Following an impactful six year tenure by Julie Lowe as the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter Executive Committee Chair, we’re excited to share that Joab Schultheis has been chosen to fill the role for a two year term!
Joab first joined the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter three years ago by joining the Legislative Committee and Ohio River Valley Beyond Coal calls. He was looking for a way to get involved in the fight against climate change when he learned about the great work the Hoosier Chapter was doing, and Beyond Coal's impact on closing coal-fired power plants.
Joab then stepped into the role of chairing the Energy Committee. Reflecting back on the wins of the last year, Joab highlighted the participation of Energy Committee members and Indiana Beyond Coal staff in Centerpoint's IRP (Integrated Resource Plan) stakeholder meetings. In its latest update to its 20-year plan, Centerpoint expects more than 80% of its electricity to be generated by wind and solar by 2030. Energy Committee members also spoke at IDEM's Climate Pollution Reduction Grant public meeting in Ferdinand, IN last year. IDEM is preparing a Priority Climate Action Plan in an attempt to secure these Inflation Reduction Act funds.
Joab highlighted how the Sierra Club is focusing on decarbonizing and cleaning up heavy industry with steel, aluminum, and cement being three such industries with a large presence in Indiana. “This work is necessary to fight climate change, to reduce the terrible pollution burden on communities living near these facilities, and to ensure these industries remain competitive globally,” he said. The Hoosier Chapter is already playing a role in this work with more to come.
Looking forward to the coming year, Joab highlighted focus areas for the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter, including working to bring Inflation Reduction Act funding to Indiana; advocating for legislation to further Community Solar in the current Indiana Legislative Session; working to protect our forests, which act as nature’s carbon sink, through federal legislation; and working with our Beyond Coal team to move our electric utilities away from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.
Joab enjoys hiking, visiting national parks, and spending time outdoors. He retired after a career in information technology. He is aware of the critical role renewable energy and energy storage have in the clean energy transition. He knows habitat preservation and climate resilience are crucial to mitigating the worst impacts of climate change. He understands that for all of this challenging work to be successful it must be done equitably.
We’re excited to welcome Joab as the new Executive Committee Chair!