The Journal Gazette
Monday, April 24, 2017 1:00 am

Senate bill squelches innovation on energy

As technology and finance leaders, we are bullish about many aspects of Indiana – its collaborative, hard-working culture, its first-rate universities, its low cost of living, its commitment to upgrading its infrastructure and its favorable tax climate.

We, however, have serious concerns about Senate Bill 309 –  a bill that has drawn overwhelming opposition from the public – becoming law. We urge Gov. Eric Holcomb to veto SB 309.

First, SB 309 would impose numerous roadblocks to customer-owned renewable energy, which would seriously hamper the growth of this promising sector. This bill would deter companies from using their own capital to invest in cost-saving, on-site renewables generation.

Second, SB 309 signals that Indiana is afraid of a vibrant, competitive marketplace when it comes to the renewable energy sector. This is not a good signal to send, when the U.S. solar energy sector alone employs more than triple the number of people in the U.S. coal sector.

Third, SB 309 sends a wrong signal to recent graduates, particularly those in STEM fields. It tells them that Indiana is willing to pass policies that restrict an innovating sector like renewables. That is not helpful in our quest to retain and attract talent to Indiana.

Last, the most important element of SB 309 – pertaining to the value assigned to customer-owned renewable energy that is exported to the grid – is, according to the author of SB 309, “arbitrary.” To seriously overhaul policy pertaining to a high-growth sector in an “arbitrary” way does not bode well for those business leaders, like ourselves, who value data-driven decision-making both with respect to our sectors and with respect to public policy.

We urge the governor to veto SB 309.

The authors

Don Brown, CEO, LifeOmic; founder, Interactive Intelligence

Christopher Baggott, co-founder,ExactTarget; co-founder,

Compendium Software; founder & CEO, ClusterTruck

Sam B. Sutphin, managing partner, White River Venture Partners, LP

Jeffrey S. Ton, EVP, Bluelock, LLC

Mark E. Hill, managing partner, Collina Ventures, LLC

Pam Cooper, CEO, Boosterville

Jon Gilman, CEO, Clear Software

Richard D. Waterfield, managing member, Waterfield Capital LLC

Kelly Pfledderer, founder, former CEO, Apparatus

David Kerr, CEO, Octiv

Anthony S. Serianni, president/CEO, Omicron Biochemicals Inc.

Aman Brar, former president, Apparatus

John Maxwell Yoder, CEO, Lessonly

Eric Christopher, co-founder and CEO, Zylo

Bill Johnson, CEO, Salesvue

John McDonald, CEO, Clear Object

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