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Hoosiers Push To Include Renewables In State Energy Plan

Gretchen Frazee

A group of about 75 Hoosiers gathered on the steps of the statehouse Saturday to launch a campaign aimed at convincing state leaders to make renewables a key part of the Indiana’s energy plan.

Gov. Mike Pence’s administration is in the middle of putting together a proposal for a new statewide energy plan.

The group that stood outside the state capitol, holding small plastic wind turbines and solar panels and wearing red shirts that read “GET INDIANA IN THE GAME,’ is pushing for that plan to mandate the use of renewable energy and provide financial incentives to save energy.

Ryan Zaricki, the founder of the Evansville-based solar panel installation company Whole Sun Designs, spoke at the rally. He says there are business as well as environmental reasons to include renewable energy in the state’s energy policy—take his business as an example.

“We’re poised to hire more people. If we had stable policy especially, we could make a long-term plan for our business,” Zaricki said. “Right now, it’s fairly short term, based on the 30 percent federal tax credit that’s set to run out in 2016.”

Gov. Pence has said he wants an all-of-the-above approach that would include energy from renewables as well as traditional sources such as coal.

He’s made it clear that, whatever the mix, keeping Hoosiers’ utility bills low is a priority.