Indiana Representative Pierce Introduces Feed Law Bill

By Paul Gipe


Representative Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) has introduced HB 1622, the Advanced Renewable Energy Tariffs Act, into the Indiana General Assembly. The bill received first reading January 16, 2009 and was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Energy, Technology and Utilities. Representative Pierce is Vice Chair of the committee.

The Midwest has become a hot bed of activity around feed-in tariffs since the introduction of HB 5218, the Michigan Renewable Energy Sources Act, in the fall of 2007 by Representative Kathleen Law.

Following a presentation by Representative Law to the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators in early 2008, bills were introduced into the Illinois and the Minnesota state assemblies. Representative David Bly has announced that he plans to reintroduce his bill into Minnesota’s new legislative session. Illinois representatives have been preoccupied with the impeachment of Governor Blagojevich and it is uncertain whether the Illinois bill will be reintroduced.

Representative Pierce announced on September 10, 2008 at DePauw University that he intended to introduce a bill calling for a full system of Advanced Renewable Tariffs like those in Germany, France, and Spain into the next legislative session. Since that time Pierce was named Vice Chair of the relevant committee.

Indiana has effectively no renewable energy policy and only a fledgling renewable energy industry. Nevertheless, there is some wind energy development in the north of the state, all for export, and an Italian manufacturer of gearboxes for wind turbines plans to open a factory near Muncie, Indiana.

HB 1622 is patterned after the Michigan bill and like the Michigan bill is intended to spur job creation in a state suffering from the collapse of the auto industry, long a major employer.