Gov. Pence: Indiana will not comply with EPA Clean Power Plan as proposed
- Unless there are significant changes made to the rule, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) has said his state will not be complying with the federal government's Clean Power Plan.
- This week Pence sent a stern letter to President Obama describing the proposed carbon mandate as "ill-conceived and poorly constructed,” and said the rules are an overreach of federal authority.
- CPP sets a national goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30% by 2030; Indiana's goal is 20%, and planned coal retirements have already set the state on a path towards reaching that figure.
Indiana is already on its way towards CPP compliance – about halfway there, just on the basis of existing regulations and planned coal retirements – but that isn't stopping the state's governor from fighting back against more federal regulation.
Gov. Pence this week sent a letter to President Obama, writing “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,” Pence wrote.
The irony is that Indiana is already on its way towards compliance. At 55%, Indiana is one of 31 states at least halfway to its benchmark, thanks to coal plant retirements and a past energy efficiency program, according to research by Union of Concerned Scientists. It would be nearly compliant already, UCS found, if it had not done away with mandatory efficiency targets for utilities.
Several states have indicated they are considering refusing to comply with the new rules, which are expected to be finalized in August. But so far only Oklahoma has outright indicated it would not comply; that state's Gov. Mary Fallin signed an executive order declaring her state would not file a compliance plan. Texas has hinted it is considering non-compliance, and major gubernatorial candidates in Kentucky have supported that strategy as well. West Virginia legislators passed a law last year that stipulates any compliance plan must be first approved by the state legislature.
In Pence's letter to Obama, he said “higher electricity prices brought by the EPA’s plan will inhibit our ability to advance our manufacturing base and the jobs it creates.” The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated power bills would rise about 4%, though the overall cost of electricity would rise 6%.
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