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Climate Action Plan Could Cost Hoosiers

Indiana ranked 7th in the nation for coal production in 2010, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Power Lines

Photo: hoto: Duke Energy (Flickr)

Hoosiers pay among the lowest electricity rates in the country, but some worry proposed regulations could mean a rate hike.

President Obama unveiled a climate action plan this week  to cut carbon emissions. The President did not outline exactly how much carbon emissions from power plants would be restricted, but any cap would be the first time those emissions have been regulated.

This could have a significant impact on Indiana where Hoosiers get nearly95 percent of their electricity from coal.  New regulations could mean some of the state’s plants will close and others will have to retrofit their facilities.  Interim President of the Indiana Energy Association, Ed Simcox says those costs will be passed on to the consumers.

“They will not be inconsequential, the cost will be felt in the pocket book of a consumer in a monthly bill,” says Simcox.

Indiana’s electricity costs are currently among the cheapest in the country.  Kerwin Olson is the President of the Citizens Action Coalition—a group that lobbies for renewable energy in the state. He argues that moving away from coal could actually save people money in the long term.

“If  you look at long term operations costs and zero fuel cost, zero emissions and zero water cost with renewable resources – we believe that evidence displays that investments in efficiency and renewable’s drives costs down for consumer.”

Simox says ultimately everyone needs more details in order to determine how much the regulations would impact consumers and companies. He says much of that is dependent on when the new regulations would take effect.

  • LandMime

    We have tough decisions to make. Cheap energy should not always be the most
    important goal, of course with jobs lacking and the middle class soldout to
    foreign countries higher utilities are not a walk in the park.

    Sustainability needs to be our long term goal, meaning we are not digging
    out of the ground an ancient and limited energy resourse, especially ones that
    pollute and cut down mountains.

    Ithink T. Boone Pickens has a pretty good stopgap solution by switching to
    natural gas, but here in lies the fracking problem too. Hopefully through
    sincere study and efforts to curb CO2 admissions, reign in acid rain and
    mercury, and find cleaner solutions we can step closer to sustainability. Making the planet more inhabitable for
    ourselves and for all the wonderful creatures we share it with has to be our
    future goal, however we cannot continue to put it off like we did back in the
    70s.

  • Charlotte Zietlow

    Given the severity of the scientifically established environmental problems facing the world, I will be interested to hear of Mr. Pence’s proposals to address them. Coal is very important to our economy, but reducing carbon emissions is even more important to global economy and the world’s existence. What would he suggest? Nothing is not an option.

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