Thursday, June 25, 2015

Gov. Mike Pence says Indiana will refuse to comply with gas emission rules unless changes are made

Gov. Mike Pence
Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence wrote a letter to President Obama saying that his state will refuse to comply with Environmental Protection Agency regulations on greenhouse gas emissions unless major revisions are made, Maureen Groppe reports for The Indianapolis Star. Pence didn't specify what improvements he was seeking.

"Pence made his challenge on the same day the House voted 247 to 180 to pass a bill to give states the ability to opt out of the regulations," Groppe writes. "The vote—primarily along party lines—was not strong enough to overcome a threatened White House veto. But it was backed by Indiana's seven Republican House members and by Democratic Rep. Andre Carson of Indianapolis."

Pence has said he isn't convinced that climate change is man-made, Groppe writes. Environmentalists say it's just another example of the governor siding with the coal industry over the health of his state's residents. The only states with higher emission rates than Indiana are Kentucky, West Virginia and Wyoming.

"If the rule goes into effect, the EPA estimates rates in the region that includes Indiana will be about 6 percent higher in 2020 than they would be without the rule," Groppe writes. "By 2030, as the cost of making energy improvements and other efficiencies begin to pay off, the increase in rates due to the rule is projected to be less than 1 percent, according to the EPA. Opponents say rate increases would be much larger."

Groppe told Obama that the regulations would "force the premature retirement of coal-fired power plants, 'threatening our stable source of affordable electricity,'" Groppe writes. Pence has also challenged the legality of the regulations, writing, "Our state will also reserve the right to use any legal means available to block the rule from being implemented." (Read more)

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