Events
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

RSVP

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.  What does climate change mean for Indiana?

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.

Join us on Wed. Sept. 27, 6:30 p.m. to hear Purdue's climate scientist, Melissa Widhalm present the key findings of the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment (IN CCIA).  Come find out the top challenges facing Hoosiers and what, if any, opportunities might arise in these changing times.

  • The world's leading authority on climate change is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) consisting of thousands of climate experts from around the world.  It's most recent report (2013/14) warned yet again and in much stronger language that the risks & impacts of climate change will be more difficult to manage and more expensive to mitigate if high levels global warming pollution continue.
  • America's leading authority on climate change is the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) which is non-partisan, and was established in 1989 under President George H.W. Bush. Thirteen government departments & agencies contribute to this program, including the Departments of State, Energy, Commerce, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Interior, Defense, and Transportation as well as NASA, EPA, National Science Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  The USGCRP synthesizes research from a wide variety of peer reviewed scientific sources from climate experts at major American universities. Their most recent report, the Third National Climate Assessment (2014) confirms that climate change is affecting Americans in every region of the country.

  • Indiana's leading authority on climate change is the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment (IN CCIA) led by the Purdue Climate Change Research Center (PCCRC).  The PCCRC has collaborated with Indiana's universities and climate scientists to synthesize the latest research on climate change impacts on public health, water resources, agriculture, infrastructure and more.

  • Melissa Widhalm - What Does Climate Change Mean in Indiana?
 
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:

 

 

 
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

 

 

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.

Dr. Filippeli's blog on Houston and Hurrican Harvey

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

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SUMMARY & ACTION ITEMS

  • Dr. Gabe Filippelli said that realistically we are probably already committed to 2 degrees and significant climate impacts.  He also said that based on the level of international cooperation he saw during his tenure at the State Department in 2013-14, he's optimistic the world will come together to act.  However, he did not comment on how international cooperation may change under the Trump administration.
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  • Dori Chandler from Citizen's Climate Lobby described their Carbon Fee & Dividend program which aims to put a price on carbon in a revenue neutral way...in other words, you get a refund, the government doesn't keep it.  Republican leaders recently introduced their version, similar yet with significant differences. Even though the Republican version is weaker, it's a step in the right direction! Also there is a bipartisan caucus emerging in the House! Under the current administration, the Climate Solutions Caucus and the Republican Carbon Fee & Dividend plan are our best hope for acting on climate change.
 
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

 

 
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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