WASHINGTON - The United States Environmental Protection Agency released a sweeping rule to cut carbon emissions from US power plants by 30 per cent by 2030, the cornerstone of President Barack Obama's pledge to combat climate change.
As part of its Clean Power Plan proposal, which is expected to be finalised over the next year or so, the EPA published the following details and data points.
More details can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards
CLEANING UP POWER PLANTS
Power plants are the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, making up roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
All told, the plan puts on track to cut carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 per cent by 2030, 730 million metric tonnes of carbon pollution.
That is equal to the annual emissions from more than 150 million cars (almost two-thirds of the nation's passenger vehicles) or the annual emissions from powering 65 million homes, over half the homes in America.
BIG PUBLIC HEALTH AND CLIMATE BENEFITS
The Clean Power Plan has public health and climate benefits worth an estimated US$55 billion (S$69 billion) to US$93 billion per year in 2030, far outweighing the costs of US$7.3 billion to US$8.8 billion.
Reducing exposure to particle pollution and ozone in 2030 will avoid a projected:
- 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths;
- 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children;
- 340 to 3,300 heart attacks;
- 2,700 to 2,800 hospital admissions;
- 470,000 to 490,000 missed school and work days.
From the soot and smog reductions alone, for every dollar invested through the Clean Power Plan, American families will see up to US$7 in health benefits.
The Clean Power Plan will reduce pollutants that contribute to the soot and smog that make people sick by over 25 per cent in 2030:
- 54,000 to 56,000 tons of PM2.5;
- 424,000 to 471,000 tons of sulfur dioxide;
- 407,000 to 428,000 tons of nitrogen dioxide.