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2021 Indiana General Assembly

Senate Bill 373 Threatens Hoosier Property Values, Water, and Health

 

Senate Bill 373 was significantly amended in the House Natural Resource Committee on March 30th. A dangerous amendment was added to the bill which threatens Hoosier property values, health, water supplies, and environment. 

 

SB373 now does the following:

  • Forces Hoosier property owners to allow dangerous, highly-pressurized carbon dioxide waste captured from dirty manufacturing facilities to be stored long-term underneath their properties without their consent.
  • Grants eminent domain to private corporations with no requirement that they compensate private property owners for condemning their property.
  • Insulates the polluters from any liability associated with any problems which can occur as a result of storing highly pressurized carbon dioxide waste underground.

 

 

 

The potential risks related to the underground storage of highly-pressurized CO2 waste include:

  • The possibility of carbon dioxide leaking into our aquifers, poisoning our water.
  • The possibility of carbon dioxide migrating to the surface, causing asphyxiation because carbon dioxide is heavier than oxygen and displaces oxygen.
  • The possibility of long-term underground storage of carbon dioxide increasing seismic activity

 

SB373 is being pushed by a privately-owned corporation known as Wabash Valley Resources who is claiming that they will develop the largest carbon capture and sequestration project (CCS) ever in the U.S. They opine that it is a climate change mitigation strategy, but the best way to mitigate climate change is to NOT produce carbon dioxide in the first place.

 

As introduced, SB373 promised to create Indiana’s first carbon market by providing incentives for private landowners to maintain their land as farms and forests and by encouraging Indiana companies to buy voluntary carbon offsets from the landowners and provide funding to the state’s Benjamin Harrison Trust to buy more public forest land in Indiana. However, in the committee hearing, the voluntary carbon market was stripped from the bill and turned into a study. 

 

Initially, Wabash Valley Resources intended to repurpose and expand the Wabash River Coal Gasification plant in West Terre Haute into a large-scale ammonia production facility. Now they are claiming they will repurpose the plant to produce hydrogen for energy production and other uses as part of the DOE’s Coal FIRST and Transformative Power Generation initiative. The stated mission of this initiative is to “Keep coal power generation in [the] mix beyond 2050.”

 

This is clearly another huge science experiment for which a private corporation wants to force Indiana property owners and taxpayers to assume liability and take on all of the risk. It makes no sense to open up the entire State of Indiana to the long-term storage of carbon dioxide waste.  CCS is a false solution to climate change that places the health, safety, and the pocketbooks of Hoosier taxpayers at risk. The State of Indiana needs to study this issue before passing any legislation related to the underground storage of carbon dioxide waste.

 

Visit our 2021 Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources Bill Watch List page to learn more about the status of SB373.

 

 

CHOICE Home Care Funding Under Attack

CHOICE Home Care is a state-funded program that allows people who require just a few hours of care each day to remain in their homes with part time assistance, rather than being forced prematurely into round-the-clock nursing facilities. CHOICE Home Care costs Hoosier taxpayers only 4% of what nursing homes cost. People overwhelmingly say they do not want to end up in nursing homes. The CHOICE program helps protect the dignity and independence of our elderly and disabled and saves Indiana money in the long run, and yet CHOICE funding is now under attack in the Indiana State budget.

 

 

 

The Governor’s budget proposes to cut CHOICE nearly $5,000,000 in each of the next two years. As of December 31, 2020, there is a statewide waiting list of nearly 2,000 people which has been increasing with state cutbacks due to COVID-19. This proposed cut to CHOICE funding will increase the number of people on the waiting list by 2,000 in the first year, and by another 2,000 in the second year. 

 

The population of older adults in Indiana is its fastest growing segment. One out of every five Hoosiers, or more than 20%, will be age 65 or older by 2030. In 2015, it was 15%.  In these hard economic times, and with a pandemic raging, Indiana cannot afford to reduce its investment in home and community based services like the CHOICE program.

 

To learn more about the CHOICE Home Care program, visit https://www.citact.org/choice-home-care.

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2021 Redistricting Information 

This year, the legislature will be redrawing Congressional and state legislative district maps using the same format as past years. Since the Indiana General Assembly has refused to create a Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw fair and impartial district maps, we're planning to do it ourselves, along with the other member organizations of the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting.

 

To look up and/or e-mail your Indiana legislators, visit: 

http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/

 

The very best way to get a message to your State Senator and Representative is to call and leave a message with their Legislative Assistants.  These PDF documents have the direct numbers and e-mail addresses for all of our Indiana State Legislators:

 

To mail a letter or make a phone call: 

Indiana Senate
200 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2786
(800) 382-9467
 

Indiana House of Representatives
200 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2786
(800) 382-9842

 

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