Energy & Environment

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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Lilly to appeal $450M ruling over poisoned workers in Brazil

May 12, 2014
 IBJ Staff
Brazilian federal prosecutors had accused a Lilly subsidiary of incinerating toxic waste at the plant that it operated until 2003.
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Military to partner with Purdue for greener energy

May 12, 2014
Associated Press
The hope is to convert up to half of the Navy and Marine Corps' energy to alternative sources such as biofuels by 2020 using energy conservation, renewable-energy generation and new technologies.
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Indiana water regulator must wait for new job

May 8, 2014
Associated Press
The State Ethics Commission ruled Thursday that Gregory Ellis must wait at least a year before he can accept a job as director of government affairs for the Indiana American Water Co.
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Obama climate rules unlikely to wait until after election

May 7, 2014
Associated Press
Within weeks, President Barack Obama's administration is set to unveil unprecedented emissions limits on power plants across the U.S., much to the dismay of many Democratic candidates who are running for election in energy-producing states.
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State office seeks to block Indiana American Water rate hike

May 5, 2014
Dan Human
The Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor says a proposed rate hike by Indiana American Water Co. is unwarranted, and the company should actually lower existing rates.
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Indiana Grown Commission now accepting applications

May 1, 2014
Jesse Wilson, The Statehouse File
The IGIC was created by a law signed by Gov. Mike Pence on March 27. The legislation creates a commission that oversees the programs that market and promote Indiana-produced agriculture.
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Supreme Court upholds EPA rule on cross-state pollution

April 30, 2014
Associated Press
The 6-2 ruling was an important victory for the Obama administration in controlling emissions from power plants in 27 Midwestern and Appalachian states. Texas led 14 states, including Indiana, and industry groups in challenging the rule.
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Appeals court upholds dismissal of ethics charges against ex-IURC chief

April 29, 2014
Associated Press
Tuesday's decision means former Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission chairman David Lott Hardy is immune to criminal prosecution.
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Indiana farmers make progress planting corn crop

April 29, 2014
Associated Press
The new report says that while many farmers took advantage of warmer, drier conditions in the past week to kick off their planting work, others held off because cool, wet weather is in the forecast for the next several days.
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Plan approved for wind farm; Purdue to do research

April 24, 2014
Associated Press
Zoning officials have approved scaled-back plans for a northern Indiana wind farm where Purdue University researchers plan to study the impact of the towering turbines.
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Citizens gets state OK for steep wastewater rate hike

April 23, 2014
Dan Human
State regulators on Wednesday approved a rate hike that will increase monthly wastewater bills by about 26 percent, or close to $14 on average, for Citizens Energy Group customers.
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Pork packer planning to produce 98 positions at Indiana plant

April 21, 2014
 IBJ Staff
Indiana Packers Corp., which makes Indiana Kitchen bacon, said it will spend $2.3 million on a 56,500-square-foot facility on 5.9 acres about 45 miles from Indianapolis.
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Study: Fuels from corn waste not better than gas

April 21, 2014
Associated Press
A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7 percent more greenhouse gases compared with conventional gasoline.
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IPL wants rate hike to fund car-sharing charging stations

April 19, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Mayor Greg Ballard’s hope of making Indianapolis the first U.S. city with an all-electric car- sharing service hinges on a rate hike to cover $16 million in costs to Indianapolis Power and Light.
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Largest solar farm on Superfund site goes online

April 18, 2014
Associated Press
The nation's largest solar farm built on a federal Superfund site is now generating power in Indianapolis on property once tainted by a long-closed plant's wood-treating operations.
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Environmental groups sue to stop Illiana Tollway

April 17, 2014
Associated Press
Chicago environmental groups filed a lawsuit Thursday to stop the proposed $1.3 billion Illiana Tollway linking northern Illinois and northwestern Indiana, claiming the Illinois Department of Transportation doesn't have authority to develop it.
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Farmers off to slow start planting corn crop

April 15, 2014
Associated Press
As of Sunday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says, just 3 percent of the U.S. corn crop was sown, half the dismal pace of last year.
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Citizens plans $114M in upgrades for water system

April 10, 2014
Mason King
Among the planned projects are a new groundwater treatment plant near Morse Reservoir, a booster station to improve water pressure on the northwest side, and several large water main replacement projects.
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State green-lights deeper look into fuel costs at Duke plant

April 9, 2014
Dan Human
A state agency for utility consumers had requested additional scrutiny for periods late last year when Duke Energy Indiana's Edwardsport plant consumed more energy than it produced.
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Pence renews talks over $2.1B fertilizer plant

April 8, 2014
Associated Press
Indiana economic development officials have renewed talks with Pakistan-connected developers who want to build a major fertilizer plant in southwestern Indiana, one year after the state withdrew its support for the project over national security concerns.
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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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