From: Steve Schoettmer

Elizabethtown

I would like our state representatives to revisit their votes on discouraging Net Metering for solar panels, and their decision to add a yearly $150 fine to anyone who purchases a hybrid car in Indiana. And this is why:

Hurricane Nate came ashore Oct. 8 in Mississippi as a Category 1 hurricane. It was the first hurricane to hit Mississippi since Katrina (2005).

On Sept. 20, Hurricane Maria, the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years, destroyed hundreds of homes and knocked out power across the entire island.

On Sept. 10, Category 5 Hurricane Irma made landfall on Florida. It did a decent job of skirting the western coast line but still managed to encompass the entire state, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, wreaking havoc as it went.

Aug. 25, Category 4 Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas. One of the biggest hurricanes to have ever hit the United States, close to 50,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Global warming is becoming more and more obvious to most of us. And its effect on the intensity of our weather patterns is becoming more and more clear.

However, during this most recent session of the Indiana General Assembly, our state representatives decided to phase out Net Metering in Indiana. That is where those who installed solar panels on their home, at great costs to themselves, received a fair market price for their excess electricity from the power monopolies in the state.

I am sure the state’s energy monopolies are pleased. But, to actively discouraging citizens — who put out thousands of dollars up front, installing solar panel arrays to provide partial energy for their homes and others, so that they can help curb carbon emissions — seems counterproductive.

They also decided to fine individuals with a $150 annual fee when they buy a hybrid automobile. Now I realize that they consider it just a tax to make up for the reduced fuel taxes that these people would pay, but doesn’t that seem counterproductive as well? These people are trying to help the environment by buying state-of-the-art machinery, and they punish that impulse?

I would like to see some of our open-minded readers contact State Rep. Milo Smith and State Sen. Greg Walker and ask them to revisit their decisions on these votes.

We are all stewards of the environment. But Milo Smith and Greg Walker are casting votes that discourage our citizenry from listening to their better angels.