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Democratic Candidate for Governor Announces Net Metering Policy July 31, 2008

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jill Long Thompson held a series of news conferences throughout Indiana on Wednesday, July 30, 2008, announcing her Green Jobs Initiative. She was joined by her candidate for Lt. Governor, Dennie Oxley.

You need to go to the campaign website to find the real meat on the bones. See http://jill.3cdn.net/898798a861e1e9d879_2ym6ivndc.pdf

Indiana Renew readers will be pleased to find the following statement on Net Metering:

Modernize the Net Metering Rules. Net metering refers to a billing process by which customers realize savings from generating their own power. It essentially enables customers to put more power back on the grid and run their meters backward. According to a 2007 report by the Network of New Energy Choices, Indiana has one of the worst net metering rules in the nation.19 The report contends that our state’s net meting rules are among the most restrictive of all states. This must change. As Governor, I will convene a work group immediately upon taking office and direct them to review the following issues and make recommendations for change:

  • Expand the net metering rules to include commercial and industrial customers as well as rural electric cooperatives in order to increase the supply of power from renewable energy resources;
  • Broaden the definition of eligible renewable resources20 to include other resources;
  • Increase the net metering cap – the amount of electricity customers can put back on the grid –to a level that either exceeds or is consistent with levels set by neighboring states; and
  • Work with Hoosier utility companies to promote our net metering rules once they have been updated so customers are aware that this option exists.

    The work group will be required to provide me with their recommendations within 6 months of being formed. Failure to act on this important issue could mean that manufacturing and technology companies, in particular, could experience an increase in their operational costs if they are unable to benefit from net metering in the near future, which is unacceptable. In addition, by enhancing our net metering rules it will allow Hoosiers to save on their electric bill as well as create jobs for the production, installation, and service of these consumer renewable energy products.

This statement by Thompson dovetails remarks made by several individuals on 07/08/08 in Ft. Wayne on net metering made at the public field hearing in the Indiana and Michigan Electric Company rate increse request in Cause No. 43306. See http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080709/NEWS/807090303.

This morning’s Indianapolis Star article that describes her initiatives as well as the response of Republican candidate and incumbent Governor Mitch Daniels can be found at:

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080731/NEWS0502/807310449/1008/LOCAL19

The Indianapolis Star article also lists a variety of energy initiatives taken by the Daniel’s administration including the Executive Order he issued last month on energy efficiency standards for state buildings. This Executive Order does appear as a reaction to HB 1280 filed by State Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington). The bill was gutted and enacted merely as a study.

See previous posts:

http://indianarenew.blogspot.com/2008/01/hb-1280-to-require-energy-efficient.html

See Governor Mitch Daniels Issues Executive Order on LEED Silver Standards for State Buildings on June 24, 2008. http://www.in.gov/gov/files/EO_08_14.pdf

The complete text of the news release is posted below and can be found at:

http://www.hoosierpoliticalreport.com/2008/07/release-long-thompson-oxley-an.html

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: July 30, 2008

Media Contact: Jeff Harris or

Jason Tomcsi, 317-635-5455

LONG THOMPSON, OXLEY ANNOUNCE GREEN JOBS INITIATIVE

Plan focuses on creating jobs through clean energy investment and reform

INDIANAPOLIS – In a sweeping proposal designed to reinvigorate Indiana by growing a cleaner and greener economy, today Jill Long Thompson and Dennie Oxley unveiled their “Green Jobs Initiative” in stops around the state.

The proposal centers on the creation of new, good-paying jobs through targeted investments and an increased commitment to new environmental and energy standards. It is the first in a series of policy proposals the Democratic candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor will introduce as a part of their “One Indiana Plan” to create an economy that works for all Hoosiers.

“Hoosiers need a responsible, rational approach to harness our clean energy potential,” said Long Thompson. “By implementing my plan we will be able to tap into our highly skilled workforce to create thousands of green jobs, which are desperately needed to replace the ones that we have lost. These jobs will reignite our economy and put Indiana on a solid path of economic growth.”

