Nancy Michael, candidate for House District 44, announced her support today for increasing the state's investment in alternative energy sources to cut energy costs and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
Michael stated her intentions in Greencastle Tuesday morning at the Gas America Station. Standing in front of a sign showing ethanol at $2.99 per gallon, she said she wants the state of Indiana to set an example in moving toward renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydrogen and other bio-fuels.
"With the price of gasoline teetering on $4 a gallon, the State of Indiana must step up its efforts to invest in the research, development and production of alternative forms of energy," stated Michael.
"It will take a strong commitment from the State to make this a reality," she said.
Michael proposes that all new state and university construction be done in accordance with energy efficient building standards. Indiana currently does not require buildings to be built with energy efficiency in mind. She believes this move will save tax dollars in the long term by lowering utility expenses.
She is also a strong proponent of making all new state vehicles purchased to be flex fuel vehicles that can run on the ethanol blend called E-85. Indiana ranks last out of seven Midwestern states with fewer than one in five vehicles in the state's fleet able to burn E-85.
"District 44 has a large, agricultural community that is eager to expand its production of bio-fuels," said Michael who has been campaigning door to door in Putnam, Parke and Clay county since June.
"The transition to renewable energy will create jobs in rural communities like District 44, where the production of ethanol takes place, and increases investment into our communities," she added.
To diversify the state's energy sources, Michael believes existing incentives need to be reviewed and increased where needed. She intends to streamline incentives to make sure they are creating the intended investment in production of alternative energy.
She recently proposed to permanently eliminate the sales tax on gasoline to give Hoosiers immediate tax relief at the pump. At the current price, the move would cut the price of gas by an average of 24 cents per gallon.
"The price of gasoline isn't going down anytime soon and our current leaders are unwilling to provide the immediate relief motorists so desperately need," said Michael.
"I am committed to providing solutions for Hoosiers, both in the short and long-term. Removing the sales tax from gasoline and investing in long-term energy alternatives will keep energy affordable and end our dependence on foreign oil."
Michael is a life-long resident of Putnam County and was the former Mayor of Greencastle from 1996-2007. She has an extensive background and hands-on experience in local government having served Greencastle as a member of the Putnam County Council and as Putnam County Clerk.