[r75] Job retention addressed in Rockport, House budget (3/8/2013)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Start Date: 3/8/2013 Start Time: 12:00 AM

Last week marked the end to a highly productive first half of  session. As we continue to work for the best interests of all Hoosiers, one of my main goals for the 2013 session is job creation. With that in mind, I think it’s fitting to highlight the work of the Hoosiers in our community that have been effective in keeping jobs here. A perfect example of this is the Rockport Power Plant located in Spencer County.

The Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), a subsidiary of American Electric Power, reached an agreement in February that will allow I&M to use a different strategy at the Rockport Power Plant to meet the EPA’s requirements. Before this agreement was reached, I&M had filed requesting a dry scrubber on one of the two 1,300-MW coal-fired Rockport units in order to satisfy EPA requirements. The estimates for the dry scrubber project were $1.4 billion. The cost would have to be absorbed by the customers and would ultimately lead to a decrease in jobs.

Under the agreement reached, I&M will install technology on both 1300 MW Rockport units. The cost of installing DSI is less than one-fifth of the cost of a single unit and will meet all environmental regulations. This agreement helped the company not have to shut down other plants because of the high cost of the scrubber. Not only were jobs kept but 40 permanent jobs were added. The strategy will dramatically reduce the cost for the Rockport plant, saving I&M’s customer’s money and sustaining jobs.

I glad to see that they found a balanced solution to their situation. Similarly, the House is working towards a balanced budget this session that will keep Indiana on the path for economic growth. We will continue to prioritize job creation, workforce development, education, boosts the Hoosier economy and works to build and maintain Indiana’s infrastructure.

Another key component to the budget is protecting Indiana taxpayers. The budget plans to do this by maintaining healthy reserves, so taxes will not need to be raised later. Healthy reserves will keep essential government services running in the event of an economic downturn and will additionally help Indiana maintain its AAA credit rating.

When creating a budget, the first priority is realizing that you cannot spend more money than you take in. That same common-sense, conservative approach should apply to government. I am pleased to report that the biennial budget passed in the House last month does just that.

I have met with many Hoosiers from across the state who are working hard to make a better life for themselves. The Hoosiers of our community and our district inspire me – YOU are why I support the 2014-2015 Indiana budget. I will continue to support a balanced budget that protects all Hoosiers and will protect the prosperity of future generations to come.


BLT - Rockport Job Retention_House Budget.docx