Indiana Gov. Mike Pence vowed Monday to fight a national plan to combat global warming, joining the state's business leaders in arguing that coal-dependent Indiana would face higher electric rates and lost jobs if power plants have to reduce carbon emissions.
The reaction was swift as the Obama administration announced proposed restrictions on carbon pollution, which it says are achievable and affordable even in coal-dependent states. Indiana would have to figure out how to put 20 percent less carbon pollution into the air when generating the same amount of electricity.
Pence and the state's business leaders called the draft environmental rules too difficult for the state to meet, given its reliance on coal-fired power plants which generate the most greenhouse gases.
Indiana gets more than 80 percent of its energy from coal-fired plants — about twice the national average.
"(The proposed regulations) will cost us in higher electricity rates, in lost jobs, and in lost business growth due to a lack of affordable, reliable electricity," Pence said in a statement. "Indiana will oppose these regulations using every means available."
Federal officials said the reductions are doable because the Environmental Protection Agency took into account each state's current mix of fuel, and because states have choices in how to comply.
"This plan is all about flexibility," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "That's what makes it ambitious, but achievable."