Gov. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, is noncommittal about whether he’ll sign legislation putting a stop to Indiana’s energy efficiency program known as Energizing Indiana.
Legislation approved this session effectively ends the Energizing Indiana program, a joint effort between the state, utility companies and consumer organizations to provide energy efficiency opportunities. It also precludes the state from holding utilities to energy savings goals. Pence says he’ll view the legislation with a balanced approach but notes that the state’s energy prices used to be an advantage for drawing companies to Indiana and that advantage has disappeared.
“We’re going to very carefully consider the importance of energy efficiency programs and conservation,” says Pence. “But we’re also going to take a careful look at the overall energy costs in the state of Indiana.”
Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, says the bill’s intention is to evaluate the Energizing Indiana program – which he believes is too costly. And he says energy efficiency programs are important, which is why the legislature should work with the Pence administration to create a better one.
“We will roll up our sleeves and put together a program that our constituents support, our ratepayers support, have full knowledge of what is actually in the program,” says Merritt.
Environmental advocates have delivered more than four thousand petitions calling on the governor to veto the measure.