Events
EPA Clean Power Plan

In 2013, President Obama announced a national climate action plan. It includes a limit on carbon pollution from power plants, more renewable energy on public lands and government buildings, more efficient transportation, cutting energy waste in homes, businesses and factories, and much more. It also includes building smarter and more resilient infrastructure to withstand climate impacts we can no longer avoid. And, to address this challenge, President Obama created the Task Force on Climate Resiliency and Preparedness to which Mayor Brainard was appointed.

On June 18, 2014, the EPA issued a proposed draft rule for existing power plants.  The power sector is the largest, concentrated source of carbon pollution, responsible for 1/3 of U.S. carbon pollution. The Clean Power Plan sets a national target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.  This plan is part of Section 111d of the Clean Air Act.

On August 3, 2015, President Obama unveiled the EPA rule which sets the national target at 32% by 2030. That's 32% from 2005 levels. 2005 was used as a reference because it's commonly used in the international community. Click here to see the presidents speech (26 min video).

This historic action comes as nations prepare for the Paris climate talks in December 2015, and demonstrates to the world that the U.S. is ready to lead on climate change. You don't have to be a climate scientist to know there's something wrong and that we need to do something about it before it's too late.  Climate change is our generation's greatest challenge.  Stand with fellow Hoosiers to celebrate bold action on climate.

Co-Benefits

There are co-benefits with this carbon rule because it also reduced mercury pollution, sulfur dioxide, and  fine particle pollution which can contribute to severe asthma attacks, lung damage, heart problems, increased hospitalizations and even premature death.  The combined health and climate benefits of the Clean Energy Plan are estimated at $55 to $93 billion in 2030, according to the EPA. (Janet McCabe ppt, pg 4)  This is likely a conservative estimate.  For example, climate and weather disasters  in 2012 cost the American economy more than $100 billion with Superstorm Sandy, severe weather, heat waves, drought, and wildfires.  That's just one year and doesn't include health impacts.  The potential health and climate benefits far outweigh the cost of the plan.

Additional Info

Status/News

  • August 2, 2015 -  President Obama releases a Facebook video leading up to signing of the new EPA rule
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  • July 10, 2015 - Disappointly, Gov. Pence continues to deny climate science and oppose the Clean Power Plan along with a handful of U.S. governors. Read USNews article.
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  • June 9, 2015 -  Gov. Mike Pence advocates for coal.  "Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed State of West Virginia et al v. Environmental Protection Agency, Case No. 14-1112.  Indiana was one of fourteen petitioners in the case, which asked the Court to review the legality of the EPA’s proposed regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.  The Court held that it does not have the authority to review proposed agency rules.  In response, Governor Mike Pence issued the following statement.

    “The Court’s decision is discouraging, but it does not dampen our resolve to use every legal means at our disposal to stop burdensome regulations. Though the Court declined to let the litigation proceed because of procedural matters, the Court’s decision did not speak to the substance of our claim that the EPA lacks the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants in the way proposed.  We will renew our claim and seek to invalidate the regulations once they are finalized later this summer.”

    Source: in.gov

 

 
2015 Fall Conference

Saturday, September 26, 2015 Button-HowtoGreenYourCongregation-RSVPMultifaith
9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
With an optional free fellowship lunch for further conversation

Grace Church
Student Ministries East Wing
5504 E 146th St. Noblesville


FREE—Please click here to RSVP
Pre-registration is requested for planning purposes.

  • See how congregations are protecting God’s Creation.
  • Save your congregation money.
  • Network with experienced leaders.

FREE BABYSITTING!
Free babysitting will be available during the conference and luncheon from 9:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for children up to 5th grade.  Please indicate the number and ages of children when you RSVP.  There are a limited number of spots for free childcare so please RSVP right away.

Guest Presentors from:

  • Project Eden
  • Northview Church
  • Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
  • St. Peter's United Church of Christ
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
  • Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis
  • All Souls Unitarian Church
  • First Presbyterian Church (Jeffersonville)
  • Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light

Breakout Sessions:

