Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Commissioner Tom Easterly made remarks on July 30, 2014, to the U.S. EPA at its Washington, D.C. public hearing on carbon regulations as follows:
It is prudent to take “no regrets” actions to avoid potential future problems. However, this proposal is not a “no regrets” proposal. U.S. EPA predicts that this proposal will increase the cost of natural gas and the per KWHr cost of residential electricity by around 10% in the next 6 years. Our country already has too many completely preventable deaths from hypothermia and heat exhaustion every year because people cannot afford to pay their utility bills and eventually lose service. This serious human health problem will be exacerbated by the cost increases driven by the proposed regulations. The most ironic impact of the proposed regulations is that they are likely to increase worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing the international competitiveness of U.S. businesses due to increased energy costs. Competitive businesses have been investing in cost effective energy savings activities for decades. Under this proposal the total cost of the products produced in the U.S. will need to increase eroding our international competitiveness and resulting in the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs. When these businesses close, U.S. emissions will decrease, but worldwide greenhouse gas emissions will increase as our businesses move to areas with less efficient and more carbon intensive energy supplies.
I applaud U.S. EPA for trying to make the most workable regulation to implement this misguided policy. But, the fact that this misguided policy will harm Hoosiers and other people in our country while actually increasing the worldwide level of the very emissions it is designed to decrease compels me to ask you to withdraw this proposal.
A video of the session is available at: