Pence: Indiana won’t comply with current version of EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Pence: Indiana won't comply with Obama climate change plan
From the Associated Press

Gov. Mike Pence says Indiana won't comply with President Barack Obama's plan to address climate change unless there are significant changes.

Pence sent a letter to Obama on Wednesday saying the plan as currently written will make Indiana electricity more expensive, make it less reliable and hurt economic growth. Pence also says the plan exceeds the legal authority of the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act.

Pence threatened to use any legal means available to block the plan.

The rule the EPA proposed last year would require states to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. It targets pollution from the coal-fired power plants that Indiana relies on.

An EPA spokeswoman says the plan will reduce pollution and gives states flexibility while allowing the economy to grow.

From the Office of Governor Mike Pence

Governor Pence sent a letter today to President Obama informing him that unless the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan is demonstrably and significantly improved before being finalized Indiana will not comply.

“As I wrote to Administrator McCarthy on December 1, 2014, the proposed rules are ‘ill-conceived and poorly constructed’ and they exceed the EPA’s legal authority under the Clean Air Act,” wrote Pence. “If your administration proceeds to finalize the Clean Power Plan, and the final rule has not demonstrably and significantly improved from the proposed rule, Indiana will not comply. Our state will also reserve the right to use any legal means available to block the rule from being implemented.”

“Our nation needs an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy that relies on a variety of different energy sources,” said Pence. “Energy policy should promote the safe, environmentally responsible stewardship of our natural resources with the goal of reliable, affordable energy. Your approach to energy policy places environmental concerns above all others.”

In addition Pence noted, “Higher electricity prices brought by the EPA’s plan will inhibit our ability to advance our manufacturing base and the jobs it creates.”

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan calls for a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels in Indiana by the year 2030. The proposed rules do not dictate how states achieve reduction. Instead, the rule suggests four building blocks as guidelines for compliance. The rules will increase the cost of electricity and force the premature closure of coal-fired power plants, leading to concerns of electricity shortages. On December 1, 2014, Governor Pence and Indiana State agencies submitted letters to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy detailing the proposed rules’ impact on Indiana and urging their immediate withdrawal.

More than 26,000 Hoosiers are employed in the coal industry in Indiana. Governor Pence has pledged to fight the EPA’s regulations with all legal means at Indiana’s disposal. Governor Pence’s comments today come on the heels of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissing State of West Virginia et al v. Environmental Protection Agency, Case No. 14-1112. Indiana was one of fourteen petitioners in the case, which asked the Court to review the legality of the EPA’s proposed regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The Court of Appeals’ decision was based on procedural, not substantive, issues and does not preclude future litigation challenging the regulation. Indiana intends to renew its challenge in the courts following the release of the final rule.

The EPA is expected to release the final rule in August.

Coats Supports Governor Pence’s Call for Significant Changes to EPA Proposed Rule
From the Office of Senator Dan Coats

Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today issued the following statement regarding an announcement by Indiana Governor Mike Pence that the state of Indiana will not comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed clean power plan rule unless it is significantly revised:

"I support Governor Pence's call for drastic changes to the EPA’s potentially illegal proposed rule to cut carbon dioxide from existing coal-fired power plants. This proposal threatens to vastly overstep the EPA's authority under the Clean Air Act and significantly damage Indiana’s economy.

“The proposed rule would substantially raise electricity rates for Hoosier families, decrease electric grid reliability, hurt Indiana's coal industry and undercut our state’s autonomy, all while yielding potentially negligible global carbon dioxide reductions. Governor Pence is right, the EPA should withdraw or substantially change this misguided rule."