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Some Say Pence’s Coal Crusade Doesn’t Address Opportunities

The Gibson station power plant in Gibson County near Owensville, Ind., is one of the largest coal plants in the nation.

In his State of the State address, Gov. Pence aimed to stop what he called the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘War on Coal,’ but some groups in Indiana don’t think that’s the best way for the state to move forward.

Gov. Pence Tuesday night touched on topics like education, healthcare and statewide funding. He also made sure to emphasize that Indiana doesn’t support the EPA’s regulations on coal-powered energy.

“Indiana is a pro-coal state, and we must continue to oppose the overreaching schemes of the EPA until we bring this war on coal to an end,” Pence said in his speech.

Pence said an ‘all-of-the-above energy strategy,’ which includes coal and renewable energy sources, would be best for Indiana.

But some Hoosiers think the governor could have addressed the energy issue more pragmatically.

Jesse Kharbanda, Director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, says Pence’s statement should have focused on the opportunity Indiana has for clean energy.

“It’s putting an emphasis on rhetoric over solutions and that’s a really missed opportunity because our state has one of the best clean energy potentials from a jobs perspective in the country,” Kharbanda says.

Kharbanda says Indiana’s solid manufacturing legacy would provide job growth in things like solar panel construction or retrofitting buildings.

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