Editorial by Sam Carpenter, printed in the IndyStar on Sunday, November 27, 2022
Governor Holcomb’s attendance and presentation at the COP 27 conference is recognition that climate change urgently needs to be addressed and that huge opportunity exists for states who take a leadership role in doing so. Indiana’s leadership in utility-scale solar and wind-generated power has earned Governor Holcomb the opportunity to meet with heads of state and corporate chiefs to discuss billions of investment dollars potentially flowing into our Hoosier state. This of course will create jobs, build our economy and grow our tax base. However, David Mcintosh of the Club for Growth says this path will have a “devasting impact on Indiana”. I find his remarks unfortunate.
Some within the supermajority of our Statehouse have dug in their heels at the very idea of change. But we are faced with change at every turn: how our energy is created; new employment opportunities; and changes we notice every season, with wetter springs, extended droughts, more ferocious storms, and risks that arise when our ecosystems become out of balance. Sticking your head in the sand could be said to be a strategy, but it is hard to react to the world around you when you cannot see. And when your eyes are finally open, it can be painful.
We need leadership that can embrace change, address challenges, and seize opportunities that lay before them. One such opportunity is to enable private investment in power generation through community and rooftop solar. Current Indiana law does not allow investment in community solar which is not controlled by our utility monopolies. Current law has cut the credit, Hoosiers that choose rooftop solar receive for power they put onto the grid, by 75% and even more cuts are possible. I say that has a devasting impact on Indiana and for our participation in one of the fastest growing industries in the country.
I hope Hoosiers who value a clean environment and a stable climate, who are ready to address challenges and embrace opportunity, demand the same from our state leadership. You can show your own power to make a difference by contacting Speaker of the House Todd Huston, President pro tem of the Senate Rodric Bray, Senate Utilities chair Eric Koch, and House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications chair Ed Soliday to let them know you support solar power for individuals and communities and that you want a competitive energy choice in the face of monopoly utilities. I also hope you will reach out to Governor Holcomb to welcome him back from his visit to the COP 27 Climate Conference and ask him to show leadership on these issues you care about.