The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent directive to strictly limit carbon emissions for new power plants will be expensive to comply with and raise energy bills for all consumers, says the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Hoosier businesses and citizens have until May 9 to comment online on these proposed new regulations.
“Smart, necessary regulation by the EPA makes sense, but these are ill-advised maneuvers for everyone,” asserts Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the resulting cost increase could be as much as a whopping 80% in electric power rates. What Hoosier business or family can afford that?”
Indiana is expected to be hit far harder than most states because it’s the number one per capita manufacturing state in the nation. And making things takes a lot of energy. Over 80% of Indiana’s electric power comes from coal, compared to only 45% for the country. In fact, Indiana has an over 300-year reservoir of coal in the ground.
“Despite diversification efforts, coal remains Indiana’s primary energy source,” Brinegar affirms.
For decades, companies that have located in Indiana have often cited a reliable and affordable supply of electricity among the determining factors, according to site selectors and information gathered by state government.
Brinegar says losing that competitive advantage entirely is now a real possibility with “coal coming under attack by the Obama administration.”
For industrial electric rates, Indiana has already gone, in recent years, from the fifth lowest in the country to now the 27th lowest. “That’s because of the regulatory burden placed on the providers of electricity by the EPA. And those costs get passed on to consumers,” Brinegar says.
In addition to the proposed regulations for new power plants in play currently, the EPA has announced plans to release another regulation for existing coal-fueled power plants in June. Brinegar fears that “will have even more drastic impact on Indiana.”
He notes: “Having affordable energy is so vital to our state’s prosperity on many levels. That’s why it’s a goal in the Chamber’s long-term economic development plan, Indiana Vision 2025 (www.indianachamber.com/2025).”
The Indiana Chamber is among groups in the state and across the country trying to spread the word about the impact of these proposed EPA regulations and what action can be taken in opposition.
“We urge Hoosier businesses and citizens alike to let the EPA know that its greenhouse gas proposal is unreasonable given our state and nation’s energy needs. It will almost certainly lead to a loss of jobs here in Indiana, hurt Indiana’s families and cost each Hoosier business more each month,” Brinegar explains.
For more information and to access the federal comment page for the greenhouse gas regulations, visit www.indianachamber.com/EPA.
Source: Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Inside INdiana Business