Energy & Environment

Agriculture industry seeks to create right to farm

July 10, 2014
Associated Press
In the nation's agricultural heartland, farming is more than a multibillion-dollar industry that feeds the world. It could be on track to become a right, written into law alongside the freedom of speech and religion.
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Indiana utility proposes 5 solar facilities in 2 states

July 9, 2014
Indiana Michigan Power is proposing the facilities in the Muncie-Marion area in eastern Indiana, around South Bend in northern Indiana and in Michigan.
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Hoosier Environmental Council opposes dam on White River

July 8, 2014
Associated Press
The Hoosier Environmental Council has added its name to the list of environmental groups opposing a proposed seven-mile long reservoir along the White River in central Indiana.
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MISO data breach latest in hackers’ efforts to reach power grid

July 6, 2014
Bloomberg News
Operating cost data from participants in Carmel-based MISO's power network was compromised in a computer breach that highlighted the rising vulnerability of the U.S. electricity infrastructure.
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Developer pulls plug on $300M Tipton wind farm

July 5, 2014
Associated Press
A Colorado-based developer said the project is no longer feasible because of conditions that a zoning board placed on the project.
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Plant shutdown date sparks fight between IPL, grid operator

July 3, 2014
Dan Human
Indianapolis Power & Light Co. says it might have to pay as much as $22 million in extra costs because of contract issues with the Midwest Independent System Operator.
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Vectren selling its coal-mining subsidiary for $296M

July 2, 2014
Associated Press
One of Indiana's largest natural-gas utilities is selling its coal-mining subsidiary to a southern Indiana-based coal-mining company, putting more than 800 coal miners' jobs at risk.
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Concerns raised over possible rate hike for electric cars

June 30, 2014
Alec Gray, The Statehouse File
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and Rep. Cherrish Pryor are both voicing concerns about a potential rate increase proposed by Indianapolis Power & Light that could help fund some of the start-up costs for the BlueIndy electric-car-sharing project.
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Agency opposes hike for electric carsRestricted Content

June 28, 2014
 IBJ Staff
David Stippler, whose job is to advocate for utility consumers, thinks Mayor Greg Ballard’s quest to have Indianapolis Power & Light customers pay the startup costs for an electric-car-sharing service sets a dangerous precedent.
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Justices limit existing EPA global warming rules

June 23, 2014
Associated Press
The Supreme Court on Monday placed limits on the sole program already in place to deal with power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming. The decision does not affect EPA proposals for first-time national standards for new and existing power plants.
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State agency fights utility rates for electric cars

June 20, 2014
Associated Press
Indianapolis Power & Light Co. has requested a rate increase to help pay for its part in setting up charging stations for electric cars that drivers could rent as part of the BlueIndy program, a partnership between the city and the France-based Bollore Group.
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Work to resume Thursday on fatal tunnel project

June 18, 2014
Associated Press
A utility company says construction will resume Thursday on a project to build a sewer tunnel 250 feet beneath Indianapolis where a worker was killed last week.
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GOP governors: EPA carbon dioxide rules job killer

June 16, 2014
Associated Press
Republican governors from oil-and-gas rich states said Monday that new federal rules designed to cut emissions linked to global warming from power plants by 30 percent by 2030 will kill jobs and growth.
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City recycling deal would boost incinerator's profitsRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
As IBJ was first to report on June 9, Mayor Greg Ballard is contemplating a new, 10-year contract with Covanta, which already is set to receive the city’s waste through 2018.
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State parks see surge in business as weather heats up

June 11, 2014
Dan Human
Revenue from year-long passes was up about 8 percent this year through the end of May compared to the same time last year, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
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Housing developer hopes farm hooks new residents

June 7, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
A growing number of housing developers thinks farms, rather than golf clubs, are the perfect hook to lure residents. The first to experiment with the concept in central Indiana is Mike Higbee of Central Greens LLC, with his Seven Steeples Farm on the site of the old Central State Hospital.
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EPA official: Carbon rules built on methods in use

June 4, 2014
Associated Press
The agency's strategy is built around four existing approaches, including energy-efficiency programs and adoption of renewable energy such as wind or solar power.
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Utility watchdog: Ending efficiency program 'short-sighted'

June 3, 2014
Associated Press
The leader of Citizens Action Coalition said Indiana lawmakers put the state at a disadvantage when they passed a bill killing an energy-efficiency program that could have helped the state meet the new federal carbon-emission goal by 2030.
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Obama seeks to cut U.S. power plant carbon by 30 percent

June 2, 2014
Bloomberg News
The plan isn't expected to make a meaningful difference in reducing climate change, but will give President Obama evidence of America leading by example as he tries to persuade other nations to cut their carbon emissions.
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State approves rate hike for Citizens Thermal

May 21, 2014
Dan Human
Citizens Energy Group will raise rates for about 250 customers that use the utility’s steam and chilled water services.
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Experts expect higher electric bills amid tighter pollution rules

May 21, 2014
Associated Press
The Energy Department predicts retail power prices will rise 4 percent on average this year, the biggest increase since 2008. By 2020, prices are expected to climb an additional 13 percent, a forecast that does not include the costs of coming environmental rules.
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Beech Grove sues Franciscan, blames it for sewage backups

May 20, 2014
J.K. Wall
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Marion Superior Court, claims the flow of storm water into Beech Grove's sanitation system has caused backups of raw sewage and storm water into the basements of homes surrounding the former hospital site.
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Senators: Administration must support biodiesel

May 14, 2014
Associated Press
The Obama administration is considering changes that would significantly reduce the required amount of biodiesel in the United States. Industry groups, farm state lawmakers and others have called on the administration to reconsider.
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IPL gets green light for Harding Street, Martinsville projects

May 14, 2014
 IBJ Staff
State utility regulators on Wednesday gave Indianapolis Power & Light Co. the go-ahead to begin work on two high-profile power projects at a cost well over $600 million.
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IBM, NiSource reach $600 million agreement

May 13, 2014
Associated Press
The seven-year agreement includes the creation and management of a hybrid cloud-computing system that would enable NiSource to continue to deliver services to its customers.
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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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