Indiana Gets Its Say on Super Polluters
INDIANA — September 7, 2018
Trump’s EPA opens up comment lines on new coal rule.
Citizens of Indiana now have the opportunity to comment on President Donald Trump's overturning of the Clean Power Plan, as the EPA has just opened a public comment period.
Known as “ACE,” the Affordable Clean Energy plan calls for states to develop their own rules for reducing carbon emissions from coal fired power plants. This new act will replace earlier regulation which allows the Federal government to establish clean air standards.
The move by the Trump administration throws the renewable energy initiatives of the Clean Power Plan under the bus, and instead aims to make coal plants run cleaner. Wendy Bredhold, Indiana representative for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, has said aging plants facing possible closure might continue operating now.
"We have more of the biggest, dirtiest coal plants known as super polluters than any other state," she points out. "So that would be a real impact that would be felt by Hoosiers in terms of impacts on their health, asthma attacks, days that kids couldn't play outside and that people shouldn't be outside."
Previously, Indiana had one of the most stringent carbon reduction goals set under the Clean Power Plan. On this note the EPA had reasonable confidence the goals were achievable given the plan's flexibility and broad range of opportunities for compliance.
Now the EPA is taking public comments through Oct. 30 in order to get the public’s pulse on the matter. While one side of the argument on the Clean Power Plan claims it would cost thousands of jobs, the opponents say coal is no longer the cheapest option. Bredhold told reporters recently:
"Folks in the coal industry need a transition plan that helps communities that have historically been dependent on coal to make their way out of the hardship that's caused by the simple economics of coal and the fact that people are demanding clean energy.”
Meanwhile, Janet McCabe, a senior law fellow at the Environmental Law and Policy Center, is a former EPA assistant administrator who helped develop Clean Power Plan standards under the Obama administration. She the public’s opinion on the matter should be the deciding factor. Obama.
"When I was at EPA, every single rule I worked on got better between proposal and final because of comments that we got," she stressed. "And those are important expressions from taxpayers in this country about what they feel their government should do to protect them or to stay out of the way."
It should be noted that the proposed ACE rule was drafted with more than 270,000 public comments that EPA received on its December 2017 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The measure will cover some 600 coal-fired electric generating units at 300 facilities nationwide.