Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The EPA’s Coal Plan Is a Ripoff for Americans, According the EPA

Trump digs coal (Credit: Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
The Trump administration’s newest proposal to weaken regulations on coal-fired power plants is called the Affordable Clean Energy rule, or ACE.  But a close reading of the administration’s own analysis suggests that the acronym more accurately stands for Asthma, Climate Change, and Emphysema.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule would amend the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, making it easier for old coal power plants to stay open.  The EPA considered the impact and found that if the plan leads coal-fired plants to start cleaning up their act, it would still cause more hospital visits, more sick days away from work and school, and the early deaths of up to 1,400 people each year, by 2030.

What’s remarkable is that the agency’s analysis doesn’t attempt to make the case that the new policy’s benefits to society outweigh the steep costs.  Instead, the EPA’s figures show that the savings for coal plants are relatively trivial compared to the costs of rising pollution from coal-fired plants.  Under every scenario the EPA ran, it found the proposed ACE rule would cost Americans at least $1.4 billion a year more than it saved, when compared with simply leaving the Clean Power Plan alone.

“When an agency wants to something that’s harmful to the American people, it typically tries to hide it,” said Richard Revesz, director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law.  “What’s unusual here is that the EPA just comes out and says it.”

Read more at The EPA’s Coal Plan Is a Ripoff for Americans, According the EPA

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