Governor Mike Pence says he’s encouraged by the response he’s received from lawmakers as he pushes for a new energy efficiency program. The program would replace Energizing Indiana, which was eliminated by legislation Pence allowed to become law Thursday.
Pence says he opted not to veto the bill ending the state’s energy efficiency program because he was concerned about rising energy costs for businesses and the impact on job creation. But he says he’s committed to energy efficiency and has directed the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to begin crafting a proposal for a new program he can take to the legislature next year.
“I remain very confident that we’re going to be able to put together the kind of program that works for our environment and works for our economy,” Pence says.
Kerwin Olson is the executive director of the Citizens Action Coalition, a utility consumer advocacy group that supported the now-eliminated Energizing Indiana. He says he’s skeptical of the chances for a new program.
“While I believe that the governor is sincere with his intentions in pursuing legislative options to Energizing Indiana," Olson says, "I’m not so sure that he will succeed.”
Olson notes that if the legislature doesn’t approve a new energy efficiency program, the bill eliminating Energizing Indiana also bars the Pence administration from creating a replacement on its own.