Five Indiana mayors have joined a bipartisan group of over 250 municipal leaders from across the country in support of solar energy. The group signed on to a letter with the Environmental America Research & Policy Center "to make solar energy a key element of our communities’ energy plans", according to the letter. 

Mayors who signed onto the letter include South Bend’s Pete Buttigieg, John Hamilton of Bloomington, James Brainard of Carmel, Phil Jenkins of Nappanee and Mayor Jeremey Stutsman of Goshen. The group cited several advantages to solar energy for Indiana, where extreme weather events produced by climate change could have an adverse impact on the state’s agriculture, infrastructure and health of residents, the sun would provide emission-free renewable energy. 

“Whether you believe we are affecting our climate or not,” said Mayor Jeremey Stutsman of Goshen, “I encourage every community to do all it can to improve its carbon footprint.  It can help our physical environment, our budgets and most important, it will add to our quality of life.”

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton says solar energy delivers a range of benefits, from a more efficient electric grid to providing more jobs. 

"In Bloomington, the vigorous addition of solar capacity in city facilities and at residences is one notable way we’re working to reduce our carbon footprint and our reliance on fossil fuels — while at the same time advancing economic growth and social equity,” said Mayor Hamilton. 

Over 100 U.S. cities and towns have committed to using 100 percent renewable energy, including Evansville, and in Bloomington where solar panels have been installed at over 30 municipal properties. 

“Facing a lack of federal leadership on climate and energy, we’re seeing leaders at the community level step forward,” said Emma Searson, Go Solar campaign director with Environment America Research and Policy Center. “Cities are leading the way in transforming the energy that powers our lives and communities, and solar energy provides an ideal opportunity for them to shine.”