Donnelly Joins Bipartisan Letter Asking President to Reconsider EPA Rule on Coal-Fueled Power Plants

Letter follows Donnelly’s request for EPA to reconsider this rule in March

Washington, D.C. — Following up on a letter Senator Donnelly sent with three senators in March of this year, he joined his colleague Senator Dan Coats and seven members of the Indiana congressional delegation in sending a letter to President Obama asking him to reconsider an EPA-proposed rule that would dramatically increase the cost of electricity from coal-fired plants.

The members wrote, “This proposed rule unnecessarily discriminates against coal as part of our country’s energy portfolio and will dramatically increase the cost of electricity from coal-fired plants. This is the same electricity that Hoosiers have found more reliable and affordable than most of the country and that job creators consider a critical part of our state’s attractive business environment. Families and businesses cannot afford increased energy costs as our nation’s economy continues to struggle.”

The full text of the letter sent by members of the Indiana delegation follows:

The Honorable Barack Obama

The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C.  20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write to express our continued concern about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plans to issue greenhouse gas new source performance standards for new fossil fuel-based electric generating sources.  The proposed performance standards would require new coal-fired power plants to meet the same requirements as new gas-fired power plants – an unprecedented standard under the Clean Air Act.  This blanket standard will discourage the upgrade of existing sources and effectively prevent the construction of new coal-fired plants.  This could prevent the intended goal of the rule while simultaneously doing much to harm our economy and threaten the reliability of our electricity supply. 

This proposed rule unnecessarily discriminates against coal as part of our country’s energy portfolio and will dramatically increase the cost of electricity from coal-fired plants.  This is the same electricity that Hoosiers have found more reliable and affordable than most of the country and that job creators consider a critical part of our state’s attractive business environment.  Families and businesses cannot afford increased energy costs as our nation’s economy continues to struggle.  And our nation cannot afford to implement policies that effectively mandate the use of more expensive or less reliable fuels for electricity generation, leaving us behind nations such as China and India who are taking advantage of low-cost coal to meet their energy needs. 

 

Additionally, Indiana is annually among the top ten coal producing states in the nation averaging 32,000,000 to 35,000,000 tons each year. Not only is coal a vital energy source for all Hoosiers, but the mining industry supports more than 2,500 Hoosier jobs and contributes more than $750 million to our economy. The reserve base for the entire Illinois Basin, which includes Indiana coal, is over 130 billion tons or 25 percent of total demonstrated coal reserves in the United States – and is enough to meet entire U.S. coal demands for over 100 years.

 

Our nation can continue to utilize coal while lowering emissions.  New technologies for coal-based power generation are laying the foundation for advancements in power plant efficiency, bringing us closer to a future where near-zero emissions from coal are a reality.  These technologies allow us to modernize our existing coal fleet, improve efficiency, and produce low-cost power for customers. However, as proposed, the EPA rule will effectively prohibit the construction of new plants and eliminate an opportunity to provide economic stimulus to our nation’s manufacturing and construction sectors. 

 

We respectfully request you to reject the current proposal and instead urge the EPA to amend the proposed rule to exercise the option available to the agency for differentiating standards based on fuel type and subcategories and not discriminate against coal as a source for generation.  Such an amendment is essential to create new jobs and strengthen the economy.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dan Coats                                                                             

United States Senator

 

Joe Donnelly                                                                             

United States Senator

 

Marlin Stutzman

Member of Congress

 

Larry Bucshon

Member of Congress

 

Todd Rokita

Member of Congress

 

Todd Young

Member of Congress

 

Susan W. Brooks

Member of Congress

 

Jackie Walorski    

Member of Congress

             

Luke Messer

Member of Congress             

 

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