|The AEP I&M Tanners Creek Power Plant in Lawrenceburg could be put out of service by new EPA regulations being sought by President Barack Obama.|
(Washington, D.C.) – President Barack Obama Tuesday announced a series of executive actions to address climate change that brought immediate reaction from Indiana leaders.
“I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that is beyond fixable. That’s why I’m announcing a new climate action plan,” the President told students at Georgetown University, scoffing at climate change deniers and "doomsayers" who say efforts to reduce pollution will kill jobs.
Obama’s plan includes efforts to reduce air pollution from power plants, speed up clean energy development, and cut energy waste. He wants the federal Environmental Protection Agency to announce by September 20 new, more stringent rules on regulating new and existing power plants.
Most of Indiana’s energy comes from coal-fired power plants, such as the AEP Indiana and Michigan Power Tanners Creek station in Lawrenceburg, which produce carbon dioxide. The gas is a leading cause of climate change, environmentalists say.
Governor Mike Pence said the president’s proposed carbon dioxide regulations will have a significant, detrimental impact on states like Indiana that rely on coal for reliable and affordable electricity.
“These regulations will increase the cost of electricity on Hoosier families and businesses at a time when our economy can least afford it. Instead of driving up the cost of energy, the President should be focused on creating jobs,” Pence said.
Pence wrote a letter to the President, stressing a need for an “all of the above” energy strategy of coal, wind, solar, nuclear, and natural gas.
“These proposed regulations are inconsistent with an all of the above strategy,” the governor wrote.
Indiana U.S. Senator Dan Coats (R) said Obama’s executive actions to enact a backdoor national energy tax. He was among nine members of the Indiana congressional delegation, including Democrat and fellow Senator Joe Donnelly, to write the President on June 13 stressing the importance of coal energy in the Hoosier state.
“Once again President Obama is circumventing Congress and the will of the American people to implement policies that have already been rejected. Imposing a backdoor energy tax and unrealistic regulations on coal power plants is a recipe for disaster in Indiana and across the country. Instead of encouraging job creation and an economic recovery, President Obama is empowering unelected Washington bureaucrats to implement regulations that will result in significant job losses and skyrocketing energy costs,” Coats said in a statement.
The President’s renewed push could seal the fate of the Tanners Creek plant. In 2011, AEP announced that the Tanners Creek plant will shutter three of its four generators by 2015 in order to help the company meet incoming EPA emissions limits.
In February, AEP I&M announced that the Lawrenceburg plant could be closed completely if it the company opts to not refuel the fourth generator. No decision on refueling or retiring the last generator has been announced yet by AEP or I&M.
The Tanners Creek plant employs 111 people.