February 26, 2015 – by John Blair, valleywatch.net editor.
First it was announced by Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, Brian Bosma that the nefarious House Bill 1320 would not be presented to the entire house as Bosma pulled it from floor action on the final day for it to be read and heard.
The Bill, supported only by Indiana’s Investor Owned Utilities would have essentially stopped solar and other “distributed” renewable energy proposals from being built since a penalty would have been charged for those consumers who wanted to generate their own electricity but still had to rely on the wired grid to either place their excess generation or for purchase when their own systems did not work due mainly to a lack of sunshine or wind.
Second, a Senate Joint Resolution (SJR12) to amend the Indiana Constitution called the Right to Farm was surprisingly defeated 28-22 by the whole Senate. Opponents of the dubious measure called it the “Right to Harm” amendment since, had it passed, would have made it really difficult to enact any new ordinances, laws or rules designed to safeguard Hoosier air, land and water from even rogue agricultural interests.
Both of these victories were due to dogged opposition from grassroots Hoosiers who organized and fought hard for the last few months to correct the misinformation the Indiana Electric Association had given lawmakers about the defeated proposals. Valley Watch, and our partners, Sierra Club, Citizens Action Coalition, Indiana NAACP, Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light, Hoosier Environmental Council and others worked in concert with numerous alternative energy businesses to achieve this hard earned victory. Valley Watch tips our hat to everyone who made calls and contacted their representatives about these onerous bills.