Energy & Environment

U.S. Senate sends massive farm bill to Obama

February 4, 2014
Associated Press
The sweeping farm bill that Congress sent to President Obama Tuesday has something for almost everyone, from the nation's 47 million food stamp recipients to Southern peanut growers, Midwest corn farmers and the maple syrup industry in the Northeast.
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Indiana Senate OKs bill targeting efficiency program

February 4, 2014
Associated Press
The measure would allow industries that are Indiana's biggest energy users to pull out of the Energizing Indiana program, which provides energy-efficiency assessments and tips for saving energy and lowering utility bills.
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House sends Indiana winery bill to Senate

February 3, 2014
Andi TenBarge, The Statehouse File
HB 1387 would allow wineries to sell 5,000 gallons per year to retailers located within the same county as the winery or in neighboring counties.
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Gas utilities warn of big January bill increases

January 30, 2014
Dan Human
Natural gas customers in central Indiana will pay $30 to $50 more than a year ago when they receive their January gas bills because of the unusually cold weather.
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Bill limiting environmental rules heads to Indiana Senate

January 30, 2014
Associated Press
Indiana regulators would be barred from adopting environmental rules tougher than federal standards under a bill that's advancing in the General Assembly that has drawn criticism that it would hamper efforts to protect the state's environment and public health.
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Pence declares energy emergency over propane shortage

January 29, 2014
Ryanne Wise, The Statehouse File
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence outlined steps that have been taken in an effort to help Hoosiers during the state’s propane shortage.
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Proposal would cut sales tax for propane users

January 28, 2014
Amanda Creech, The Statehouse File
Republicans say they will offer an amendment to Senate Bill 1 to eliminate the sales tax on any propane that costs more than $2.50 per gallon.
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Proposed hunting, fishing amendment to start over

January 28, 2014
Halie Solea, The Statehouse File
A Senate committee passed a proposed constitutional amendment Monday that would protect Hoosiers’ right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife – but without language to protect farming that was included three years ago.
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Utility regulatory openings generate heavy interest

January 27, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Twenty-one candidates are in the running to fill two openings on the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
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Propane costs soar amid winter supply squeeze

January 25, 2014
Associated Press
Many distributors in the Midwest are limiting the amount of propane they deliver to customers. And the Indiana attorney general's office is urging Hoosiers to conserve the amount of propane used to heat their homes.
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Investors seek payoff from Indiana oil wells that big players ignore

January 25, 2014
Chris O'Malley
Indiana is experiencing a mini oil-boom, thanks to some big producers, but some small, private investors are also in on the game, through Indianapolis-based Midwest Energy Partners, formed four years ago by former CountryMark executive Bill Herrick.
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Airport looking to solve runoff problem from de-icingRestricted Content

January 25, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Indianapolis International Airport officials are looking for a way to cut their sewage-treatment bill, which topped $1 million last year because of the large volume of de-icing chemical that ends up in retention ponds.
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Lawmakers advance bill allowing industrial hemp crops

January 24, 2014
Associated Press
Hemp plants could start appearing in Indiana fields if a state Senate bill to allow growing the crop gains support from lawmakers.
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Senate passes bill to protect agricultural rights

January 23, 2014
Danielle Faczan The Statehouse File
Senate Bill 186 provides that it is the responsibility of the state to conserve, protect, and encourage the development and improvement of agriculture. The goal is to guide the courts to interpret state laws to be sympathetic toward farmers.
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Committee strips down, passes ag-gag bill

January 21, 2014
Danielle Faczan The Statehouse File
A Senate committee watered down a bill Tuesday that was meant to stop secret videography and photography of farming operations.
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NiSource's pipelines make it a prime takeover target

January 20, 2014
Bloomberg News
NiSource, which operates the largest natural gas distribution company and second largest electric distribution company in the state, could be acquired by a company seeking to profit from the shale-gas boom.
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Gas leak prompts downtown evacuations

January 20, 2014
Associated Press
Streets were closed Monday morning near the Central Library as utility crews tried to suss out the cause of the leak.
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Bill would bolster Hoosier homegrown products

January 16, 2014
Ryanne Wise, The Statehouse File
House Bill 1039 – approved unanimously Thursday by the Agriculture and Rural Development committee – is meant to bolster a program that brands Indiana-grown produce and meat.
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Two groups challenge Indiana coal-gasification permit

January 15, 2014
Associated Press
The Sierra Club and Valley Watch want an administrative law judge to strike down the Department of Environmental Management's December decision to extend Indiana Gasification's permit until June 27.
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Changes to farm-trespassing bill delay vote

January 14, 2014
Associated Press
The Indiana Senate Criminal Law Committee delayed a vote that had been scheduled for Tuesday amid a flurry of proposed amendments.
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Steele removes farming from proposed hunting, fishing amendment

January 13, 2014
Halie Solea, The Statehouse File
Sen. Brent Steele's proposed amendment passed its first round in 2011, but needed approval this year to go on the ballot for ratification by voters. Now, with new language, the process will start over.
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Baggott leaves Compendium, goes whole-hog on food industry

January 13, 2014
Dan Human
The local tech titan and co-founder of ExactTarget has cut ties with his latest software venture to concentrate on his livestock and corn operations, plus a restaurant he just purchased in Greenfield.
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Indiana considers amendment that could shield industrial farms

January 13, 2014
Bloomberg News
The bill’s sponsors say it's a way to keep non-farmers, including national animal rights groups, from meddling in the state’s rural interests.
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Fewer than 5,000 utility customers still without power

January 8, 2014
 IBJ Staff and Associated Press
The combined outages were down from more than 40,000 power outages Monday after temperatures plunged into the negative teens.
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Storm a big blow to Indiana dairy operation's finances

January 8, 2014
Associated Press
The cows are braving the cold at Fair Oaks Farms, but the milk they're producing is going down the drain because it couldn't be delivered.
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