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Pence Pushes for New Energy Efficiency Program

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. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.