America’s Power has traveled the country visiting communities that rely on coal-based power. Today on Behind the Plug, we’re launching a state-focused series to highlight how important the coal industry is from coast to coast.
Indiana is a fitting place to start. In this Midwest state, coal fuels local economies, quality jobs and affordable energy for homes and businesses alike.
Hard-working Indiana coal miners have provided electricity to American consumers for decades. Today, direct and indirect employment tied to Indiana’s coal production industry accounts for nearly 29,000 jobs and 36.7 million short tons of coal. With 84 percent of Indiana’s electricity currently generated by coal, the state enjoys electricity rates that are 14 percent lower than the national average.
This low-cost electricity allows business sectors like manufacturing to grow and thrive. Indiana is among the nation’s top manufacturing centers, with a higher percentage of workers employed in the sector than any other state. In fact, manufacturing employs more than 490,000 Hoosiers and generates $84.2 billion in economic output.
Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon regulations for Indiana’s power plants stand to jeopardize the state’s hard-fought economic growth and progress. Recent analysis by NERA Economic Consulting reveals that EPA’s carbon regulations will result in sustained negative economic consequences for the entire state. By forcing Indiana to cut one-fifth of its carbon emissions under an unreasonable timeline, EPA’s proposal will fundamentally alter the way the state produces electricity, threatening job losses across industries and causing peak-year electricity rate increases of 15 percent.
The impacts stemming from EPA’s plan will spell disaster for Indiana’s workforce and local economy. Stand up for Indiana’s future and visit www.KeepAmericasPowerOn.org before December 1 to file a comment with EPA.