Energy & Environment

Modified hemp legalization bill moves to full House

February 26, 2014
 The Statehouse File
The legalization of the production of industrial hemp is a step closer to reality in Indiana after the House Agricultural Committee passed an amended bill Tuesday.
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Indiana House amends bill to end efficiency program

February 25, 2014
Associated Press
TThe House voted 66-30 to amend the bill with language that prohibits the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission from extending or entering into contracts for Energizing Indiana's statewide energy efficiency program after Dec. 31
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UPDATE: Bill to limit Indiana environmental rules dies

February 24, 2014
Associated Press
A state senator has killed legislation that would bar Indiana environmental regulators from creating standards harsher than federal rules.
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Climate case at Supreme Court looks at EPA's power

February 24, 2014
Associated Press
The Obama administration is squaring off at the Supreme Court with industry groups and Republican-led states, including Indiana, over a small but important program aimed at limiting power-plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.
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Two former IURC workers named to utility commission

February 24, 2014
Jessica Wray, The Statehouse File
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission openings generated heavy interest. Gov. Mike Pence added a second round of interviews in order to hear from 21 candidates.
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Rockport plant might not be dead, after all

February 17, 2014
Dan Human
A controversial power plant planned for southern Indiana has quickly and quietly moved forward after developers said they no longer planned to pursue the project.
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Pence cracks door to electricity deregulationRestricted Content

February 15, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
The Pence administration is discussing whether to include electric-utility deregulation in a new state energy policy, making Indiana one of the few states since California’s electricity crisis to consider opening its market to competition.
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Worst could be over for Indiana propane users

February 13, 2014
Associated Press
An estimated 500,000 Indiana residents who rely on propane to heat their mostly rural homes have faced weeks of propane shortages blamed on a combination of subzero cold and market forces.
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Industry group says Indiana added 960 solar jobs

February 11, 2014
Associated Press
Tuesday's annual report by The Solar Foundation said Indiana saw a 178-percent increase in solar-industry jobs from 2012 to 2013.
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Former Indiana regulatory attorney reprimanded

February 6, 2014
Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court has publicly reprimanded a former regulatory attorney for negotiating a job for himself with Duke Energy Corp. while presiding over a case involving a Duke project.
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Duke Energy Indiana seeks solar power proposals

February 6, 2014
Associated Press
Duke Energy Indiana is taking proposals for solar power projects called for under a settlement the utility reached last year with consumer groups.
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State offers to help Indiana propane users find fuel

February 6, 2014
Associated Press
The state and federal government have taken steps to help propane users deal with an ongoing shortage of the fuel, which an estimated 500,000 Hoosiers rely on to heat their homes.
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Indiana Michigan Power plans $500M in improvements

February 5, 2014
Associated Press
A utility that provides electricity for more than 582,000 homes and businesses in Indiana and Michigan has begun a $500 million project to improve infrastructure over the next eight years.
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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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  1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

  3. Clearly, there is a lack of a basic understanding of economics. It is not up to the company to decide what to pay its workers. If companies were able to decide how much to pay their workers then why wouldn't they pay everyone minimum wage? Why choose to pay $10 or $14 when they could pay $7? The answer is that companies DO NOT decide how much to pay workers. It is the market that dictates what a worker is worth and how much they should get paid. If Lowe's chooses to pay a call center worker $7 an hour it will not be able to hire anyone for the job, because all those people will work for someone else paying the market rate of $10-$14 an hour. This forces Lowes to pay its workers that much. Not because it wants to pay them that much out of the goodness of their heart, but because it has to pay them that much in order to stay competitive and attract good workers.

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  5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.

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