HERE’S WHAT WE PRESENTED TO THE SENATE ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE TODAY ON BEHALF OF ENVIRONMENTAL CLIMATE JUSTICE,
NAACP INDIANA TESTIMONY HB 1082 FEBRUARY 15TH, 2016
The Proposed Law “No More Stringent Than” will create significant, real obstacles for our state regulators.
First, the proposed law will impose additional costs on state agencies over and above the usual costs of rulemaking, in terms of staff time, money, and available expertise, most state budgets are already strained keeping with Federal regulations.
Second, the proposed law raises tendency to single out for further scrutiny—by executive branch overseers, lawmakers, and the public—proposed regulations that are more stringent than the federal baseline. Although state rulemaking is always a public process, the presumption that seems to underlie qualified stringency provisions is that a more-stringent state regulation is unnecessary or unjustified until proven otherwise.
Third, these provisions can, expressly or impliedly, place an agency in the difficult position of arguing that the federal rule is insufficient to protect the people of the state— rather than simply explaining why the proposed more-stringent regulation is more protective. Together, these considerations create a disincentive for state agencies to pursue more-stringent regulations. And even when agencies decide to proceed in the face of qualified stringency requirements, they must bear opportunity costs in terms of other regulatory initiatives that will receive correspondingly fewer agency resources according to Environmental Law Institute,2013.
According to Abrams Environmental Law Clinic
“no stricter than” law are that federal regulations are not necessarily aligned with the needs and the constituent desires in Indiana, that such a law is just an obstacle when a stricter rule is needed and symbolic otherwise, that such a law prevents the state from being a ‘laboratory’ for environmental policy, and that such a law improperly prioritizes the interests of businesses over individual state citizens.
How Does This Proposed Law Compare to Similar Laws In Other States? The proposed law, in its current form, appears much more stringent than similar laws in other states. First, by applying the law to all environmental rules under the purview of the ERB and IDEM the proposed law is very broad. Most states with some form of “no more stringent than federal” law in the environmental context direct the law to a specific concern or at least a specific medium (e.g. water). Second, most states with such a law provides an exception that is less burdensome than the specific statutory authorization exception in HB 1082. For example, the state with the closest law to HB 1082, Oklahoma, still has a significantly less burdensome exception. Oklahoma law requires a written statement of economic impact and environmental benefit be submitted to the governor and Legislature before any ‘more stringent’ rules can be adopted
Environmental Justice Perspective-
In terms of EJ concerns, the effect of this proposed law would presumably not be to make disadvantaged communities any worse-off environmentally than under the status quo, but it could impede efforts to improve conditions for those communities. AND OF COURSE WHEN Conditions in EJ communities of concern, would still require action from IDEM if falling short of federal standards.
Yet, if conditions in such communities in Indiana were at the bare minimum for federal standards – or if federal standards specified a larger area of assessment such that the plight of the community of concern is buried in a compliant average – any efforts to improve the conditions would face a serious impediment in addition to the usual political and economic obstacles facing any such effort.
For example, assuming a situation where the NAACP, on behalf of EJ communities reached out to IDEM would have been enough to secure extra monitoring of air quality WITHIN AN EJ COMMUNITY beyond federal minimum requirements under the status quo, the same outcome would require additional reaching out to sufficiently to secure a majority in the General Assembly to authorize this rule, as well as additional time for the legislature to pass the legislation, relative to an IDEM Rule making process, and a time restriction in the form of the Assembly’s legislative session.
MEANINGFUL ENGAGEMENT NULL AND VOID
This proposed law will dismiss any meaningful engagement, as proposed by the Clean Power Plan (ALBIET IN A STAY WITH SCOTUS), whereas, Environmental Justice Communities will not have the means to effectively reach out to IDEM if what the communities seeks is more stringent than the EPA current requirements for Indiana. This proposed law will disproportionately impact EJ communities.
FOR THAT REASON WE RESPECTFULLY REQUEST THAT THE COMMITTEE VOTE NO ON HB 1082 OR SEND IT TO A STUDY COMMITTEE.
DENISE ABDUL-RAHMAN, BS, MBA, HCM,HIS
ENVIRONMENTAL CLIMATE JUSTICE CHAIR
NAACP INDIANA STATE CONFERENCE
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Denise Abdul-Rahman, Chair of Indiana’s NAACP Environmental Climate Justice, added “It is unfair for communities of concern to continue to host and bear the burden of an antiquated infrastructure and fossil fuel energy source. Now they are subjected to the possibility of paying more, when they are already surviving by employing energy efficiency tactics out of necessity. ”
PLEASE JOIN US for the REACTION
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19TH, 6:00 PM
AT KHPREW INSTITUTE, 3549 Boulevard Place, Indianapolis, IN
WE WILL HAVE REACTIONS TO THE HEARING ON HB 1320 AND DISCUSSIONS AROUND HOW CLEAN AND RENEWABLE ENERGY IMPACTS OUR COMMUNITIES.
Please go to Khprew Institute website http://kheprw.org/savinglives/ SAVING LIVES. They are mentoring youth, providing a social incubator for the community and they are Crowdsourced funding a project that includes ROOF-TOP SOLAR.
Their work really exemplifies the mission of the Indiana NAACP Environmental Climate Justice Committee and we are asking you to help us to support their vision. It is urban, it is youth, it is not-for-profit, it is elderly and it is community. It is what the Indiana NAACP might call #JUSTENERGY!
Let’s Blog and Social Media our discussion!
Why do the ratepayers continue to get bombarded with infinite rate increase requests? There is no real consumer protection in HB 1320; however, the bill does facilitate Electric Utility Loss Revenue Protections. What a Sweet Deal!
House Bill 1320 is a very dangerous bill. It sets a very horrific precedent that allows Electric Utility monopolies to keep on monopolizing and ensuing tactics that will allow them to galvanize enough time to revamp their archaic business model.
The Electric Utility is incurring Revenue Losses. Why? Because industrial powers plants are looming dinosaurs and energy efficiency reduces the use of energy. In fact, once our Electric Energy System is modernized with clean and renewable energy, then we can most likely seize to even contemplate energy efficiency methodologies and goals.
Yesterday evening, on the House floor, Representative Eric Koch, announced that the hearing on HB 1320 will be February 18th, Wednesday at 1:30 pm. The goal of the bill is to provide “fairness and equity” on behalf of a “Typical Customer.”
HB 1320 proposes to impose a tax and completely change the existing Indiana Net Metering Policy. According to NAACP Just Energy: Reducing Pollution and Creating Jobs, Indiana Report, February 2014, Indiana provides a retail credit for ratepayers with system capacities of 1,000 kW, however, providing credit to ratepayers with system capacities up to 2,000 kW would provide more flexibility and incentives for in-state renewable energy generation and would help individual consumers and small businesses to affordably access clean energy resources.
It is fairer to prop up distributed generating ratepayers, then to prop up Electric Utilities. We believe there are far more benefits to our communities to cultivate a solar and wind friendly environment. The imposition of a Net Metering Tax will hinder solar and wind industry investments in our state, deterring free competition, and as a result hindering the solar industry, minority solar business enterprise opportunities and job opportunities. The Indiana unemployment rate is approximately 5% and among African Americans it is approximately 11%. The Solar Foundation reports solar industry jobs are eight times greater than oil or gas. In addition, African Americans spent 41 billion on energy in 2009; they only held 1.1% of the energy jobs according to a 2010 study conducted by the American Association of Blacks in Energy.
The Indiana NAACP believes HB 1320 creates uncertainty in the net metering policy and that’s not fair.
Denise Abdul-Rahman-President and CEO