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3 Minutes Opposing Solar Moratorium

During the St. Joseph County Council meeting on July 10, 2024 when the public is allowed to speak, I intend to use my allotted three minutes to oppose the proposed Bill 24-76. It would impose a one-year moratorium on all commercial solar installations in the County. Below are my comments.

Farm across street from solar array.

June 9, 10PM update: Because the bill was a resolution and not an ordinance under consideration, the Council decided not to allow public comment. I incorrectly called it the Privilege of the Floor in the original post. That said, the Council did take a vote on the resolution and it failed, 5-4.


Good evening,

I’m Chuck Bueter, a county resident at...

I oppose Bill 24-76 and its moratorium on all commercial solar.


[Two blog posts and hard copies]

I explain my reasons in a blog post at There I also refute spurious claims espoused by a bill sponsor that overwhelm the legitimate concerns of neighbors and landowners. I have forwarded links to the Clerk, for your thoughtful consideration sometimes needs more than three minutes.  


[Comprehensive plan]

The bill asks to … quote…"More comprehensively study”…unquote…solar in our community. 

This community just spent two years and countless man-hours on a new Comprehensive Plan that should be guiding us now. Solar energy is a feature in four of eight pillars of the Comprehensive Plan--Utilities, Environmental Stewardship, Farmland Preservation, and Quality of Life.  

How does this Council expect to study these topics with more input and more rigor than the entire Comprehensive Plan that we’re awaiting? We've already spoken.


[Solar attributes]

Among solar energy's indisputable attributes:

  • it lessens air pollution;

  • it doesn’t impinge upon the aquifer;

  • it has no light pollution;

  • it has no noise pollution;

  • it supports biodiversity;

  • it is proven safe technology;

  • it can continue to support agriculture;  

  • it allows soil to be nourished for decades;

  • its land can be reclaimed at decommissioning; and

  • "it is in the public interest."

A moratorium undermines that trajectory we all seek.


[Community solar]

I agree, we should be using rooftops more.  For example, if a group of people want to pay a school to lease its rooftop for solar, let ‘em.  That concept is called Community Solar.  

But in Indiana that's illegal. That's why you don't see it.

You shouldn’t be asking the County for a moratorium—instead, you should be asking your State legislator to support and to enable real community solar.  Now.


[Closed for business]

The Indiana Statehouse restricts community solar on rooftops, and this council wants to restrict all commercial Solar on the land.  

You might as well advertise to prospective businesses who want either to use or to supply clean energy, "Sorry, St. Joseph County is closed. Maybe try later."



To conclude, a funny thing happens when you go solar.  You consume less, 

Instead of a moratorium that kills commercial solar, move away from fossil fuels. Conserve more.

Turn off those outdoor lights and look up at the night sky. A massive star is about to explode and appear as a naked eye nova. If we lessen consumption and embrace solar energy, you may experience our world and see the universe beyond like never before.

I thank you for the courtesy of your time and civil discourse tonight.



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