Indiana Biz Leaders Cheer SCOTUS Pollution Ruling

Jun 29, 2015

The proposed EPA regulation would have put a cap on coal emissions.
Credit Alan Berning / https://www.flickr.com/photos/14617207@N00/2621375759

The Supreme Court has sided with Indiana and 22 other states in throwing out a proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulation of coal-burning power plants.

Separate coalitions of states and businesses sued over a new mercury emission standard. A 5-4 Supreme Court agreed with their argument that the EPA unreasonably ignored the cost of compliance in drafting the rule.

Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar contends the regulation would impose crippling costs on utilities for very little gain in air quality. And he says other businesses would see electric bills soar.

Jodi Perras with the Sierra Club of Indiana says she‘s disappointed, but says electric companies are moving away from coal-fired power plants anyway. And she says it‘s unclear what the impact of the ruling will be.

"Indiana residents want our utilities to generate more power from clean energy, nothing changes that," Perras says. "So I think we’ll be looking to see how are the utilities going to respond to this, how is the circuit court and EPA going to follow the Supreme Court ruling?"

Brinegar says that‘s what businesses are seeking. If the government spells out its cost estimates, he says, scientists and business economists have something to respond to and debate.

"It will give the business community and economists the ability to argue whether the benefits justify the cost, Brinegar says. "The initial approach the EPA took was this was justified at any cost."

Governor Pence issued a statement saying the Obama administration‘s environmental policies have been "detrimental" to Hoosiers. He says the ruling should nudge the government to seek a balance between environmental and economic health.