supportYour input will be shared with Indiana state legislators.
This  video elaborates on the benefits of mass transit for the central Indiana region.
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Sustainable Living Seminar - Climatology Meets Foreign Policy

 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017             Filippelli_high_res_head_shot
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Carmel Clay Public Library
55 4th Avenue Southeast, Carmel, IN 46032

 

RSVP

Climatology Meets Foreign Policy:  One Hoosier’s Perspective on International Climate Action in the State Department

IUPUI climate scientist, Gabe Filippelli spent the 2013-14 academic year in Washington, DC as a Jefferson Science Fellow, where he served as a Senior Science Advisor at the State Department, working at the intersection of science and foreign policy.  Serving in the Department’s Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs, Filippelli had an unusual first-hand perspective on the creation of policy on global environmental issues, climate change, and international science cooperation.  He worked on a number of climate policy issues for the State Department, including drafting the first unequivocal statement from the U.S. on the severity of climate change in the Antarctic region and the need to develop monitoring systems to understand environmental vulnerabilities, as well as the first legally-binding agreement for science cooperation among Arctic nations.

Dori Chandler, Indianapolis Coordinator of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, will also be talking about the similarities and differences between the Carbon Dividends plan presented by conservative leaders in congress to the Trump administration and the Citizen’s Climate Lobby Carbon Fee and Dividend plan.  Read about a revenue-neutral carbon tax and dividend plan presented by former Secretary of StateJames Baker and other prominent Republicans -

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

 

 

RSVP

 

 
Hamilton County Parks District
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MISSION MONARCH SERIES
Movie Night     MissionMonarch
Friday March 18, 2016
7 p.m.
Cook Creek Nature Center
Join the Hamilton County Park District for a special movie feature "The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies."  This event is for all ages. Free popcorn.
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Nature Kids - Preschool Gathering
Wednesday, April 13 & Thursday, April 14, 10:30 a.m.
Cook Creek Nature Center
Learn why monarchs need milkweed. Take home milkweed to start your own garden.
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Homeschool Hikers
Thursday, April 21, 1 p.m.
Cook Creek Nature Center
Bring your homeschoolers to learn why monarchs need milkweed. Take home milkweed to start your own garden.
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Celebrate Earth Day!
Saturday, April 23rd, 1-4 p.m.
Cool Creek Nature Center
Celebrate Earth Day by learning about monarchs and the importance of native plants to butterflies.  Learn how to grow milkweed and take home you own milkweed plants so you can jump-start your garden.  Celebrate monarchs with fun activities and crafts.  Staff will also be offering woodland wildflower hikes. Fun for all ages.

Habitat Creation Workshop
Monday, May 9th, 6-8 p.m.
Cool Creek Nature Center

Learn how you can create a habitat for Monarch butterflies in your yard, church, business, or neighborhood common area. Learn about how to plan your project, maintenance considerations, financial assistance that may be available, and for the first-hand experiences from a homeowners association that has converted turf grass to Monarch habitat.
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Butterfly Hikes
Bray Family Homestead
Saturday, May 21st, 1 p.m.
Free for all ages
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River Road Park
Wednesday, June 22, 2 p.m.
Free for all ages
 
Sustainable Living Seminar - 2017 Climate Change, Let Your Voice Be Heard

Wednesday, February 15, 2017   HEC_logo
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Carmel Clay Public Library
55 4th Avenue Southeast, Carmel, IN 46032

RSVP

 

Scientists are extremely concerned about global environmental issues, but it is also important to know what is happening to our environment on a national and state level.  What will happen to the current environmental programs and policies in the near future?  Learn about emerging developments in the Indiana Legislature & Congress and why your voice is needed now more than ever.

  • Jesse Kharbanda, the Executive Director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, will provide information on how to protect our planet and how you can actively take part.
  • Amanda Shepherd, Senior Outreach Associate, will talk about being an advocate for the environment.

