FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 2, 2009

CONTACT:
Jesse Kharbanda, executive director
317.685.8800, x. 103

Legislation Critical to Growing Green Jobs Passes Out of House Committee

Renewable electricity standard, net metering are catalysts in new investment and job creation

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – The Indiana House of Representatives’ Utilities Committee, chaired by Rep. Win Moses (D-Fort Wayne), today passed SB 300. The bill, which was amended by Rep. Ryan Dvorak (D-South Bend) provides for a comprehensive renewable energy policy to help jumpstart Indiana’s economy and now moves to a vote before the full House. Today’s vote marks the first time both of these initiatives have made it out of this committee after a sustained effort over the last four years.

As amended, SB 300 establishes a renewable electricity standard (RES) that would ensure Indiana receives at least 15 percent of its electricity from renewable or energy-efficient resources – such as wind, biomass, and energy-efficient technologies – by 2025. It also would allow Hoosier homes and businesses to generate their own electricity and roll their meters back when they return any excess power to the electric grid through net metering.

“We appreciate the members of the Utilities Committee for their vision for accelerating the pace of attracting green jobs to Indiana,” said Jesse Kharbanda, HEC’s executive director and key proponent of both an RES and net metering, as part of the Green Jobs Development Act. “This is a major step toward putting Indiana in a competitive position to achieve billions of dollars in green investment, and help our state’s strong manufacturing base get back to work.”

Two recent studies by the Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP) and the Center for American Progress (CAP) support Indiana’s potential to gain new jobs in both renewable energy production and in renewable energy manufacturing. The studies estimate that Indiana has the potential to create 40,000 manufacturing jobs spread across wind, solar, geothermal and biomass components firms, with an associated investment of $6.26 billion. Tens of thousands of additional green jobs could also be created for the construction, service, support and sale of these same energy technologies.

“Establishing a policy today that emphasizes renewable energy will pay off in the long run for Hoosier families,” said Rep. Dvorak, an original sponsor of the Green Jobs Development Act. “It’s imperative we look to new ways to bolster our economy, and the green jobs that stand to be created will have a tremendous impact on workers and businesses across our state.”

“Good jobs and a clean environment can go hand-in-hand,” said Robin Rich, spokeswoman of United Steelworkers District 7, who also testified today. “We’re another step closer to realizing the economic benefits of an RES, and those benefits couldn’t come fast enough for our state. We need to get our outstanding workforce back in the game, and help Hoosier families pay their bills and put food on the table.”

“We are very excited to see these renewable energy measures move forward,” said ECI Wind and Solar President’s Eric Cotton, who testified during today’s committee hearing. “Ours is a small business in East Central Indiana, but with strong net metering and RES, we would definitely be able to add new workers, and at the same time help our customers meet their demand for home-grown, clean energy products.”

Support for a state RES has been far-reaching, and has included such varied organizations as: United Steelworkers District 7, the Indiana Conservation Alliance, the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club, Health by Design, the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, the Indiana Wildlife Federation, Improving Kid’s Environment, Indiana University’s Department of Public Health, and the Environmental Law and Policy Center. Numerous green businesses and other companies across Indiana also have lent their support, including: AlgaeWheel (Indianapolis), Greenway Supply (Indianapolis), ECI Wind and Solar (Grant County), Inovateus Solar (South Bend), Morton Energy (Evansville), and RiverBridge Electric (Wabash County), SunRise Solar (Lake County).

To learn more about the HEC and the legislative initiatives it supports, please visit www.hecweb.org.

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