Gov. Mike Pence says Indiana will not comply with proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
“As I wrote to [EPA] 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,” Pence said in a letter sent Wednesday to President Obama. “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.”
The EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan calls for a 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.
A federal appeals court recently rejected claims by Indiana and 14 other states that those rules were unconstitutional because they have not yet been finalized.
Pence says the proposed regulations would hurt Indiana’s economy and its coal industry. More than 26,000 Hoosiers are employed in that industry, according to figures from the governor’s office.
The governor’s office says Indiana will renew its legal challenge to the regulations once the final rule is released.
“A historically low cost of energy has played a major part in making Indiana the most manufacturing intensive state in the country,” the letter continues. “The higher electricity prices brought by the EPA’s plan will inhibit our ability to advance our manufacturing base and the jobs it creates.”
Environmental advocates, however, say Pence is putting profits over the well being of Indiana residents.
“Hoosier families want and deserve clean air for our kids and clean energy jobs for our communities,” Sierra Club spokesperson Jodi Perras said in a statement. “Gov. Pence has shown repeatedly that his allegiance lies not with protecting our families, but with protecting the profits of Big Coal and dirty fossil fuels. We deserve better.”
The EPA responded to the governor’s letter in a statement, saying in its “nearly 45-year history, emissions from power plant pollution have decreased dramatically, improving public health protection for all Americans, while the economy has grown. EPA’s plan will not change that.”
The final draft of the rule is under interagency review, and the agency expected to release its final rule in August.