The Trump Administration released an executive order on Tuesday directing the EPA to roll back the Clean Power Plan.
In response, Dr. Charles Driscoll, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Systems Engineering at Syracuse University and member of the National Academy of Engineering, said that, “Our research shows that a power plant standard like the Clean Power Plan could save thousands of lives in communities across the United States every year.”
According to Driscoll, the health gains from a standard like the Clean Power Plan yield net economic benefits that would far outweigh the costs.
“The economic benefits tend to be greatest in highly populated areas near or downwind from coal-fired power plants that experience a shift to cleaner sources with the standards,” Driscoll said, adding, “If we overturn the Clean Power Plan we will forfeit important health benefits and undermine the longstanding American tradition of energy innovation and clean air progress, at a time when we need it most.”
Dr. Driscoll led a 2015 study on air quality and health benefits of carbon standards similar to the Clean Power Plan, published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Dr. Driscoll and colleagues showed that strong carbon standards provide widespread clean air and health benefits throughout the United States. They calculated state-by-state air quality and health outcomes, and determined the greatest health gains occur in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, and New York.