Indiana’s Efficiency Rollback Hurts Small Businesses, Favors Large Corporate Interests

Building Efficiency
Gita Subramony for Zondits, April 23, 2014

Efficiency has been under fire in the Midwest this year with Indiana rolling back their programs and Ohio’s initiatives in trouble. Fossil fuel companies and corporate interests were also key in Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s decision to let the state’s programs be eliminated. Groups with ties to these industries, including the Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council, were active in rallying against energy efficiency and renewables. The Environmental Defense Fund suggests that by not vetoing the bill eliminating efficiency in Indiana, Governor Mike Pence has favored large corporate interests over residential customers and small businesses.

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Indiana Governor’s Inaction Results in First Rollback of Energy Efficiency Standards in the Nation

At the end of March, the Indiana legislature passed a bill repealing the state’s energy efficiency standard, becoming the first state in the nation to roll back its energy savings goals. Governor Mike Pence could have signed the bill into law or he could have vetoed it. He did neither; instead, the bill became law because he took no action within the prescribed time period. His statement as to why he allowed the bill to become law left us scratching our heads.

Here’s what he said:

“I could not sign this bill because it does away with a worthwhile energy efficiency program developed by the prior administration. I could not veto this bill because doing so would increase the cost of utilities for Hoosier ratepayers and make Indiana less competitive by denying relief to large electricity consumers, including our state’s manufacturing base.”

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