• Steve Eberly

Energy Independence Thinking

Updated: Sep 20

Nothing is more American than being independence minded, and that’s why I hope people will start focusing again on what it means to be energy independent – using every tool at our disposal.


Of course, we need to keep our economy moving forward by using the methods and technologies that keep trucks on the road and industry well fueled. But I think it would be foolish to assume that things will never change. As a society, as a state, as a city and county and community, we must also look forward to the future and apply that same “independent thinking” to our approach with energy.


Solar energy fits the bill perfectly.


We owe it to the next generation to weigh the benefits and forge ahead responsibly to build a new future less dependent on any one or two sources of energy. Let us diversify and become energy independent.

Nothing could be better than a new kind of crop that doesn’t depend on the price of seed or fertilizer.


We should be looking forward to the future and embracing the opportunities that are right in front of us. Because you can certainly count on one fact: if Hoosiers don’t embrace the opportunity of a diversified mix of energy sources – then our neighbors to the north, south, east, and west will. And the economic growth that flows from renewable energy development will go to those places too.


Energy independence is also energy security. U.S. Admiral Dennis V. McGinn puts it perfectly:


"The only way to reduce the power of oligarchs and dictators fueled by gas and oil is to stop our reliance upon these sources of energy. When we stop needing to buy their products, we stop allowing them to use their fuel as bullying instruments of power and diplomatic leverage. Rapidly expanding our American and allied renewable energy portfolios protects us from dictators, price swings and a continuing fossil fuel driven threat of geopolitical chaos. That is the 21st century definition of true energy and national security."


That means we have to speak in favor of change and investment. We have to welcome developers who are looking to add a new crop – the sun – to Hoosier soil. We have to support our farmers and landowners who seek to earn a living the way they always have – but planting the crops that return the best investment. And these days, that crop could very well be solar energy. And if a farmer decides that farming the sun is the best way to support their family, we shouldn’t stand in their way.


Solar is an important ingredient, when you look forward. It’s possible that new types of nuclear reactors – probably smaller scale than what we’re used to seeing – could also be on the horizon. Adding diverse, domestic sources of energy makes our grid more reliable – and independent.


We owe it to the next generation to weigh the benefits and forge ahead responsibly to build a new future less dependent on any one or two sources of energy. Let us diversify and become energy independent. Let us have the courage to lead, and not just follow. Let us make Indiana the true leader when it comes to energy – for the benefit of those who own the land, those who farm it, those who depend on it, and all of us who need it.