"Gov. Mike Pence said a proposed EPA clean energy rule will be 'devastating' to Indiana's economies, Hoosier families and jobs.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plan calls for states to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Pence called the plan an 'anti-coal agenda' and pledged to fight it.
'They will cost us in higher electricity rates, in lost jobs, and in lost business growth due to a lack of affordable, reliable electricity,' he said. 'Indiana will oppose these regulations using every means available.'
EPA officials say the rule will 'protect public health, move the United States toward a cleaner environment and fight climate change while supplying Americans with reliable and affordable power.'
'By leveraging cleaner energy sources and cutting energy waste, this plan will clean the air we breathe while helping slow climate change so we can leave a safe and healthy future for our kids,' EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement. 'We don't have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment - our action will sharpen America's competitive edge, spur innovation, and create jobs.'
But Bruce Stevens, president of the Indiana Coal Council, said the proposed rule will hurt Indiana's manufacturing sector, which depends on power supplied by coal. 'It's a rule that - if it holds true to what we anticipate - will provide for a more expensive and less reliable energy portfolio,' Stevens said.
Indiana has one of the nation's least diverse power supplies, with 80 percent of its electricity the product of coal-fired plants. Forcing cuts in emissions from those plants will increase the cost of power and therefore the cost of doing business in the state, Stevens said.
'This is about much more than our own electricity bills,' he said."
NUVO reached out to Jodie Perras, who heads up the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign in Indiana, for a reaction to the Governor's position.
"Governor Pence should stop playing politics with our health and our children's future," said Perras. "With more than 75 percent of our coal-fired power coming from plants more than 30 years old, we can and must transition from old, unhealthy power plants to 21st century energy. We need to get in the race for clean energy jobs."
Our partners at The Statehouse File reported the following: