Indianapolis Green Business Responds to Governor Daniels WSJ Guest Editorial May 16, 2009Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
Terrence Black, a co-owner of Green Way Supply in Indianapolis and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Indiana Renewable Energy Association wrote the following Guest Editorial in response to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels article entitled, “Indiana Says ‘No Thanks’ to Cap and Trade” that appeared in the Friday, May 15, 2009 edition of the Wall Street Journal. The Governor’s article appears following this response. Blog readers are encouraged to send their own responses to Governor Daniels to their own local newspapers.
The Smart Money Is On Clean Energy
By TERRENCE BLACK
Friday, Governor Mitch Daniels in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal told the nation that Indiana “says no” to President Obama’s clean energy jobs plan. He couldn’t be more wrong.
With a sagging national economy hitting us hard here in Indiana, everyone in government is looking for ways to stimulate the economy and create jobs – and here in Indianapolis everyone is looking to save money. President Obama has laid out a bold vision for a new energy economy, and we have a chance to take the first step by supporting the clean energy jobs bill now in Congress.
I can tell you first hand that when it comes to creating jobs for Hoosiers, supporting local businesses, and helping residents save money, the smart money is on clean energy. My business is growing, we just doubled the number of employees here in Indianapolis. In the energy area, GREEN WAY SUPPLY helps our clients to reduce their energy use through energy and lighting audits and cutting phantom power loss which reduces their dirty energy use. We are now installing small scale commercial and residential wind turbines and photovoltaic systems that are true CLEAN ENERGY generators.
As my business grows, which it would under President Obama’s clean energy plan, I’ll save more customers money on energy, that will clear our air and I’ll not only hire new people, but I’ll need more products and equipment, you name it. My business supports more than a dozen local Indiana companies that are the leading edge of a new GREEN ECONOMY – one that has the potential to power us into a new era of prosperity and energy independence. Around the country there are thousands more start-ups and well established companies moving into the GREEN ECONOMY because they see the potential for growth.
Study after study has shown what I know from on-the-ground experience: investing in new, clean energy creates jobs at a much far faster rate than investments in old, dirty energy sources like oil and gas. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that investments in clean energy produce two to three times as many jobs as investments in dirty, low-tech energy. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Department of Energy have issued similar findings. Why settle for half as many jobs when we could have double, or even triple?
Take wind for example. Even in a down economy, wind energy business is booming. More people are employed today in wind energy than in coal mining. The American Wind Energy Association recently reported that they installed twice as much capacity in the first quarter of 2009 than the same period last year. Indiana is the fastest-growing wind energy market in the country, with the potential to meet all the state’s energy needs with clean, renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and clean biomass. In the last two weeks I attended the National Wind Conference in Chicago and the National Solar Conference in Buffalo. Renewables have been growing at 40% per year sense 1996, from 47 MW to 3700 MW. New clean energy technologies are already growing our economy. These are good, high-paying jobs that can never be shipped overseas. After all, you can’t retrofit buildings in Muncie, install solar panels in South Bend or power a farm in Evansville with wind from anywhere but here.
Retrofitting and weatherizing homes and businesses will also jump start our economy in a multitude of ways. Once those homes and businesses stop wasting energy, it means more money in people’s pockets. Any increase in energy prices can easily be offset by simple conservation measures like CFL’s, programmable thermostats and weatherization. The Department of Energy’s home weatherization program cuts energy costs by an average of 30 percent per home.
Renewable energy saves consumers even more money too by insulating consumers from the price shocks that come with our over dependence on oil and coal. The Union of Concerned Scientists projects that the clean energy goals in President Obama’s plan will save Indiana ratepayers $2.12 billion over the next 15 years. Those savings will spur consumer spending – helping to create even more jobs. When businesses become more energy efficient they can save money, too. When you can reduce a company’s energy costs that business can keep or hire more employees. The same goes for our schools, police stations, post offices, and other local government operations. That grows our economy.
Across the country, communities are already seeing the benefits of the clean energy economy. Farmers and ranchers in Iowa, Colorado and Texas are installing wind turbines and selling power back to the grid. Laid-off autoworkers in Michigan and Ohio are going to work building solar panels. And steelworkers in Pennsylvania and right here in Indiana are building wind turbines.
But old energy, the oil and coal corporations are pouring money into ad campaigns and lobbying to stop this bill. For years, they have had a stranglehold on our energy policy. As a result, they’ve continued to post record profits while our economy has spiraled – and Americans have paid, at the pump and in utility bills at home and work. The clean energy jobs bill will help level the playing field for the small businesses that represent the energy economy of the future.
That’s why it’s critical that Indiana’s Congressional delegation does everything they can to make sure we pass a strong clean energy jobs bill—the first step towards realizing President Obama’s vision for a new energy economy. If Congress does its part, I and other local business leaders like me are ready to do ours. We’ll use this moment to scale up our businesses, hire more people, and pass on savings to local residents.
I like Obama’s plan, I think it makes sense for Hoosiers and all Americans because right now it’s all about JOBS, cleaner air is the bonus.
Indiana Says ‘No Thanks’ to Cap and Trade
No honest person thinks this will make a dent in climate change.
By MITCH DANIELS
This week Congress is set to release the details of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act, a bill that purports to combat global warming by setting strict limits on carbon emissions. I’m not a candidate for any office — now or ever again — and I’ve approached the “climate change” debate with an open-mind. But it’s clear to me that the nation, and in particular Indiana, my home state, will be terribly disserved by this cap-and-trade policy on the verge of passage in the House.
The largest scientific and economic questions are being addressed by others, so I will confine myself to reporting about how all this looks from the receiving end of the taxes, restrictions and mandates Congress is now proposing.
Quite simply, it looks like imperialism. This bill would impose enormous taxes and restrictions on free commerce by wealthy but faltering powers — California, Massachusetts and New York — seeking to exploit politically weaker colonies in order to prop up their own decaying economies. Because proceeds from their new taxes, levied mostly on us, will be spent on their social programs while negatively impacting our economy, we Hoosiers decline to submit meekly.
The Waxman-Markey legislation would more than double electricity bills in Indiana. Years of reform in taxation, regulation and infrastructure-building would be largely erased at a stroke. In recent years, Indiana has led the nation in capturing international investment, repatriating dollars spent on foreign goods or oil and employing Americans with them. Waxman-Markey seems designed to reverse that flow. “Closed: Gone to China” signs would cover Indiana’s stores and factories.
Our state’s share of national income has been slipping for decades,but it is offset in part by living costs some 8% lower than the national average. Doubled utility bills for low-income Hoosiers would be an especially cruel consequence of the Waxman bill. Forgive us for not being impressed at danglings of welfare-like repayments to some of those still employed, with some fraction of the dollars extracted from our state.
And for what? No honest estimate pretends to suggest that a U.S. cap-and-trade regime will move the world’s thermometer by so much as a tenth of a degree a half century from now. My fellow citizens are being ordered to accept impoverishment for a policy that won’t save a single polar bear.
We are told that although China, India and others show no signs of joining in this dismal process, we will eventually induce their participation by “setting an example.” Watching the impending indigence of the Midwest, and the flow of jobs from our shores to theirs, our friends in Asia and the Third World are far more likely to choose any other path but ours.
Politicians in Washington speak of a reawakened appreciation for manufacturing and American competitiveness. But under their policy, those who make real products will suffer. Already we observe the piranha swarm of green lobbyists wangling special exemptions, subsidies and side deals. The ordinary Hoosier was not invited to this party, and can expect at most only table scraps at the service entrance.
No one in Indiana is arguing for the status quo: Hoosiers have been eager to pursue a new energy future. We rocketed from nowhere to national leadership in biofuels production in the last four years. We were the No. 1 state in the growth of wind power in 2008. And we have embarked on an aggressive energy-conservation program, indubitably the most cost-effective means of limiting CO2.
Most importantly, we are out to be the world leader in making clean coal — including the potential for carbon capture and sequestration. The world’s first commercial-scale clean coal power plant is under construction in our state, and the first modern coal-to-natural gas plant is coming right behind it. We eagerly accept the responsibility to develop alternatives to the punitive, inequitable taxation of cap and trade.
Our president has commendably committed himself to “government that works.” But his imperial climate-change policy is government that cannot work, and we humble colonials out here in the provinces have no choice but to petition for relief from the Crown’s impositions.
Mr. Daniels, a Republican, is the governor of Indiana .
Office of the Governor
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2797
Governor’s campaign website: www.mymanmitch.com