It was standing room only, but the Indiana NAACP #Just Energy Freedom supporters had front row seats, saved with blue square-cut outs with red words ”JustEnergy Freedom, Indiana NAACP” this is the campaign slogan for opposition to HB 1320.
The supporters are representatives of Gary Branch NAACP pictured from right to left (Leona Chandler-Felton, Gary Environmental Climate Justice (ECJ) Chair & Fred Buckley), Indiana NAACP ECJ Chair, (Denise Abdul-Rahman) Minority Business Enterprise Solar Development (Keni Washington, Earth-Solar), and an Indianapolis, IN resident, who is a member of the Indianapolis NAACP Branch (Rita Gousman). The supporters are passionate regarding their opposition and their support of Indiana NAACP position on HB 1320 and “showed up and showed out” at the Utility and Telecommunications Committee Hearing held on February 18, 2015.
The bill is indicative of attacks on Net Metering policies across the country. The word is organizations like ALEC and Edison Electric Institute are the “Ghost Writers” or playbook for all of the attacks on the Clean Energy Distributed Generation. This playbook has created a “Great Debate” that low-income and minorities are and will suffer on their electric utility bill, because they are “subsidizing” others that distribute clean energy across the grid.
The bill was authored by Representative Koch and it initially set out to impose fixed rate charges on customer that are energy receivers and customers that generate energy. This section of the bill was referred to as “Section 8” and was removed and considered a victory. However, the bill still proposes a tariff on distributed generation.
Somehow the varying lobbyist managed to obtain resolutions and such, that validated the subsidy claim. These resolutions were presented at the hearing. The first was presented by Representative Koch a resolution from the National Policy Alliance, then upon later a resolution from the American Association of Blacks in Energy.
There were 42 persons and some representing organizations signed up to provide testimony, including 5 supporters of the Indiana NAACP position. Only 8 persons representing organizations were allowed to speak in opposition of which the Indiana NAACP ECJ Chair, Denise Abdul-Rahman was allowed to speak, but had arranged for the IN NAACP advocates to speak. There were 2 speakers in a neutral position and only 2 spokesperson for the bill, Indiana Energy Association (IEA) and Industry Manufacturers Association. This was unsettling particularly since, the Gary Branch ECJ Chair had traveled from Gary, IN. The State NAACP Chair stood up and requested that Our Representatives be heard with no avail.
NAACP is Standing up and Representing Our Communities.