Articles

Road getting bumpy for ethanol plants

The list of potential Hoosier ethanol plants is nothing short of astounding for a state that had just one ethanol-fuel distillery
as recently as 2005. Beyond the six ethanol plants now operating and six others under construction, Purdue University agricultural
economist Chris Hurt counts 27 others under consideration for Indiana.

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Union says utility owes $115M

In a case with huge financial implications for Indianapolis Power & Light and Virginia parent AES Corp., a labor union and
16 IPL retirees have asked regulators to force the utility to pay up to $115 million to back-fund a retirement plan it spun
off in 2001.

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Steam plant ups reliance on coal

Citizens Gas & Coke Utility shuttered its coke manufacturing plant earlier this summer, much to the relief of neighbors and
health officials who warned that its benzene emissions were a cancer threat. But regulatory filings show closing the plant
at Keystone Avenue and Prospect Street could result in more pollution downtown.

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Land trusts find foothold in Indiana

In an effort to preserve Indiana woodlands , some property owners are transferring development rights to Central Indiana Land
Trust Inc., a not-for-profit environmental group. Owners can grant a so-called conservation easement in exchange for an impressive
array of tax benefits.

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Consumers wary of ‘greenwashing’ by companies

With the gospel of global warming raising the call for “green-ness” to a near-hysterical pitch, there’s a growing sense that
creating an earth-friendly image will bring companies a strategic advantage. Yet the contradictions between what companies
do day in and day out and what they do to improve the environment can create a marketing minefield.

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Indiana short on honeybees

A cold snap wiped out at least half of Indiana’s honeybee hives over the winter. For some beekeepers, the loss was as high
as 80 percent. Fortunately, most don’t look to bees for their livelihood.

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Court tells telecom giants to pay payphone operators

The state’s 30-or-so independent payphone operators–a conveyance nearly made extinct by wireless phones–may begin receiving
refunds next month from AT&T Indiana and Verizon for excess charges the phone companies billed independent payphone operators
for dial tones from 1997 to 2004.

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Citizens Gas proposing billing overhaul

Citizens Gas & Coke Utility has revived its pitch for a regulatory plan that would fundamentally change the way it bills customers,
helping it cover rising expenses as gas sales fall. The plan would create an expanded energy conservation program that could
include rebates for customers who buy gas-efficient furnaces and appliances.

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Bill would let utilities pass on more costs without rate hearings

Utility ratepayer groups say House Bill 1496, which is stuck in committee, is typical of what they see as a disturbing trend:
allowing utilities to pass the cost of mandates directly to consumers. HB 1496 would require Indiana’s coal-reliant electric
utilities to generate at least 10 percent of their power from renewable energy sources like wind and landfill gas.

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Calendar publisher wants to power his factory with wind

The Time Factory founder and CEO Jim Purcell wants to erect a 150-foot-tall wind turbine above his calendar factory near 62nd
Street and Georgetown Road. Purcell figures the $200,000 contraption could power 60 percent–if he’s lucky, maybe 80 percent–of
his 22,000-square-foot facility.

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Expanded recycling catches on in manufacturing sector

In manufacturing and industrial-heavy central Indiana, companies are beginning to realize that “going green” can translate
into another kind of green–money. Reaching beyond the standard glass, paper and metal, markets are developing for a variety
of materials, from tiny bits of processed rubber to leftover cornstarch.

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Generator-maker finding new ways to get energy

I Power Energy Systems, which makes natural-gas-powered electric generators that are the primary power source of corporate
and college campuses, is a novelty in Indiana. After all, coal is still a cheaper source of electricity than is natural gas.
But I Power is developing applications for electric generators that burn biogas from sources ranging from garbage to ground-up
corn.

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Three-decade landfill battle rages on

World War II could have been fought seven times over since Ralph Reed and sons first tried to build Mallard Lake Landfill
outside of Anderson. The Reeds’ dream of big cash from trash has
upset hundreds of residents in subdivision-dotted fields since the family asked Madison County to rezone their 254-acre farm
in the 1970s.

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Biofuel plans have suppliers stoked

Indiana’s plan to become the Middle East of biofuels could be a boon well beyond the rural towns that will welcome more than a dozen refineries . Firms that make and supply parts and expertise needed to build the $1.8 billion in ethanol and biodiesel plants–and related infrastructure–are gearing up.

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IPL seeks to expand green plans

Electric customers would gain new payment options and more access to “green power,” and Indianapolis Power & Light would have more opportunities to profit, under a plan the utility filed Aug. 23 with state regulators.

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Architectural firm embraces solar panels

The architectural firm Schmidt Associates Inc. wants to persuade clients to build greener buildings. So a couple of weeks ago–during a heat wave and under scorching sun, nonetheless–workers erected a solarpanel awning in front of the company’s 320 E. Vermont St. offices.

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