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Universities Could Ban Natural Gas Under Bill

House Bill 1191 will allow universities to put policies in place to make their campuses greener, but still, many cities won’t be able to do this. This bill prevents cities from banning natural gas and less energy-efficient materials while constructing a new home or building. Climate activists and other groups were happy that this would cut out the similar language applied to colleges and universities from the bill.

The proposal was authored by lawmaker and home builder Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie). He said that going green drives up the cost of homes, and the buyers need to choose what kind of energy they use. He said, “My customers want gas — they do. They want gas-fired barbecues, they want gas lights, they want that choice.”

Cities in the states of California, Massachusetts, and Ohio have passed ordinances banning natural gas in new buildings due to climate concerns. Joe Yount, who works with the American Institute of Architects in India said that not allowing cities like Indianapolis to require energy efficiency makes it very difficult to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach the ultimate climate goals.

Yount said, “If one of their goals is sustainability and sending a message to Fortune 500 companies that ‘we’re supportive of your goals here’ — their standard for LEED certification can do that.” Pressel’s Bill had made it to the committee and now is moving to the full Senate for consideration. The Resilience Institute supports Indiana Environmental reporting. It is an Indian University Grand Challenge Project.

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