Contact Your Elected Officials on 3 Urgent Issues:
Renewable Energy, Public Transit & Green Jobs
#1: Urge Senator Bayh to Vote Yes for the 'Bingaman Renewable Energy Bill'
The need: America is lagging behind Europe and Japan in renewable energy generation & manufacturing. We're far too dependent on fossil fuels, especially in Indiana, where 96% of our electricity is from coal.
The solution: The nation needs to commit to securing 20% of the nation's electricity from wind, biomass, geothermal, solar and other renewables by 2021. This broad policy is called a Federal Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), and the specific proposal expecting a vote is the "Bingaman RES".
The urgency: Senator Bayh is likely to vote against this proposal in a committee vote scheduled to take place on May 7th. Bayh is said to be concerned about the impact of this proposal on electricity rates, even though the bill has strong consumer protections, and similar policies in various states show that the impact of an RES is minimal on electricity rates.
Indiana's benefit: Indiana has an abundant amount of wind power (we're the fastest growing market in the nation), as well as biomass, geothermal and solar energy; a Federal RES would promote the development of these resources. A Federal RES would also promote renewable component manufacturing in Indiana, which has the second highest potential, per person, in the U.S. among manufacturing states.
Call to action:
Call Bayh's DC office at 202.224.5623 or email his Energy Counsel at Chris_Murray@Bayh.senate.gov in support
of the "Bingaman proposal".
#2: Ask Senator Kenley to Support the 'Rep. Austin Public Transit Bill'
The need: Hoosiers often have few practical alternatives to driving. Roads are often not bike friendly, many neighborhoods lack proper sidewalks, and bus systems tend to have limited routes that aren't frequent enough.
Indiana's state government also spends 30 times more money on highways than transit.
The solution: Give communities the ability to raise dedicated sources of funds for public transit, so that communities can increase the number of bus routes, increase bus frequency, and the lay the groundwork for light
rail systems. Not only does this shore up local funds, but it helps localities compete for new federal dollars.
The urgency: Final votes in the Indiana House and Indiana Senate will
occur as soon as Monday, April 27th, and legislative action must be completed by April 29th.
Indiana's benefit: Indiana improves air quality, reduces traffic congestion,
expands workforce mobility, cuts our dependence on oil, and makes our
state more compelling for out-of-state companies and professional talent.
Call to action: Email Senator Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) at email@example.com
in the support of Rep. Austin's HB 1660, a bill that passed the House, but
was denied a hearing in the Senate.
#3: Ask Senator Hershman to Support a Genuine Green Jobs Bill for Indiana
The need: 1 out of 10 Hoosiers are out of work. Indiana's manufacturing base could be retrofitted to produce good-paying green jobs – to produce renewable energy components -- for Hoosiers. The problem is that Indiana is the only state in the Midwest without a comprehensive green jobs policy.
The solution: Secure 15% of Indiana's electricity from renewable resources --
like wind, biomass, and geothermal -- by 2025 through a state "renewable
electricity standard" (RES).
The urgency: Final votes in the Indiana House and Indiana Senate will occur as soon as Monday, April 27th, and legislative action must be completed by April 29th. Legislators involved in the negotiations have not reached an agreement on an RES, and some key negotiators are insisting that coal must be included in an RES.
Indiana's benefit: Indiana has an abundant source of wind power (we're the fastest growing market in the nation), as well as substantial biomass and geothermal sources across the state, as noted above. If a state RES were in
place, Indiana would be a much more favorable destination for renewable energy investment -- and jobs in construction, operations and manufacturing of renewable energy components.
Call to action:
Email Senator Brandt Hershman, who is playing a central role in this negotiations, at firstname.lastname@example.org in support of an RES with only truly renewable energy resources. Indiana's utilities and some state legislators appear to be
pressuring Sen. Hershman to include coal in an RES, despite the fact that coal is not renewables, and enjoys an unprecedented level of state and federal incentives already; right now, Indiana, with approximately 2% of its
electricity supply from renewables, must diversify for the sake of the environment and economy.
Tips for Effective Advocacy
1. Read up on the policy issue.
2. Learn about your legislator's core concerns and interests.
3. Listen carefully to the reasons why your legislator may be reluctant to support a
policy that you care about. Research your legislator's questions, and provide
4. Strive to build an enduring professional relationship with your legislator,
regardless of whether you agree with him/her or not.
5. Learn more about policy issues and effective advocacy at www.hecweb.org