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The Journal Gazette

Monday, March 20, 2017 10:00 pm


Union offers assistance toward IPFW changes

The IPFW local chapter of the American Association of University Professors applauds the concerned group of community and business leaders who spoke of their support of IPFW at a news conference at Helmke Library on Friday.

In particular, we welcome the group’s calls to reconstitute an actively engaged local advisory council that would involve meaningful input from all constituents, including local leadership, as well as faculty, staff and students.

As the group continues to advocate on behalf of our campus, we urge them to involve IPFW faculty, staff and students frequently throughout this process, especially with regard to proposals or advocacy for new academic degree programs.

The IPFW AAUP chapter stands ready and willing to assist this group in any way it can, and is available as a resource for ensuring that any proposed changes to our campus, including the creation of new degree programs, follow established principles of due process and shared governance that uphold the highest standards of academic freedom and independent inquiry.

Steven Alan Carr

Chapter president, IPFW AAUP chapter

Sense lacking in Lansing

Officials at Michigan State University recently banned the use of white boards in residence halls because someone had used one to write a racial slur.

Perhaps this is the first step in the university’s road to fully embracing its mascot – the Spartans. Someone will use a marker on one of the doors – and all the doors will go. Then someone will write something on a wall, and all the walls are gone. Soon the Spartans may be living in tents – and that’s quite spartan.

When will common sense return?

James Schmelzer

Fort Wayne

Solar energy proposal attains needed balance

Indiana’s electric utilities are responding to the needs both of our traditional customers and those who invest in rooftop solar panels. We support changes made recently to Senate Bill 309, which will ensure that those who have solar equipment today will continue to enjoy  favorable rates.

Under the current system, customers who generate their own power aren’t paying the full cost of the electric grid – a grid they use when their system isn’t operating because the sun isn’t shining. That means the costs of providing reliable electric service to rooftop solar customers are, in fact, paid mostly by all other customers.

Legislators want customers to be able to use the power they generate and sell excess power at a premium. These concerns have been addressed through amendments to the bill.

SB 309 now provides a generous 30-year grandfathering period for customers with existing systems. During this time, solar customers will be credited with retail rates for electricity, just like today’s practice.

New customers who install rooftop solar in the next five years, or before solar power accounts for 1.5 percent of a utility’s peak power, will be credited the advantageous retail rate for both the power they use and the excess they put on the grid until 2032.

Even future rooftop solar customers will be credited the full retail rate for power they produce and use. The credit they receive for excess power they put on the grid will be the market price for electricity plus a 25?percent premium.

SB 309 strikes an appropriate balance by both promoting solar energy and protecting customers who can’t afford solar panels.

Mark Maassel

President, Indiana Energy Association