  • Building a Green Team: Sharon Horvath and Diane Hamstra
    Two different approaches to starting a green team will be discussed. The session will include ideas about how to attract members, build support, initiate activities, and sustain a team once you have it.
  • Living Faith and Creation Care: Trisha Tull and Larry Kleiman
    Environmental issues are often seen as scientific, technological, or political, but at root they involve human meaning and belief: the purposes of human life, our relationships with creator and creation, and our responsibilities to the future. In this workshop we will explore ways that faith calls us to earth care.
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  • Rethinking Energy Use and Cost: Ray Wilson and Cindy Whitaker
    Learn why you should be concerned about energy consumption in your congregation and home, and how to get started reducing it.
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  • Landscaping Green and Creating Community Gardens: Ginger Bievenour and Sara Sterley
    Project Eden is a nonprofit focused on reconnecting people with creation and restoring broken ecosystems, and features a community garden. St. Peter’s Native Habitat, consisting of rain gardens and prairie, grew out of a desire to make better use of the church property and to increase its environmental responsibility. Learn about the processes of discernment and growth for these two environmentally and socially beneficial land conversions.
  • Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling: Tammy Snyder and Steven Boggs
    Learn why reducing, reusing, and recycling common materials matter economically and ecologically, how to do a waste audit of your facility, and the ins and outs of implementing source reduction and recycling in your congregation.
  • Public Issues and Policy Challenges: Mike Oles and Paula Sutton
    Indiana’s environmental future is currently being discussed in Washington DC, at the statehouse, and in communities across the state. This workshop will highlight why it is important for people of faith to make their voices heard in the public arena.

Project Eden Tours:

After the conference, there will be tours of the community garden and restoration areas at Grace.

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Click here to see conference flyer.

Click here to see the Aug 18 press release.

Click here for Conference Evaluation Survey

Click here to see suggested blurb for bulletin, website and facebook.

#387622

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Climate Action Plan for Indiana

Thirty-four states have adopted Climate Action Plans to measure their state's greenhouse gases and take actions to reduce them.

Indiana doesn't have one yet.

Youth Power Indiana, an environmental youth program of Earth Charter Indiana, is collecting signatures on a petition for a Climate Action Plan for Indiana. Adults and youth are encouraged to sign the petition.  Please share this with your friends, family and young people.

Carmel Green Initiative applauds these young people and their effort to address climate change, and has adopted a resolution in support of a Climate Action Plan for Indiana.

On June 11, 2014, Youth Power Indiana submitted the petition to the Environmental Rules Board (ERB) requesting that the ERB adopt a rule to establish the process for the development of a comprehensive, state-wide climate action plan.

The petition meets the statutory criteria per Indiana Code §13-14-8-5:

1) It has well over 200 signatures, nearly 1000;
2) It includes a Statement of Reasons to support adoption of the rule and a legal analysis of the ERB's authority to adopt such a rule;

3) This issue has not been addressed by the ERB within the past 6 months; and

4) The petition is "NOT plainly devoid of merit" as 34 states have already adopted a climate action plan.

Having met the criteria, the law requres that the ERB hold a public hearing.

However, the ERB did not make plans for a hearing at its September 10th meeting.  At its November 12th meeting, ERB member Tom Anderson made a motion to have a hearing, but there was no second.

 

CAll To Action:

1. Call, e-mail or meet with ERB members to urge them to grant a hearing on ECI/YPI’s rulemaking petition, and

2. Attend the next ERB meeting to show support and to demand a Climate Action
Plan NOW.


 

ENVIRONMENTAL RULES BOARD

Beverly Gard, Chair

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Bill Etzler, Vice Chair

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Ken Rulon

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Gail Boydston

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Tom R. Anderson

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Chris Horn

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Gary Powdrill

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Ted Niemiec

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Kelly Carmichael

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Joanne Alexandrovich

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Cal Davidson

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David Bausman

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Mike Mettler

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Cameron Clark

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Pam Fisher

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Thomas Easterly, IDEM

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Sustainable Living Seminar: Lethal Seas
Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015     LethalSeas2
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Carmel Clay Public Library
55 4th Avenue Southeast, Carmel, IN 46032

A deadly recipe threatens the survival of countless creatures throughout Earth’s oceans:  carbon dioxide.  With carbon emissions sharply rising, this silent killer is entering the seas at a staggering rate, raising the ocean’s acidity.  As a result, the skeletons and shells of marine creatures that form the foundation of the web of life are dissolving.  Can experts crack the code of a rapidly changing ocean before it is too late?  Come see “Lethal Seas” to hear what is happening and what we can do to prevent it.

After the viewing of "Lethal Seas", oceanography professor, Bill Gilhooly, Department of Earth Sciences at IUPUI, will highlight a few points about ocean acidification, and answer your questions.  As a follow-up action, we'll  discuss ways we can help by reducing our carbon emissions.

This program is part of The White River Festival. River waters eventually lead to the ocean. Actions we take to protect the oceans from acidification will also protect the White River from global warming, mercury pollution and acid rain. Click here to see other White River Festival events.

