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  • The Clean Power Plan: A $2.5 Trillion Price Tag And 125,800 Jobs Lost

    The EPA’s rule limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants is expected to cost billions of dollars per year and hundreds of thousands of jobs, according to recent reports.

    President Obama unveiled the Clean Power Plan (CPP) Monday which aims to cut CO2 emissions from power plants 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and limit emissions from newly built plants. Obama says the rule is key to galvanizing global support for a United Nations climate agreement, but it will come at a huge cost to the U.S. economy.

    “The final plan will shutter 66 power plants and eliminate 125,800 jobs in the coal industry,” according to Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the right-leaning American Action Forum. “Perhaps more alarming, using the 2012 baseline for coal generation and projections for 2030 output, the industry could shrink by 48 percent.”

    “At $8.4 billion, the CPP is almost ten times more expensive than the most burdensome rule of 2015 to date,” Batkins wrote in an analysis of the rule.

    It’s not just job losses that have CPP critics worried, the rule could also cost the U.S. economy $2.5 trillion by 2030 — the year the rule is expected to be fully implemented. Nick Loris, an energy economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation, wrote that the “cumulative economic impact of higher energy prices will be hundreds of thousands of jobs lost and more than $2.5 trillion in lost economic growth.”

    The CPP gives states one year to formulate plans to cut CO2 emissions from power plants, though states can get a two-year extension on complying. The EPA, however, claims the CPP gives states flexibility to make a plan for them that works for their regional economies. In the end, the agency claims the rule will bring $34 billion to $54 billion in public health benefits per year in 2030 and thereafter.

    The agency claims the rule will avoid “1,500 to 3,600 premature deaths… 90,000 asthma attacks in children” and up to “1,700 heart attacks” among other health benefits.

    “The EPA’s idea of flexibility will not soften the economic blow; it merely means that families, individuals and businesses will incur higher costs through different state or regional-imposed mechanisms,” Loras wrote.

    “And by placing the entire onus on the states to devise their own carbon-cutting plans, the federal government evades all accountability to Americans and leaves state officials to take the political heat,” he added.

    The agency also omits that the CPP will only avert about 0.01 degrees Celsius of projected global warming — based on the government’s own data.

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