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IndyStar: 'Like a Hostage Negotiation': Indiana Bill on Renewable Energy Standards Dies After Pushback

Posted by Sarah Bowman on Apr 15, 2021

IndyStar reports Indiana HB 1381, a bill, aiming to improve market certainty for renewable companies, died on the Senate floor, quoting AEE’s Caryl Auslander on the impact. Read excerpts below and the full story here.

Efforts to send a message that Indiana is open for business to renewables came to an abrupt stop on Tuesday night. A bill that would have established some statewide standards for wind and solar projects — but was amended to grandfather in counties' more restrictive ordinances — died on the Senate floor.

Despite significant amendments that had House Bill 1381 doing a '180 degree turn' and handing more authority back to local governments, local control concerns still lingered, according to the bill's senate sponsor Sen. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper…

Energy groups, consumer advocates, environmentalists and the business community all supported the legislation, saying it would bring significant investment to the state and help with Indiana's energy transition. But local officials and groups opposed the bill raising concerns over home rule…

With the death of this bill, which had passed out of the house by a vote of 58 to 38, proponents say Indiana's transition to cleaner energy sources and the state's economic growth will be hindered.

"Advanced energy means jobs and new revenue for our Hoosier communities," said Caryl Auslander with Advanced Energy Economy. "It was our hope that common sense would prevail, but by counties rejecting a statewide siting plan for wind and solar projects, Indiana has passed on both."

Without that, Indiana, its counties and individual landowners are losing out on serious investments that renewable companies are taking to other states…

A recent report indicates meeting renewable energy demand in Indiana would see an added 25,000 jobs and $5 billion in new investment in the next 10 years. That can include millions at the county level in property taxes and significant dollars to individual landowners in lease payments…

Renewable energy companies had said that this legislation, even with its amendments, would have given them more regulatory certainty and confidence to come to Indiana…

Though HB 1381 has died, those in support said they plan to keep pushing and will renew their efforts again next year.

Read the full story here.

Topics: AEE In The News