September 17, 2013
National independent energy economist and environmental attorney Gene Trisko announced today during a presentation at Vincennes University that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s pending regulations for electric power plants in Indiana could have a crippling impact on Hoosiers.
In his presentation to Indiana officials and news media, Trisko said the EPA regulations ”could cause average electric bills to double,” emphasizing detriment to working families and Indiana businesses. “These working families already spend almost a quarter of their after-tax income on utilities and gasoline,” Trisko said.
Trisko has testified on energy and environmental policy issues before Congress and state legislatures on many occasions, and has participated in every major United Nations climate-change negotiation since the 1992 Rio Treaty.
Trisko’s announcement comes just one week after Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and other national news organizations announced Sept. 20 is the date the EPA will likely roll out its first wave of regulations for greenhouse gas emissions generated by new electric-power plants.
Data presented at the Vincennes forum showed Hoosier families making $50,000 per year, currently pay 20 percent of their income on energy bills, and those making $10,000 per year pay greater than 70 percent of their after-tax income on utility costs.
Hoosiers, officials speaking out against EPA regulations
Thousands of mining professionals in southern Indiana have posted signs in their yards to protest the EPA regulations, and to stand up for coal as a crucial part of the Indiana’s overall energy strategy.
Congress has not authorized the regulations with legislation, but the Obama administration is moving ahead to set rules anyway, despite the impact they will have on families, local governments, schools, businesses and low-income earners that must rely on energy assistance to pay their energy bills at today’s rates.
Indiana leaders have been speaking out against these pending regulations over the past few months. Governor Mike Pence issued a letter to President Obama in May, stating these excessive regulations would “decimate coal’s ability to contribute to an all-of-the-above energy strategy,” and “put natural gas in a precarious position,” while impacting the state’s ability to uphold its economy.
Likewise, nine of Indiana’s Congressional delegates sent a joint letter to Obama in June, citing that the pending EPA standards “will discourage the upgrade of existing sources and effectively prevent the construction of new coal-fired plants,” and “harm our economy and threaten the reliability of our electricity supply.”
The Indiana Coal Council says the regulations are unnecessary. “On April 12, the EPA – in its own words – said these greenhouse-gas regulations would not have an impact on carbon-dioxide emissions,” said Nat Noland, president of the state’s coal council. Noland also cited that coal emissions in Indiana are the lowest they’ve been in 20 years.
“Indiana’s coal-based electric utilities have reduced carbon-dioxide emissions by 23 percent since 2005,” Trisko added. “That is the same as the national average. But the President is seeking a target reduction of 17 percent. It looks like Indiana’s coal-based electric suppliers already have delivered more than their fair share of the reductions that the President is seeking.”