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Chamber Submits Comments to EPA on Clean Power Plan; Other Big EPA News Impacting Indiana

2018-04-27T13:11:06+00:00April 27th, 2018|

On April 26, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supporting the repeal of the controversial rule, Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units – more commonly known as the Clean Power Plan. If implemented, the rule is projected to increase Indiana’s electricity rates 16% to 21%. For more information about this rulemaking, click here.

The Indiana Chamber believes that this regulation is unnecessarily costly, a bad deal for Americans and is likely to be found unlawful. Its impact would drive up electricity costs for businesses, consumers and families, impose tens of billions of dollars in annual compliance costs, plus reduce our state’s competitiveness – without any significant reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.

The EPA estimates that the proposed repeal could provide up to $33 billion in avoided compliance costs in 2030. If the Clean Power Plan is not repealed, American consumers would be left footing this bill, in the form of lost wages and jobs, and higher prices for energy and other goods and services. For example, in May 2016, the Energy Information Administration within the U.S. Department of Energy released detailed modeling that projected the Clean Power Plan would drive up electricity rates and bills, reduce the Gross Domestic Product by an average of $58 billion per year and result in 376,000 fewer jobs in 2030. Coming from the federal government’s own top energy experts, these projections speak volumes.

Thus, the Indiana Chamber encouraged the EPA to instead pursue a more reasonable path forward that protects American jobs and the economy while providing a safe environment for all Americans.

The EPA’s final decision on the Clean Power Plan will likely come in the fall.

More EPA News Impacting Indiana

Water and water infrastructure continue to be topics of great importance for the Indiana Chamber, and they were on the April 18 agenda for our Infrastructure Policy Committee meeting. Just a day later, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Gov. Eric Holcomb announced that Indiana will receive a $436 million loan for projects to improve drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities. Once the loans are finalized, the Indiana Finance Authority will expand the reach of its Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs and fund dozens of additional projects in communities across the state.

Early this week, Pruitt announced a “transparency” rule that would limit what research the EPA can use – and it immediately garnered controversy. The proposed rule summary says that “when EPA develops regulations, including regulations for which the public is likely to bear the cost of compliance, with regard to those scientific studies that are pivotal to the action being taken, EPA should ensure that the data underlying those are publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent validation.”

That means the proposed rule would only allow the EPA to consider studies where the underlying data is made publicly available. Pruitt touted this as a path to increasing confidence in the research the EPA uses to form its decisions. Meanwhile, scientific groups are already campaigning to block the rule from being finalized on the basis it would prevent long-standing studies that rely on confidential or proprietary information from being considered by the EPA.

The proposal will be subject to a comment period.

Resource: Greg Ellis at (317) 264-6881 or email: gellis@indianachamber.com