Trump’s executive order revoking much of Obama’s signature climate policy is predicted to cost $600 billion and result in 120,000 premature deaths.
Trump campaigned on a promise to reverse the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) and took his “biggest swing yet at Obama climate legacy” in March according to a report by Politico.
According to Politico, “Trump will direct the federal government on Tuesday [March 28] to begin dismantling his predecessor’s most significant climate change policies, with a sweeping directive telling agencies to stop trying to reduce the carbon pollution of electric utilities, oil and gas drillers and coal miners
Scientific American reports that the justification for signing the order – “saving Americans from skyrocketing electricity bills and putting coal miners back to work” – is “hard to show” and is “unlikely” to attain the desired results.
Worse yet, conservative website Forbes blasted the proposed repeal of the CPP back in late February, noting that “new analysis shows that repealing the rule would cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars, add more than a billion tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and cause more than 100,000 premature deaths due to inhaled particulate pollution.”
The article was authored Jeffrey Rissman, the Head of Modeling & Energy Policy for Energy Innovation, an energy and environmental policy firm. “We deliver high-quality research and original analysis to policymakers to help them make informed choices on energy policy.”
As Rissman explains,
Energy Innovation utilized the Energy Policy Simulator (EPS) to analyze the effects of repealing the CPP. The EPS is an open-source computer model developed to estimate the economic and emissions effects of various combinations of energy and environmental policies using non-partisan, published data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. EPA, Argonne National Laboratory, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, among others. The EPS has been peer reviewed by experts at MIT, Stanford University, Argonne National Laboratory, Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
That analysis yielded the following results, according to Rissman:
- “Repealing the CPP would result in an increase of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions of more than 500 million metric tons (MMT) in 2030 and 1200 MMT in 2050, contributing to global warming and severe weather events, such as hurricanes, floods and droughts.”
- “Cumulative net costs to the U.S. economy (in increased capital, fuel, and operations and maintenance (O&M) expenditures) would exceed $100 billion by 2030 and would reach nearly $600 billion by 2050.” [emphasis added]
- “Although the CPP’s focus is on reducing carbon emissions, the same policies also reduce particulate pollution, which is responsible for thousands of heart attacks and respiratory diseases each year. Repealing the CPP would increase particulate emissions, causing more than 40,000 premature deaths in 2030 and more than 120,000 premature deaths in 2050.” [emphasis added]
- “Without the CPP, the U.S. electric grid would feature a larger capacity of coal power plants, while the capacity of wind and solar on the system would be smaller.” Furthermore, “This slow-down in the transition to clean energy would cost the U.S. technological leadership in the rapidly-growing solar and wind industries and would cost the U.S. many jobs. Even today, when wind makes up 6.6 percent and solar 1.8 percent of total U.S. installed capacity, the solar industry employs 374,000 people and wind industry 101,000 workers, roughly two and a half times the 187,000 combined workers in the coal, natural gas and oil industries.”
Repealing the CPP would be catastrophic for Americans; and, as Rissman concludes, “A repeal would increase costs to the U.S. economy by hundreds of billions of dollars, cut years off the lives of tens of thousands of Americans and sacrifice U.S. technological leadership and job creation.” [emphasis added]