Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

March 5, 2014

March 5, 2014: Letters to the editor

Senate bill is harmful to God’s creation

The Indiana House of Representatives amended Senate Bill 340 last week to obliterate a statewide energy efficiency program, known as Energizing Indiana. Still in its infancy, this successful program has already created hundreds of jobs and saved enough energy to power all the homes and apartments in Howard County for two years.

Energy efficiency reduces electricity use and helps avoid the need to build costly new power plants. Thousands of Hoosier households and businesses have participated in energy audits, energy efficiency rebates and weatherization projects. For example, Purdue University received an $81,000 rebate check for its new energy efficient chiller, which has reduced operating costs on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.

Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light (H-IPL) opposes SB 340 out of a concern for good stewardship of the Earth and its finite resources. Caring for creation is one of the highest spiritual and moral imperatives we have from our Creator, and one that our many faith traditions have in common.

As people of faith, H-IPL believes that SB 340 is unjust, and that it does not show respect for the people or the land given us by God.

Energizing Indiana is conserving our God-given natural resources; reducing electricity bills in schools, churches and homes; and helping the poor weatherize their homes.

For every dollar spent on the statewide energy efficiency program, utilities are saving at least two dollars in energy costs — cost savings that are passed on to ratepayers, both rich and poor. SB 340 would outlaw the energy efficiency goals set by the Daniels administration in 2009, savings goals similar to those that are reducing electricity costs in Ohio, Illinois and Michigan.

Electric utilities could still run their own energy efficiency programs if they wish. However, SB 340 would set us back to 2008, when Indiana’s fragmented and uncoordinated efficiency programs were ineffective at achieving significant energy savings.

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