VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO / WAWV) – With coal-fired power plants closing across the state, State Representative Ed Soliday said the renewable energy market was growing.
He penned HB 1381 and said he believed this was a way for the state to invest and attract larger businesses to Indiana.
“The big corporations are saying we won’t be coming to Indiana until you get your case and this is an attempt to do it,” said Rep. Soliday. “This is a way to strike a balance between a property owner’s right to be free to use their property because it belongs to them, and a neighbor’s right to say, ‘Hey, you’re bothering me. “
If the law is passed and incorporated into the law, wind and solar energy developers could build power plants without the county’s approval.
The Vigo County Commissioners have passed a resolution against the proposed legislation. Commissioner Brendan Kearns said he believed it was wrong.
“If that happened, it would take these processes away from us. Someone in Indianapolis who has no ties to Vigo County and may not even care about Vigo County could approve this. “I said,“ I just think that’s wrong. Everything about it is wrong. “
According to Soliday, Indiana’s power grid can currently use 30% of renewable energy. He said his goal was to help the state find a balance.
“We’re trying to find something that is consistent. We will use renewable energies. There are people out there who say, “I’m absolutely against renewable energy,” he continued. “But the problem is, whether we like it or not, we’re going to use them. There is a market for them and we are trying to create a venue that will make us more marketable. “
Kearns welcomed the idea of renewable energy. However, he fears that a bill like HB1381 could harm local government in the long run.
“Why would you do this to all 92 counties in the state? Realistically, it only affects 60 counties in the state. If you look closer, this is just my theory, but this is the first step in removing the district officials control. “
HB1381 went through the Indiana House of Representatives in February. It is currently awaiting a vote by the Senate. MP Soliday said he was optimistic that the bill would pass.