In The News
Energy efficiency is under attack at the Indiana Statehouse. While public attention has focused elsewhere, big utilities are quickly and quietly working to kill Indiana’s successful energy efficiency program and a two percent energy savings goal set in 2009 by the Governor Mitch Daniels Administration. Here are links with editorials & facts sheets:
- Debunking Some Myths About the Energy Efficiency Debate in Senate
- Indiana’s Energy Savings Goals under Legislative Assault
- Advocates against cut to energy efficiency program
- US Electricity Sales Drop: Is it the Economy or Energy Efficiency?
- Cos. representing 8000 manufacturing and efficiency jobs who support DSM and oppose SB 340 send letter to Sen. Merritt
Indiana AG's opposition to Chesapeake Bay cleanup could hamper Great Lakes
The Chesapeake Bay is worlds away from the Great Lakes, yet that hasn't stopped the attorneys general of Michigan and Indiana from inserting themselves into a legal battle there and siding with opponents of a plan to clean up the Chesapeake. By filing an brief in support of an industry lawsuit, the attorneys general send the wrong signal at a time when our country needs to focus on supporting restoration of clean water around the nation. Read more here.
Lawmaker kills bill to restrict environmental regulations greater than federal rules
State Senator Ed Charbonneau has killed legislation that would bar Indiana environmental regulators from creating standards harsher than federal rules. The Senate Environmental Affairs Committee Chairman held the bill during the committee's last meeting of this year's legislative session recently. The House earlier passed the bill 68-28. Read more here. And send Senator Charbonneau a thank you!
Sandhill Cranes are visiting again
Sandhill cranes made an appearance recently at Ewing Bottoms in south central Indiana. Check this page from Natural Bloomington for photos.
Senate Bill 186: The Right to Harm
On indianaforefront.com Julia Vaughn writes: "At the same time legislators have been busy trying to deny equal marriage rights to gay Hoosiers, they are poised to grant special rights to large industrial farms. SB186 passed the House Ag committee yesterday with only one No vote, despite being unnecessary and likely unconstitutional. It should concern all of us that so many legislators think it’s OK to elevate the rights of one group over others...." Read more here.
Earth Day Indiana Festival needs volunteers
Does the long-delayed thaw inspire thoughts of spring? If so, please ponder the Earth Day Indiana Festival which needs 150 volunteers on April 26 to host the event. Consider becoming one of them. Visit this page to join the merry band.
Indiana Children and Nature Network (ICAN) seeks to get kids outdoors
ICAN is a new collaborative project encouraging children to spend more time outdoors. On Tuesday March 11th, an ICAN panel will discuss its work and plans. The public invited to participate. For more information, click here.
Indiana's solar industry added 960 jobs in 2013
A report by The Solar Foundation found that Indiana saw 960 new solar jobs last year. That was a 178-percent increase from 2012 and pushed the state up two notches nationally to rank it 25th in solar-industry jobs. Read more here.
Tell INDOT the Illiana is a boondoggle
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) are now hearing public comment on the Draft Tier 2 Environmental Impact Statement for the Illiana Tollway. We have until March 10th to tell the decision-makers that the Illiana Tollway is a risky and unnecessary expense of needed state funding that will produce devastating environmental impacts. See more information and take action here.
EPA: Harding Street Coal Plant responsible for 88% of Marion County’s toxic pollution
According to EPA’s most recent Toxic Release Inventory data, the Harding Street plant released more than 1.6 million pounds of toxic pollutants into the air, land, and water in 2012, posing real public health threats to Indianapolis residents and those upwind and downstream from the plant. "IPL's corporate profits should not come at the expense of my family's right to breath clean air or to live in a community free from contaminated soil and water," said Heidi Hesse, a single mom who lives downwind of the plant on Indianapolis' east side. "I teach my son to clean up the messes he makes: The time is past for IPL to clean up its messes for the benefit of all Indianapolis residents." Read more here.
Indy Star's Matt Tully: "At the Statehouse, protection for polluters"
"The state legislature is in session, so you can assume, with confidence, that Indiana’s already fragile and battered environment is taking another beating. It happens every year at the Statehouse, where powerful special interests representing factory farms push cringe-worthy pieces of legislation filled with gifts for the industry...." Tully nails it. Read his January 29th column here.
Forbes: Eight Reasons Conservatives Should Love Renewables
Conservatives have had an uneasy relationship with renewable energy. But in reality, conservatives should love renewables, and here is why.
Sierra Club challenges Indiana coal-gasification permit
The Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter and other environmental groups want an administrative law judge to strike down IDEM's December decision to extend Indiana Gasification's permit until June 27. IDEM made the decision after the Indiana Supreme Court validated Indiana Gasification's contract with the state after a lower court invalidated it. Read more here in the IBJ.
Indianapolis Blogger concludes "We Can’t Afford Coal"
Indy Blogger Shawndra Miller recently attended a neighborhood gathering to discuss IPL's Harding Street coal-fired power plant. Among her observations was this: "Two city maps made the plant’s impact visible. One showed asthma-related ER visits in Marion County, and the other depicted mercury levels in waterways and soil. In both cases it was clear how the neighborhoods northeast of the plant (including my own) are burdened as the prevailing winds blow the pollution our way." Read more about Shawndra Miller's insights about what the Harding Street plant's impact on Indianapolis.
Sierrans are monitoring waterways in Central Indiana
We are looking for volunteers who will collect and analyze water samples on at least a monthly basis. Learn more on our Protecting Indiana's Waters page.
Other Information of Interest to Members
"Accomplishments" published by Chapter
A quick review of some recent accomplishments is available for online review. Click the above link for more information.
"Donor Opportunities" published by Chapter
A summary of options for financial donors is now available for online review. The fact-sheet reviews various funds that prospective donors might consider in contributing to the work of Sierra Club in Indiana. Click the above link for more information.
Why children in southwest Indiana are surrounded by toxins
There are two industries in Rockport, Indiana, that release 30 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the environment. A report considers the serious consequences this has on its residents, particularly children.