Understanding the Issues
When people think of rural Indiana, they tend to think of rolling hillsides and sprawling cornfields – a place abundant in fresh air. Unfortunately, that isn’t an accurate picture. In fact, there are pockets of Indiana where people get exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution.
You can’t see or even smell it in the air, but coal’s deleterious effects are impossible to miss when viewing national health statistics. Hoosiers now have the fifth highest risk of premature death from pollution.
With the proper investment in energy conservation, energy efficiency, distributed generation, combined heat and power technologies, and commercial-scale renewable energy resources, Indiana can meet future electricity demand at a lesser cost both to our pocketbooks and our health than our current approach.
It’s time for Indiana to invest in clean energy sources at a much faster pace and scale than planned. It’s the smart choice – for both our bodies and our bank accounts.
A leading policy strategy would be for Indiana to re-enact an energy efficiency portfolio standard, also called an energy efficiency resource standard (EERS). Indiana had an EERS from 2010 to 2014, thanks to Governor Daniels, but it was abolished by Governor Pence and the Indiana General Assembly in 2014. An EERS is the fastest, most cost-effective way for states to reduce their energy usage — saving homes and businesses money, spurring a vibrant building retrofit sector, and reducing the need for costly new, carbon-polluting power plants.
Visit the NRDC’s Renewable Energy Map to visualize the current and planned renewable energy facilities in Indiana.
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