 

Indiana Advanced Energy Plan community conversation

Following the Hoosier Environmental Council, former Mayor Ballard and visiting fellow with the Institute of Civic Leadership and Mayoral Archives at the University of Indianapolis will join us along with his graduate students who are working on an Advanced Energy Plan for Indiana.  Is Indiana ready for a strategic energy policy? Students would like you to be a part of the discussion that will inform the Indiana Advanced Energy Plan, which will be presented to the Indiana State Legislature in April.



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Oppose SB 366 Threatens Hazardous Waste & Recycling Centers
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Position: CGI opposes SB 366.  
CGI supports policies that build a more sustainable community, and opposes the ones that don't.
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1) On Jan. 25,  SB 366 passed out of the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee with a 6-3 vote.  Disappointingly, Sen. Scott Schneider, the only Hamilton County senator on the committee, voted for this bill in committee.  To view the archived video of the hearing, click here and select Jan. 25th, testimony for SB 366 begins at 16:40 min.

2) On Feb. 1, SB 366 cleared the Senate 37-13. All Hamilton County senators supported this bill.

3) SB 366 crossed over to the second chamber.

4) On Feb. 24, SB 366 passed out of the House Environmental Affairs Committee with a 7-5 vote.  Rep. Donna Schaibley is the only Hamilton County representative on this committee and voted for this bill. Rep. Schaibley's contact info:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 317-232-9863.

What's Next: SB 366 moves to the House floor.  Watch live online.

Take Action: Please ask your representative to "VOTE NO" on SB 366 to protect our Household Hazardous Waste & Recycling Centers. Let him/her know why this is important to you and be sure to include your name and address.

About the bill: SB 366 lets counties eliminate its household hazardous waste and recycling centers, with no opportunity for public input. This article explains it well:  Counties may get power to eliminate waste management districts

CGI does not want to lose the Hamilton County Household Hazardous Waste and Recycling Center even though Carmel has curbside recycling and a household hazardous waste center because the county facility accepts more items.  The Hamilton County Household Hazardous Waste and Recycling Center accepts TVs, ewaste, appliances and tires, whereas the Carmel center does not.  CGI often refers residents with these types of items to the Hamilton County center.  CGI is also concerned about people who live in unincorporated areas and cities and towns without their own programs.

The Association of Solid Waste Districts was concerned about this bill.

Indiana Association of Solid Waste and Recycling supported this bill.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

 

 

 
Oppose HB 1082 'No-More-Stringent-Than' Bill
2016 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

HB 1082 – Environmental rules and standards.
Bill author: Rep. Wolkins

Position: CGI opposes HB 1082.  
CGI has joined a broad coalition to support policies that build a more sustainable community, and oppose the ones that don't.

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1) Testimony on HB 1082 was heard in the House Environmental Affairs Committee on Jan. 20th. As shown below, the Indiana Chamber and 12 health, faith and environmental groups testified in opposition. Many thanks to George Schenetzke who testified on CGI's behalf. Notably, the only groups supporting this bill are lobby groups for manufacturing, cast metal, electric utilities, petroleum, convenience store, farm, and pork industries. To view the archived video of the hearing, click here and select Jan. 20th, testimony for HB 1082 starts at 32 min.

2) On Jan. 27, HB1082 passed  out of House Environmental Affairs Committee with a 7-6 vote.  Please join us in thanking Rep. Donna Schaibley, the only Hamilton County representative on this committee, for voting against this bill.   Rep. Schaibley's contact info: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  317-232-9863.  To view the archived video of the hearing, click here and select Jan. 27th, testimony for HB 1082 starts at 4:30 min

3) On Feb. 2, HB 1082 cleared the House 64-33 .  While this is a disappointing loss, it's better than last year when the no more stringent bill (HB 1351) passed out of the House with a much wider margin 78-18. So, there's been a little improvement over last year. Unfortunately, Hamilton County Representatives Torr, Huston, Richardson, and Cook voted for HB 1082.  Kudos to Rep. Schaibley the only Hamilton County representative and among only 6 House Republicans to oppose this horrible bill.

