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Draft rule reduction: 20.4% (393 lbs CO2 / MWh)

Editor's note: The following summary represents state and utility stances after the Supreme Court stayed the Clean Power Plan in February 2016.

In Indiana, an interagency stakeholder group has suspended meeting while the fate of U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan is decided -- likely by the Supreme Court, which stayed the rule on Feb. 9, 2016.

"The stay and Justice [Antonin] Scalia's death have added multiple layers of complexity to an already complex situation," said Dan Schmidt, policy director for energy and environment in the office of Gov. Mike Pence (R).

"If the courts ultimately uphold the Clean Power Plan, the governor absolutely prefers a state plan. While the stay is in place, my interagency group will not meet and state agencies will not engage [in] any planning activities," Schmidt said in an email.

Schmidt had been leading the group made up of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, Indiana Office of Energy Development and state utility consumer counselor.

They had been meeting privately with stakeholders and the state's grid operators about what compliance scenarios could look like.

What has been missing, though, in the eyes of some stakeholders is the type of more robust public session occurring in other states.

On Aug. 20, 2015, a couple of weeks after the final EPA rule was published, there were two separate meetings -- one with environmental groups and clean energy companies and one with utilities and industrial interests.

"Since then, it's been mostly crickets," said the Sierra Club's Jodi Perras.

Pence was quick to lambaste EPA the day the final rule was published, asserting that it is illegal and would damage the state's economy, which gets 85 percent of its electricity from coal-fired generation.

"EPA's rule is an overreach of historic proportions, and this regulation of electrical power generation goes far beyond what Congress authorized the agency to do," Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller (R) said in a statement.

Under the final EPA rule, the Hoosier State must bring its carbon dioxide emissions rate down to 1,242 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour by 2030. The reduction in the emissions rate would represent a 39 percent change from 2012 levels. The reduction in the draft rule called for a 20 percent change.

To grapple with what that scale of emissions reduction means for Indiana, Schmidt asked the State Utility Forecasting Group at Purdue University to run some scenarios.

The group has been "modeling different compliance strategies and trying to identify which ones would be feasible at the least cost," said Director Douglas Gotham.

That would include the merits of mass-based carbon trading versus rate-based carbon trading as well as whether to "incorporate some type of energy efficiency or renewable portfolio standard" in a compliance strategy, Gotham said.

Indiana has a "clean energy portfolio" goal -- not a requirement -- of 10 percent by 2025. The Legislature in 2014 terminated the state's energy efficiency program.

Gotham had been aiming to deliver a draft report to state agencies in early February 2016.

NiSource, the parent of Northern Indiana Public Service Co. Inc., believes a state plan would be better than a federal plan imposed should the state not act, said Maureen Turman, director of environmental policy at NiSource.

Last updated on May 13, 2016 at 5:52 PM

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