INDIANAPOLIS (August 11, 2006) - A key component has been added by Governor Mitch Daniels to the state's Accelerating Growth economic growth plan. The "Hoosier Homegrown" Energy Plan aims at boosting Indiana jobs and growth through greater production of various forms of energy within the state.
Governor Mitch Daniels and Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman outlined the vision and goals of Hoosier Homegrown Energy today during a series of statewide meetings. The governor also signed Executive Order 06-14 to create an Interagency Council on Energy to oversee the further development and implementation of the plan and to provide energy policy advice to the governor and General Assembly.
"Indiana consumers pay lower rates - among the lowest in the country" and that is a key competitive advantage for all of our business growth and retention. But that advantage is at risk because we will soon become a net importer of electricity. We already import all of our natural gas and are the sixth largest per capita natural gas-consuming state," said Daniels. "The state's economic comeback depends on development of our energy potential."
Among goals of the plan, which has been in development over the past year, are:
- Substitute Indiana coal and biomass for current coal, natural gas and petroleum imports to supply Indiana's energy to reduce energy dependency and increase reliability.
- Maintain and extend the state's competitive advantage of reliable, low-cost power.
- Produce electricity, natural gas and transportation fuels from clean coal and bioenergy. Build needed new power plants using "clean coal" technology and make synthetic gas from coal instead of importing natural gas
- Improve energy efficiency and infrastructure
"Our energy industry must grow. With new forms of energy production, such as biodiesel, ethanol and clean coal we will preserve and grow jobs and incomes," said the governor. Daniels also is joining company officials today to announce plans for the state's newest ethanol plant, at the Ports of Indiana in Mount Vernon.
The state already has dramatically grown its biofuels industry in the past 18 months. The governor said he is confident the state will be equally as successful in its pursuit of clean coal and biomass facilities, which also will create new jobs and provide Indiana with greater energy security.
Currently, 75 percent of the state's energy expenditures leave Indiana for imports of coal, natural gas and oil. Coal provides over 90 percent of electric generation in the state, but over 50 percent of coal consumed comes from outside of the state. Indiana has an abundance of coal - 17 billion tons of reserves or 485 years of reserves at current consumption rates -- but it is high in sulfur content and requires clean air technologies to use productively. The energy plan calls for pursuit of clean coal technologies and building new generation facilities.
The plan also encourages more use of biomass for power generation which would expand Indiana's agriculture, food processing and other waste-producing ventures, involving animal waste, landfill gas, and woody biomass.
And the state's energy future is also dependent on engaging colleges and universities to prepare needed skilled workers and perform research and development to find ways to commercialize technology and make Indiana's energy use more efficient.
The governor directed that all state fleet vehicles become flexible fuel capable as they are replaced and that state government buildings in Marion County use Hoosier Homegrown renewable energy for 10 percent of power needs by 2010 and 25 percent by 2025.
The Interagency Council on Energy will be comprised of the director of the Office of Energy and Defense Development, who also will serve as chairman; the chair of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission; Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor; commissioner of the Department of Transportation; the president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation; the director of the Department of Natural Resources; the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Management; the executive director of the Department of Homeland Security; the director of the Department of Agriculture, and the commissioner of the Department of Administration.
The strategic energy plan was created by the Office of Energy and Defense Development over the past year through extensive consultation with energy consumers and producers as well as federal, state and local officials in several public hearings across the state.
A copy of Hoosier Homegrown Energy may be found at this link: www.energy.in.gov. A copy of EO 06-14 may be found at this link: www.in.gov/gov/media/eo/index.html.