4) Testimony on HB 1082 was heard in the Senate Environmental Affairs committee on Feb 15. There is a growing number of opponents to the bill. Many thanks to George Schenetzke who testified on CGI's behalf. Notably, the only groups supporting this bill are corporate lobby groups shown below. To view the archived video of the hearing, click here and select Feb 15th, testimony for HB 1082 starts at 8:40 min, proponent's testimony begins at 2 hrs 9 min

5) On Feb. 22, HB 1082 was amended with a strip-and-insert amendment that would require IDEM to report all rulemaking to the legislature annually, and passed out of the Senate Environmental Affairs committee with an 8-0 vote.  Senator Scott Schneider is the only Hamilton County legislator on this commitee.  Sen. Schneider's contact info: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   (317) 232-9808.  To view the archived video of the hearing, click here and select Feb 22nd, testimony for HB 1082 starts at the begining.

6) On Feb. 25, HB 1082 was amended on 2nd reading in the Senate to add more reporting requirements to IDEM.

What's Next: The Senate Version of HB 1082 will go to the Senate floor for 3rd reading.   Watch live online.

Click here to Find Your Legislator

About the bill:

House Version

Senate Version

HB 1082 prohibits Indiana's technical experts at Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and the Environmental Rules Board (ERB) from setting higher environmental standards than those established by the EPA.  It would handicap Indiana's local technical experts from determining when our rules need to be more stringent to protect public health, and Indiana's water and air. CGI believes that state and local agencies with input from public testimony should continue to be empowered to write regulations, derived from general rule making authority, that help Indiana head off contamination risks.  As much local autonomy as practicable is desirable. CGI opposes HB 1082 which would prohibit Indiana regulators from enacting any new regulation, except those that are explicitly authorized by state or federal law.

This bill is designed to restrict the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) from developing rules that help ensure a safe environment.

We believe that HB 1082 is an attack on the long-standing ability of professionally-trained technical experts and regulators to adopt rules, after careful consideration and proper discretionary authority that protect our residents.  HB 1082 exposes Hoosiers, if passed, to environmental risks by denying timely rules that protect us from such dangers as chemical spills contaminating our water supplies.

Some legislators claim that federal regulatory bodies are too aggressive at the expense of economic growth. However, there are nine statutory checks on regulatory overreach, and the attorney general reviews all regulations, and should the governor disapprove of any, he can veto them.  Moreover, business and industry have great influence over what regulations pass out of IDEM. Of the 15 members of the IDEM board, nine are representatives of industry.

In addition, there are areas where the EPA has been weak, if not absent. For example, the EPA has not adequately protected the public from the serious pollution threats of fracking, coal ash sludge lagoons, factory farm waste, outdoor wood boilers, and above-ground chemical storage tanks to name a few.

This bill could make it illegal for regulators to enact any new regulation unless explicitly authorized by federal or state law. It would prohibit state regulatory agencies from making any regulations that do not strictly adhere to what is allowed in this bill.  In effect, it would eliminate the multi-decade discretionary authority that executive agencies have long had, and could have the added effect of paralyzing agencies in carrying out their existing responsibilities out of fear of being sued for going beyond what those federal programs require.

HB 1082 weakens Indiana's ability to make its own decisions on how best to protect its people. This is inconsistent with Hoosiers’ long tradition of protecting “state’s rights", effectively, putting more, not less, power in the hands of the federal government to make those decisions for Indiana.

The Senate amendment strips the original language of HB 1082 (House Version) that would require an act of the legislature to address gaps in EPA environmental regulations, and inserts language that requires the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to report annually to the legislature any proposed rulemaking that may be more stringent than federal law, and delays its implementation until after the end of the legislative session.

