Legislation threatens Hoosier jobs and undermines local progress on innovation and sustainability, group says
Bloomington - The Monroe County Democratic Party denounced Governor Holcomb’s decision to sign a bill removing incentives for individuals, churches, and businesses to install solar panels on their facilities. The bill, SB309, will essentially end a program, known as “net metering” which compensates clean energy consumers for sending excess power to the transmission grid of an investor-owned utility.
The bill was pushed by Indiana’s Utility industry, which spent more than $1 million on campaign contributions in 2016, and was supported by Monroe County’s Republican representatives.
“Governor Holcomb and area GOP lawmakers demonstrated a stunning lack of regard for Hoosier consumers and solar employees”, said Mark Fraley, chairman of the Monroe County Democratic Party. “The Governor’s actions rewards utility industry lobbyists, while jeopardizing Hoosier jobs”.
The group also noted that the legislation undermines efforts by the City of Bloomington to allow local energy consumers to invest in solar panels at a discounted price. The effort, “Solarize Bloomington” has engaged hundreds of local residents, who have made initial steps to install solar panels
“Solar is an important part of Indiana’s future, not just for energy but as a key component of a 21st century economy,” Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton said. “This bill is a backwards step for Indiana on both fronts. In Bloomington, our citizens have embraced solar to great effect.”
Fraley added “At a time, when scientists warn of the extreme consequences of global climate change, our state government should be rewarding innovations that benefit consumers, and incentivize environmental stewardship”.