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Longtime Indiana coal ally puts thumb on the scale for solar and wind

Industrial wind and solar energy developers have found a friend in state Rep. Ed Soliday, a Republican from Valparaiso. Historically, Soliday has been an ardent supporter of Indiana’s coal industry.

It’s surprising, then, that his proposed legislation in Indiana House Bill 1381 reads like a commercial wind and solar developer’s wish list.

Soliday’s bill attempts a power grab from Hoosiers who are fighting against poorly sited industrial wind and solar projects in their own rural communities.

Soliday’s bill eviscerates local control of restrictions that can be placed on utility-scale wind and solar energy systems, restrictions such as their allowable size and setback requirements. It’s a move that Rep. Soliday surely would have previously rejected as a leftist practice of imposing an external will on local governments.

Soliday’s bill places the interests of utility-scale wind and solar developers over the interests of Hoosiers. Lobbyists are working hard to secure representatives’ support for this bill and are banking on it passing through unnoticed by the public. Voters interested in maintaining local control of zoning and development ordinances should let their elected officials know that they oppose Soliday’s bill.

Jessica McCain

Shelby County