The following letter was sent to U.S. Senators Evan Bayh, (D-Ind.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) on Feb. 13 asking them to support a federal Renewable Energy Standard (RES) requiring utilities to obtain electricity from renewable sources, such as solar, wind, geothermal and bioenergy.

The signatories include renewable energy business owners, academics, citizens, mayors, farmers and labor leaders. Sen. Bayh sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that may make a decision in March on the need for a federal standard.


Dear Senators Lugar and Bayh:

As a diverse group of Indiana companies, manufacturers, renewable energy developers, scientists and academics, farmers, unions, as well as local elected officials, we are writing to urge you to support a 25-percent-by-2025 Renewable Electricity Standard (RES).

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has said he plans to introduce an RES bill early in the 111th Congress. President-elect Obama supports an RES of 25 percent by 2025.

A strong national RES will benefit Indiana and is an essential component of a broader national energy strategy. It will help the nation to take full advantage of the abundant domestic renewable resources available for the generation of electricity.

"Job creation, capital investment and farm income are all expected to increase with a stronger RES."

An RES is a market-based mechanism that requires electric utilities to include a specific percentage of clean, renewable energy in their generation portfolios, or to purchase renewable energy credits from others. By substantially increasing renewable electricity generation, the RES would enhance national energy security by diversifying our sources of electric generation. At a time when the United States is increasing energy imports, an RES would make America more energy self-reliant.

The reduction in the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity would also limit fuel price volatility, which is important to both industry and consumers. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy’s own Energy Information Administration has found in several studies that an RES would actually cause natural gas prices to decline.

A strong national RES will produce substantial economic benefits to Indiana. Using the Department of Energy’s National Energy Modeling System, the Union of Concerned Scientists found that last year’s 20 percent by 2020 would create 5,300 jobs in Indiana and would attract $272 million in new capital investment. Additionally, through selling energy crops like switchgrass and algae as well as leasing land for wind turbines, Indiana farmers and landowners would earn $1.2 billion in new income. Job creation, capital investment and farm income are all expected to increase with a stronger RES.

A strong national RES will save Indiana consumers and businesses money, as well. Under the RES, additional renewable energy supplies will increase competition with existing sources of energy. UCS’ analysis demonstrates that cumulative savings on electricity and natural gas bills will be $130 million by 2020, and $420 million by 2030.

We believe the time has come for Congress to move quickly to enact national RES legislation. The costs of inaction for our environment, national security and economy are too high. Although 28 states have adopted individual RES programs, the country will not realize the full potential for renewable electricity without the adoption of a Federal program to enhance the states’ efforts.

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.


Elected Officials

Mayor Fred Armstrong
City of Columbus

Mayor Bryan Conklin
City of Union City

Mayor Michael E. Fincher
City of Logansport

Mayor Mark Kruzan
City of Bloomington

Gary Morton, Member
Tell City Common Council

Citizen Groups

Tom Anderson, Executive Director
Save the Dunes Council
Michigan City

John Blair, President
Valley Watch

Jesse Kharbanda, Executive Director
Hoosier Environmental Council

Laura Martin, President
NE Indiana Green Build Coalition
Ft. Wayne

Grant Smith, Executive Director
Citizens Action Coalition

Citizens, Academics and Labor

Professor Robert Koester
Ball State University

Jim Robinson, Director
United Steelworkers District 7

Jan & Wolfgang Rubsam

Nancy Poore

Professor Dan Vaughn
Vincennes University


Derrick Adkins
Wolfsong Wind Systems

Steve Aker
White Construction

Dennis Bidwell, Owner
BPM Service Today

Terry Black, Co-owner
Green Way Supply

Leon Bontrager, President
Home & Mobile Energy

Kenny Cain, President
Cain’s Homelike Farms

Eric Cotton, Partner
ECI Wind and Solar

Patricia Coxon, President
Sun Wind Power Systems
Floyds Knobs

Doug Dayhoff, President
Upland Beer

David Hippensteel, President
Riverbridge Electric
North Manchester

David Kadlec, LEED AP
Casa Verde LLC

TJ Kanczuzewski, Vice President
Inovateus Solar
South Bend

Bill Keith, President
SunRise Solar
St. John

Daniel Leismer
Renewable Energy Solutions

Chris Limcaco, President

David Mann, President
Mann Plumbing

Brad Morton, President
Morton Energy

Megan Moss, CEO
Moss Construction Cost Management

Hermann Nuyken
Michiana Solar Products

Jim Purcell, President
The Time Factory

Brian Robertson, Vice President
Independent Wind Energy
Fort Wayne

Jim Soots, Owner
Abundant Energy Works, Inc.

Ryan Stout, Vice President
Battery Xpress

James Thompson, Manager
Thompson Farms
Star City

Glen White, Owner
Solar Enterprises, Inc.

Rich Will, President
Bright Idea Energy Solutions

Mac Williams
Inverde, LLC

Les Zimmerman
Zimmerman Farm Nursery