On the face of it, the Senate bill appears to strike a middle ground, adding more transparency to the rulemaking process, and enabling stakeholders to review and raise concerns of overreach, but in effect it accomplishes the same thing as the original House version.

Both versions of the bill add an unnecessary layer of government to prevent Indiana from making rules that are more stringent than the EPA.  Additional layers are unnecessary because Indiana has a long history of not being more stringent. Indiana ranks near the bottom of many environmental measures and was ranked the 49th greenest state by Forbes, hardly a left-wing group.  There are already numerous provisions in Indiana code that restrict IDEM and the Environmental Rules Board (ERB).   Corporate interests are already well represented in the rulemaking process as 9 of the 16 members of the ERB are from industry.  In fact, every corporate lobbyist supporting HB1082 said they didn't have any problems with IDEM and the ERB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

 

OPPOSING HB 1082

  • Journal Gazette editorial
  • Indiana Chamber of Commerce
  • Hoosier Environmental Council
  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Indiana Chapter
  • Indiana State Medical Association
  • Potential Public Health Partner
  • Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light
  • Indiana Friends Committee/Quakers
  • Indiana Wildlife Federation
  • CAFO Watch
  • Carmel Green Initiative
  • Save the Dunes
  • Citizens Action Coalition - Statehouse Report
  • Sierra Club-Hoosier Chapter
  • Earth Charter Indiana

SUPPORTING HB 1082

  • Indiana Manufacturing Association
  • Indiana Energy Association (electric utilities)
  • Indiana Pork  Advocacy Coalition
  • Indiana Cast Metals Association
  • Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association
  • Indiana Farm Bureau
  • Indiana Petroleum Council

 

 

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CLASS OF 2016

Congrats to the Dynamics of Climate Class of 2016. This professional development workshop Dynamics of Climate equips middle and high school science teachers with activities and lesson plans about climate change science & solutions to improve climate literacy and encourage sustainable living practices at school and at home.  These 26 teachers from urban, suburban and rural school districts are responsible for teaching 4,404 students every year!  The schools represented are shown below.

The 2016 workshop was made possible thanks to sponsorship from the City of Carmel, Noblesville East Middle School, Purdue Climate Change Research Center,  Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter, Environmental Education Association of Indiana, Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light, Earth Charter Indiana, Rectify Solar, Inc, Solar Systems of Indiana, and Advocare Brandy Yost.  Many thanks to Mayor Brainard, Sue Maki, Brandy Yost, Leslie Webb, Alexia Lopez, and Cindy Muse.  Special thanks to Rick Towle for partnering with CGI to co-host the workshop.

  • Carmel High School (3)
  • Noblesville East Middle School
  • Fishers High School
  • Mississinewa High School (2)
  • Herron High School
  • Lebanon High School
  • Bosse High School
  • Edgewood Junior High School (2)
  • Doe Creek Middle School
  • Peru Junior High School
  • William Henry Harrison High (Evansville)
  • New Tech Institute High School
  • F.J. Reitz High School
  • IUPUI Students (9)
  • Oaklanden
  • Sense Charter School
  • Paramount

 


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CLASS OF 2015

 

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Dynamics_of_Climate2015_-_Collage_for_website_2DrawingClimateSystem
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Dynamics_of_Climate2015_-_Collage_for_website_3CarbonCycleGame
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Dynamics_of_Climate2015_-_Collage_for_website_4AnalizingData
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Dynamics_of_Climate2015_-_Collage_for_website_5WedgeGame
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Dynamics_of_Climate2015_-_Collage_for_website_6LessonPlans
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Dynamics_of_Climate2015_-_Collage_for_website_7SelfAssessment

 

 


 

CLASS OF 2014

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Collage_for_website_1_Drawing_Climate_System

 

Collage_for_website_2_Carbon_Cycle_and_Climate_Variability

 

Collage_for_website_3_Analyzing_the_Data

 

Collage_for_website_4_The_Wedge_Game

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