Chamber: Coal Rules Could Burn Indiana

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An environmental policy specialist with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce believes new standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency on coal-fired plants would be "absolutely devastating" for Indiana. In a Studio(i) interview, Vice President of Environment and Energy Vince Griffin says the regulations would result in higher energy bills and no new coal-fired plants being built. He says Indiana is the second-largest consumer of coal in the nation because of the state's strong manufacturing industry.

Griffin says approximately 80 percent of Indiana's electricity comes from coal, which is well above the national average. That puts the state behind only Texas in coal consumption.

He says the United States has a 400-year supply of coal underground that would not be able to be used if the regulations stand. Griffin adds that he is not sure the nation has the infrastructure or supply to rely solely on natural gas-fired turbines.

The Chamber says Indiana has spent billions of dollars in environmental upgrades to coal-fired power plants. Griffin says the state's plants are producing much more electricity with fewer emissions than it was in the 1970s.

The EPA is accepting public comments on the proposed regulations through mid-March.

Sources: Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Inside INdiana Business