Posts Tagged ‘Indiana Businesses for a Clean Energy Economy’

A Report from Capital Hill

Although the Senate has decided to delay any legislation that fully addresses some of our most pressing environmental concerns, the recent trip to Washington D.C. was a positive step in accomplishing this goal.  Led by Jesse Kharbanda, Executive Director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, we met with our Congressional delegation and shared with them in person some of our greatest personal and social concerns regarding the environment and the government’s stewardship of these crucial issues.

While there is still a long road to travel as we work to improve and renew our environment, it became abundantly clear that regardless of any partisanship, we seem to want the same thing: a cleaner, healthier environment.   It was important for the delegation to hear that green development is not only environmentally crucial, but that it is also an economically viable form of investment that strengthens the whole nation.

Initially we discussed the importance of pushing a “Cap and Trade” concept forward; it became evident that we needed to address the most immediate pressing environmental issues with lifestyle modifications and alternative energy strategies.  The US currently has the largest per capita carbon footprint of any country in the world putting us behind such emerging powerhouses at India, China, and Brazil. Deciding how to overcome that issue is tantamount, but we must also keep in mind the need to re-emerge as a leader by example as we begin to develop and utilize a more responsible awareness of the by-products of our social conveniences..

Some Thoughts on the Trip to Capital Hill

Through sweltering heat and suffocating humidity, a diverse group of over 250 business and community leaders  from 25 states descended on Washington, D.C. this past week advocating support for a Clean Energy Bill eager to make its way through the Senate before the August recess in a mere two weeks. The bill, which never made it off the ground, was to be an amalgamation of policies and regulations that would reduce carbon emissions from the atmosphere, prevent oil spills, clean up the environment, and address a plethora of other needs to band-aid our ever deteriorating environment.

The Democratic catch phrase of the week was “Cap and Trade,” a term that sends oil companies, auto companies, coal conglomerates and farmers alike running for cover. The idea is that companies emitting pollutants would be responsible for their unhealthy emissions by paying a fee for any percentage of emissions that rose above a government regulated standard. If companies were unable to reduce their emissions by a certain percentage, they could also “buy” more emission” legroom” from companies that were able to produce less poisonous byproduct and therefore have percentages to trade or sell.

Unfortunately, on a per capita basis, the United States has established itself as the largest producer of carbon emissions. The world needs the United States to reduce her carbon emissions if there is any chance of reducing global warming. If this is the best we can do as a country to clean up our act, we may as well embrace the quagmire of biohazard that our children will inherit because if they make it to adulthood, it is hard to predict what they will recognize as an environmental inheritance..

Tom Barrett to Speak with Members of Congress

I have recently been honored with an invitation to join a group of Hoosiers traveling to Washington D.C. this week (July 20-22) to talk with Indiana’s Congressional delegation about the importance of federal climate and energy legislation.

I will be traveling with the Indiana Businesses for a Clean Energy Economy.  The IBCEE will be focused on building support for comprehensive climate and energy legislation on the federal level during their time in Washington D.C.

I’m quite excited to sit down with some of the brightest minds in the sustainability movement. Here is the agenda for our trip:


10:30 am – Emily Hayden (Ellsworth)

12:30 pm – Nathan Bennett (Carson)

2:00 pm – David Bond (Hill)

3:00 pm – Senator Richard Lugar (himself)

3:15 pm – Rep. Pete Visclosky (himself)


11:00 am – Neil Brown (Lugar)

1:00 pm – Scott Morrison (Bayh)

3:00 pm – Andy Boland (Donnelly).