A study by the Blue Green Alliance found that nearly 340,000 existing Hoosier jobs could benefit from investments in clean energy. In the manufacturing sector alone, the same report found that Indiana has the potential to create as many as 25,180 new jobs from wind turbine manufacturing and an additional 7,485 new jobs in solar component manufacturing.

“Energy improvements save money, reduce consumption, and when done right, can also stimulate the economy and lead to the creation of more jobs,” said Oxley. “The lack of leadership from this administration has caused Indiana to waste an historic opportunity to not only help address the global energy crisis, but to improve our environment and create thousands of good-paying jobs.”

According to a recent ranking by Forbes Magazine of the “Greenest States” in the nation, Indiana received the dubious ranking of 49th. The ranking also showed that Indiana has the 6th highest carbon footprint of all states. Long Thompson and Oxley’s plan has three major components to grow a cleaner, greener economy and achieve greater energy independence.

Growing Green Jobs

  • Implement a “Green Boost”: An extension of their “Economic Tiers” proposal, a Long Thompson/Oxley administration would create a Green Boost incentive to encourage the further development of a green economy. Under the plan, companies eligible for assistance under the tiers program could receive an additional one-time $500 tax credit for any new green job created. Businesses that purchase equipment to lessen its environmental impact or energy usage would also be provided with an additional 3 percent tax credit.
  • The economic tiers program, which was unveiled earlier this year, directs the state’s resources to struggling counties. Under the Long Thompson/Oxley plan, each of the state’s 92 counties would be categorized into three different tiers with graduated job growth incentives distributed based on several economic indicators, including unemployment rate, median household income, population growth and assessed property value per capita in the county.
  • Increase Funding for Research and Technology: As Governor, Long Thompson would direct half of the nearly $35 million in funding from the 21st Century Research & Technology Fund to start-up businesses developing new technology and conducting energy and environmental research and development in Indiana.
  • Create a Clean Energy Fund: A clean energy fund will provide the opportunity for a funding stream to achieve our energy, environmental, and economic goals. Research shows that states investing in clean technology and renewable energy are better positioned to receive federal funding and private research dollars. Jill Long Thompson would direct $10 million per year from existing incentive programs to create a Clean Energy Fund to invest in innovative clean technology and renewable energy projects.
  • Direct Investments to Sustainable Energy Technology and Environmentally Responsible Companies: Following the lead of several other states, the Long Thompson/Oxley administration would work with the trustees of the Public Employees’ Retirement Fund and the Teachers’ Retirement Fund to devise a strategy to invest in Indiana companies that are developing alternative energy and clean technology to help provide additional support to these growing companies.
  • Modernize Indiana’s Net Metering Rules: To encourage the increased use of alternative energy sources – like solar or wind power -the Long Thompson/Oxley administration would enhance the state net metering guidelines. Under their plan, those that generate more power than required to operate their homes or businesses and add energy to the power grid would have their utility bills reduced. In addition to providing Hoosiers with cost-savings, the move could create additional jobs as the demand for green technologies increase.

Energy Efficiency in Government

  • Set New Building Standards: Long Thompson would require that all new state facilities meet Leadership in Energy Efficiency Design (LEED), Green Global, or other comparable standards to ensure maximum environmental and efficiency performance.
  • Conduct Energy Audits: The Long Thompson/Oxley administration would conduct full-scale energy audits of all state government facilities to benchmark energy usage. In addition to serving as the basis for usage reduction plans, the assessments would guide future maintenance priorities.
  • Purchase Flex Fuel Vehicles: As Governor, Long Thompson would ensure that new vehicles purchased by the state are capable of running on E-85 gasoline blends or diesel vehicles that can operate on biodiesel, making certain that state vehicles are fueled with cleaner burning E-85 and biodiesel fuels whenever possible.
  • Establish a Green Purchasing Policy: The Long Thompson/Oxley administration would put in place state purchasing guidelines to ensure state dollars are spent responsibly with minimal impact to our carbon footprint.

“Not only will this green strategy create jobs and reduce our environmental impact, it has the potential to reshape Indiana’s future,” said Long Thompson. “These are not just goals – this is a clear plan of action for creating new jobs and new opportunities for all Hoosiers.”

