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Pence: Indiana Will Weigh Legal Action Over EPA Carbon Rule

Governor argues proposed cutbacks would "devastate" Indiana economy

Gov. Mike Pence (WIBC.com file photo: Eric Berman)

Governor Pence says Indiana could sue to block a proposed federal rule calling on power plants to cut carbon emissions.

The Supreme Court ruled in April that the Clean Air Act does allow the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate CO2 emissions. But states could still challenge the specifics of the rule unveiled on Monday. Pence says he'll consult Attorney General Greg Zoeller on whether there are grounds to do so.

And the governor says the state will use all other avenues to fight the regulation. Several Republican members of Indiana's congressional delegation were quick to denounce the rule, and Pence says he'll work with them to try to block the rule in Congress. He notes Congress killed an earlier Obama Administration proposal to limit carbon emissions through the mechanism dubbed "cap and trade."

And he says Indiana will lay out its objections during the EPA's required public comment period. Pence contends the required 30% cut in emissions from 2005 levels over 16 years would be "devastating" to Indiana's economy, and doesn't give Indiana enough credit for moves it's already made to implement clean-coal technology.

Environmental groups praise the new rule, and say Pence should focus on alternatives to coal and on replacing the energy-efficiency program the legislature abolished this year. Pence says he plans to propose a revamped efficiency program in next year's General Assembly, but says that should be in addition to clean coal, not instead of.

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