Energy/Environment Hot Topic of Friday Conference Call


In today’s First Friday Conference Call, Indiana Chamber VP of Energy & Environmental Affairs Vince Griffin chimed in via phone all the way from Ireland. Ok, it was Ireland, Indiana near Jasper, but it still sounded quite magical. (And we don’t have to claim Colin Farrell in the Hoosier version.)

At any rate, Vince offered some key tidbits on the state of energy in Indiana. Here are just a few of the items conveyed in the hour-long call:

  • By 2013, experts from Purdue University have forecasted that Indiana will need close to 5,000 additional megawatts of power; today we produce just over 20,000.
  • The Great Lakes contain 20% of the world’s fresh water.
  • Indiana has seen droughts in the 1940s, 1960s, 1988 and is due for another. Vince says these tend to follow periods of heavy rain and snow, which Indiana has seen the last couple of years.
  • Water is critical. No water = no electricity.
  • Indiana consumes over 60 million tons of coal per year, second only to Texas. Vince also expressed hope that President-elect Obama will back off his campaign rhetoric regarding the impending downfall of coal. "We’re hopeful that Obama understands how important coal is to the United States. It provides a large number of jobs and Indiana has 95% of its electricity come from coal."
  • Indiana uses a lot of power. One reason is that we are the nation’s top producer of steel, which is very energy-intensive.

The First Friday Conference Call is just one of many benefits Indiana Chamber members receive. The monthly calls feature a different topic each month, and are totally interactive with 30 minutes of the hour dedicated to answering questions of listeners. If your company is a member, anyone at your business can call in and take part. To inquire about Chamber membership, call the territory manager for your area.

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