Known for her ability to get things done, Jill Long Thompson is an accomplished public servant. She has served as a city councilor, a Congresswoman and as Under Secretary for Rural Development at the United States Department of Agriculture. Long Thompson grew up on her family’s farm in rural Whitley County and was the first in her family to go to college. She received her undergraduate degree from Valparaiso University and went on to earn a master’s and Ph.D. in business from Indiana University. A farmer and college professor by trade, Long Thompson lives with her husband Don Thompson, a commercial airline pilot, on their farm in Marshall County.

Dennie Oxley is a 10-year veteran of the state legislature, currently serving as the Majority Whip in the Indiana House of Representatives. A former high school math teacher, school administrator and businessman, Oxley brings a wealth of public and private sector experience to the team. Oxley is a graduate of Indiana University Southeast, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. A lifelong resident of English, a small community in Crawford County, he resides there with his wife, Jayme, and their two young daughters.

For more information about Jill Long Thompson, Dennie Oxley or their campaign to restore Indiana’s promise, please visit http://www.hoosiersforjill.com or call 317-635-Jill.
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GREEN JOBS FACT SHEET:

Green Trades in Indiana (Source: www.bluegreenalliance.org/gjfa)

  • Carpenters will be needed to make buildings more energy efficient. There are nearly 24,000 carpenters in Indiana, paid an average of nearly $18 per hour.
  • Electricians are essential to expanding mass transit solutions. There are 15,000 electricians in Indiana, paid an average of nearly $24 per hour.
  • Operations managers are needed to manufacture energy-efficient automobiles. There are nearly 25,000 operations managers in Indiana, paid an average of nearly $42 per hour.
  • Machinists craft essential components for wind power. There are nearly 15,000 machinists in Indiana, paid an average of over $17 per hour.
  • Welders are vital to solar power manufacturing. There are over 12,000 welders in Indiana, paid an average of over $15 per hour.
  • Industrial truck drivers transport supplies and fuels for the cellulosic biofuels sector. There are nearly 22,000 industrial truck drivers in Indiana, paid an average of over $14 per hour.

Green Opportunities in Indiana Agriculture

(Source: www.apolloalliance.org/resources_rural.php)

  • Alternative energy sources provide many opportunities for agricultural and rural communities to take advantage of their assets, including the availability of crops and open land to generate energy.
  • If farmers dedicated land to a variety of crops such as corn, soybeans and switchgrass which can be turned into electricity and fuel, biomass has the potential to provide 14% of electricity and 13% of motor fuel use.
  • The Department of Energy estimates that if wind power comprised just 5% of the U.S. electricity market, $60 billion in capital investment would be poured into rural communities.
  • These investments would provide $1.2 billion to landowners and farmers, and create 80,000 new jobs.

Other type of Green Jobs

(Source: www.bluegreenalliance.org/gjfa)

  • Building Retrofitting: Electricians, heating/air conditioning installers, carpenters, construction, equipment operators, roofers, insulation workers, carpenter helpers, industrial truck drivers, construction managers, building inspectors.
  • Mass Transit: Civil engineers, rail track layers, electricians, welders, metal fabricators, engine assemblers, production helpers, bus drivers, first-line transportation supervisors, dispatchers.
  • Energy Efficient Automobiles: Computer software engineers, electrical engineers, engineering technicians, welders, transportation equipment painters, metal fabricators, computer-controlled machine operators, engine assemblers, production helpers, operations managers.
  • Wind Power: Environmental engineers, iron and steel workers, millwrights, sheet metal workers, machinists, electrical equipment assemblers, construction equipment operators, industrial truck drivers, industrial production managers, first-line production supervisors.
  • Solar Power: Electrical engineers, electricians, industrial machinery mechanics, welders, metal fabricators, electrical equipment assemblers, construction equipment operators, installation helpers, laborers, construction managers.
  • Cellulosic Biofuels: Chemical engineers, chemists, chemical equipment operators, chemical technicians, mixing and blending machine operators, agricultural workers, industrial truck drivers, farm product purchasers, agricultural and forestry supervisors, agricultural inspectors.
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