Assessing Daniels' record on the environment

April 26, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Mitch Daniels is in his fifth year as governor, enough time to begin accumulating a record on the environment.

How’s he doing? Daniels is making progress but he could do much, much better, says Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council.

Daniels has modernized building codes and called on utilities to aggressively invest in energy efficiency, Kharbanda notes.

But Kharbanda thinks Daniels is failing to live up to his conservative reputation on other points—and Kharbanda views them as big ones.

Pushing through a new-terrain Interstate 69 extension from Evansville to Indianapolis will cost significantly more than the alternative “common sense” route from Indianapolis to Terre Haute on I-70 and then south on U.S. 41, Kharbanda charges. The alternative route would have added only minutes to the drive but prevented a lot of environmental damage.

Daniels also is overlooking opportunities to invest in alternative energy, Kharbanda says. While some wind turbines are finding their way into the state, Kharbanda believes there’s potential for many more. Daniels and his administration seem captivated by coal, possibly the result of powerful coal and utility lobbies in the Statehouse, he says, pointing out that Indiana remains the only state in the Midwest lacking a standard for utilities to buy increasing amounts of electricity from renewable sources.

Yet another concern is how quickly Daniels is pushing regulators to make decisions on pollution permits. Haste can make waste, Kharbanda says.

“So, part of the critique of the Daniels administration is, how conservative is it, really?” Kharbanda asks.

Daniels continues to tamp down speculation he might run for president. If he does decide to jump into the race, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the country sifts his environmental record. Even if he's viewed as more brown than green, voters might turn a blind eye, reasoning a governor could be forgiven for cutting environmental corners to try to revive a sputtering Rust Belt economy.

What are your thoughts on Daniels and the environment?

  • Richie Mitch
    Daniels = EPIC FAIL on environmental issues!

    I never met a 'conservative' who was interested in 'conserving' anything except their fat little bank accounts, because of course that's all that matters to any of 'm...don't believe a thing they spout about God or Jesus, their TRUE God is the Almighty $$$$ and always will be!!!
  • I support Mitch...
    Wow. I'm a non-religious fiscal & social conservative who lives a 'green' lifestyle. I compost lawn waste, grow organic, drive a hybrid, use CFL's, support the Arbor Day Foundation, etc. etc. I do it out of respect for our living environment & our future generations though, and sincerely doubt any significant human impact on the planet's climate cycle. Oh, and I like to make money, and I like to keep it. I really wish that the media would quit stereotyping the conservative movement as a bunch of whacko religious zealots with a one track mind. Itâ??s obviously flawed. Iâ??m not alone here, that much I can assure you.

    The nonsense about I69 'common sense' route is garbage too. As a regular commuter to Evansville, I continue to call BS. I70 to US41 is virtually the same route to Evansville as I65 to I64. It takes longer (45 minutes, sometimes an hour) and adds miles.

    The HEC preferred route adds more miles & burns more fuel. Round trip (70 miles different using the preferred Bloomington route) is more than 2 gallons of fuel for my hybrid. May seem small for me, but 1)not everyone drives a hybrid & 2)commercial traffic greatly increases the waste. People really need to soak up some logic & common sense! Sorry, couldnâ??t resist feeding the troll.
    • well said JoBu
      I'm right there with you JoBu.
    • I 69 debacle
      the common sense route would likely only add a few minutes to the Indy to Evansville commute over the 'new terrain' route which is a waste of billions and an enviromental disaster in the making.

    Post a comment to this blog

    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    1. Here are a few candidates for this new group, "ripped from the headlines." First up, that bizzaro State Senator Brent Waltz; secondly, the unethical Todd Huston, and his contractual arrangements scheme; Finally, but not least of all, the dishonorable Eric Turner. What sayeth you Greg Zoeller?

    2. Good day. I can't hide this great testimony that take place in my life I will love everyone to know it and be partaker that is why I always place it on answer, I am Mrs,Natalie Cuttaia by name, I live in Texas, United State Of America, I want to thank (Mr.Bruce Brandon) for his kindness upon my family life. I never knew that there is still nice lender like this on internet and earth here. Just some Months Back, I was in search for a loan of $100,000,00 as I was running out of money for feeding and rent. I was scammed $6,800 Dollars and I decided not to involve my self in such business again but a Friend of my introduced me to a loan firm due to my appearance and doings. And I told him that I am not interested of any loan deal anymore but he told me that there is still a nice lender who he will recommend me to, and I made a trial and I am most grateful lucky am I today, I was given a loan amount of $100,000.00usd, by this great Company (Bruce Brandon Loan Company) managed by (Mr.Bruce Brandon) If you are in need of a genuine or legit loan or financial assistance and you can be reliable and trusted of capable of paying back at the due time of the funds I will advice you to, contact him via: ( ) And you will be free from scams in the internet. All thanks to Mr.Bruce Brandon You are the one who remove me and my family out of poverty. The reason why i am doing this is that, i promise Mr.Bruce Brandon that if i truly got my loan, i will advertize his company and bring customers to his company. Contact him via ( )for the Loan you have been looking for..

    3. Hello, We are firm Organization formed to help people in needs of helps,such as financial help. So if you are going through financial difficulty or you are in any financial mess,and you need funds to start up your own business,or you need loan to settle your debt or pay off your bills,start a nice business, or you are finding it hard to obtain capital loan from local banks,contact us today via email So do not let these opportunity pass you by because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever more. Please these is for serious minded and God fearing People. Your Name: Loan Amount: Loan Duration: Valid Cell Phone Number: Thanks for your understanding to your contact as we Await Regards Management

    4. The question is, where could they build a new stadium? It seems in the past year, all the prime spots have been spoken for with potential projects. Maybe in the industrial wasteland area a block past Lucas Oil? I think it needs to be close to the core, if a new stadium is built.

    5. Aldi is generally a great shopping experience. Still, I'm sure YOU wouldn't want to shop there, which I consider a positive.