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

  • Predicting Future Oceans This report published in the journal Science compared the future of the oceans under two climate change scenarios. In one scenario, we limit atmospheric warming to two degrees by 2100, as outlined by the Copenhagen accord. In the other, we continue with the current high CO2 emissions, which researchers say would cause a five-degree increase in atmospheric temperatures. They say if warming continues unchecked, fish will migrate away from their current habitats 65 per cent faster, resulting in changes to biodiversity and ecosystem functions. In addition, the acidity of the world’s oceans, as measured by pH, is likely to decrease by 0.33 units by the end of the century, a rate that is unprecedented over the past millions of years.  The report is intended to inform discussions at the upcoming 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
  • Contrasting futures for oceans and society from different anthropogenic CO2 emissions scenarios Science, July 3, 2015 - "The management options to address ocean impacts narrow as the ocean warms and acidifies. Consequently, any new climate regime that fails to minimize ocean impacts would be incomplete and inadequate."

 
2014 Pence repeals Energizing Indiana program

Efforts to stop SB340 to protect Indiana's Energy Efficiency Program failed.  Gov. Pence became the first governor in the country to repeal the successful state-wide energy efficiency program, Energizing Indiana.

 

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One of the easiest and most effective things Hoosiers can do to reduce their environmental impact is to save electricity because Indiana gets almost all of its electricity from coal.

During the 2014 legislative session, Carmel Green Initiative joined with the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter, Citizens Action Coalition, Hoosier Environmental Council, and others in opposition to  SB340 Demand side management programs because it prohibits the IURC from renewing energy efficiency programs, effectively killing Indiana's most successful energy efficiency program, Energizing Indiana.  The IURC had been preparing to enter into new five-year contracts for the program amidst protests and delay tactics from the utilities.

Energizing Indiana has been a very successful energy efficiency program saving enough energy in its first year to power 64,000 homes for a year. The savings in energy dollars are good for families and the local economy.  Third party audits show Indiana is saving $2 to $3 for every dollar invested in this program.  Also, it has created as many as 400 direct jobs.  A recently released report shows Indiana's energy efficiency program has been more successful than prior utility-run programs and costs less than the national average.  SB340 puts a halt on renewals, effectively killing the energy savings program for homeowners and businesses.

In addition, SB340 allows the biggest users of electricity - industrial customers - to opt out of funding for Demand Side Management (DSM) programs which are used to fund energy efficiency programs, such as Energizing Indiana. It allows the state's largest users of energy to withdraw from the state's best energy conservation program.  Giving Industrial customers a free pass would unfairly and disproportionately shift the financial burden of administering the program to residential and small business ratepayers, and sets a bad precedent for future energy efficiency programs.  The most cost effective form of energy is the kilowatt-hour saved and the power plant that does not have to be built. All ratepayers, including industrials, benefit from avoiding the costs of building new generation, like Edwardsport plant. Likewise, all ratepayers should support DSM programs, even industrials.

Additional information is available at:

 


SB 340 Legislative Process 2014

Here's how it went down...

SB340, authored by Sen. Jim Merritt, passed out of the Senate 37-11. The bill originally allowed the biggest users of electricity - industrial customers - to opt out of funding for Demand Side Management programs which are used to fund energy efficiency programs, such as Energizing Indiana.

Later, the bill was amended in the House to "halt" Indiana's energy efficiency programs with a vote of 69-26.  The VanNatter amendment prohibits the IURC from renewing residential energy efficiency programs, essentially killing the residential, commercial and industrial programs.

Sen. Merrit concurred with the amended bill.  SB340 passed the Senate 37-8 on Mar. 10.  Here is how Hamilton County senators voted:

Sen. Buck - YES
Sen. Kenley - YES
Sen. Delph - NO
Sen. Schneider - YES
Sen. Merritt - YES

If you get a chance, please thank Senator Delph ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) for breaking with his caucus to vote his conscience.  Sen. Delph was the only Republican to vote No on SB340.

Sen. Merritt claims Energizing Indiana is not very effective and costs too much. But the truth is Energizing Indiana has been more successful than any prior utility-run programs and costs less than the national average.  What is really happening here is that Energizing Indiana has been so successful that utilities want to kill it because they're losing money. And it appears Sen. Merritt is more than happy to oblige. "Merritt, who is chairman of the Senate Utility Committee, also is vice president for corporate affairs with the Indiana Rail Road Co. Most of the railroad’s business comes from hauling coal, and its largest clients include utility and coal mining companies." Read more.

SB340 moved to the governor's desk, and Gov. Pence allowed the bill to become law without his signature. Indiana is now the first state in the country to repeal a successful state-wide energy efficiency program.

If you get a chance, please contact the governor to share your thoughts on energy efficiency for Indiana.  Click hereand scroll down to contact the governor online, or call 317-232-4567.

Governor Pence vowed to introduce a new energy-efficiency bill in 2015. Click here to read more.

 

 
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