Quantcast
Climate

How the EPA's Carbon Plan Could Create 274,000 New Jobs

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy made herself clear Monday morning—adoption of the proposed carbon regulation would not force the country to choose between a strong economy and a healthy environment.

The Natural Resources Defense Council and ICF International had already completed research aligned with that statement before McCarthy ever spoke. According to analysis from the two organizations, carbon standards could create 274,000 new American jobs and save households and businesses $37.4 billion on their electric bills in 2020.

They cited Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Montana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia as the states that would benefit most from climate action. The public health and energy efficiency sectors could gain the most workers if the proposal is adopted following a yearlong, open-comment period.

Graphic credit: NRDC and ICF International

"Most Americans support curbing dangerous carbon pollution from power plants because it’s the right thing to do," said Daniel Lashof, chief operating officer at NextGen Climate. "Cleaning up dirty power plants can be a bonanza for public health and a boon for energy efficiency jobs—and save Americans on their electric bills.

“This is a winning step toward a cleaner, cheaper and healthier 21st Century energy future. It’s time to get moving.”

In 2012, Lashof, also a senior fellow at the NRDC, oversaw the development of an NRDC proposal to reduce carbon that ended up being very similar to the proposal announced by McCarthy. The organization proposed the country cut carbon pollution by 531 million tons per year, or nearly 25 percent from 2012 levels by 2020. When expanded to 2030, the numbers end up exceeding the EPA proposal by 5 percent.

The jobs that could see the biggest rises in employment include electricians, roofers, carpenters, insulation workers, heating and air conditioning installers and heavy equipment operators. Investments in energy efficiency could save households an average of $103 per household, or $13 billion as a nation.

Coal-fired power plants are the main polluters and have escaped regulation, as this proposal marks the first time an Administration has attempted to regulate carbon pollution.

"For far too long, coal-fired power plants have had free reign to dump carbon pollution into our atmosphere," NextGen founder Tom Steyer said. "The Administration’s plan to end this carbon pollution loophole will establish a level playing field for advanced energy solutions that are cleaner, affordable and more secure. Now, more than ever, the United States must be a global leader in addressing climate change. As the centerpiece of the president’s Climate Action Plan, today’s carbon pollution standards proposal goes a very long way toward establishing that leadership and the president’s legacy."

There are about 1,000 power plants today emitting more than 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year—about 40 percent of the country's carbon pollution emissions. There are already emissions limits on pollutants like arsenic, mercury, lead, sulfur and soot.

“Energy efficiency is the cheapest, fastest and cleanest way to cut carbon emissions, and it benefits local communities enormously by putting people to work and lowering bills,” said Sheryl Carter, co-director of NRDC’s Energy Program. “We are already seeing clear examples of efficiency in action, with huge job and money-savings benefits based on real-world experience by states.

"This analysis shows that carbon standards that use efficiency as a key strategy will expand these benefits to a much bigger scale. We need to do this now.”

——–

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE

Obama and EPA Release Historic Carbon Reduction Plan to Fight Climate Change

Activist Tom Steyer Announces Big-Spending Election Plan to Take Down Climate-Denying Candidates

President Obama’s Climate Action Plan

——–

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
vimeo.com

Video Shows Oil Company's Plans to Drill Arctic From Artificial Island

The Liberty Project has posted a video about its proposal to build the nation's first oil production platform in federal waters in the Arctic.

The video was quietly uploaded two months ago and shows Hilcorp Alaska's plan to build an artificial gravel island and undersea pipeline for its offshore drilling project in the Beaufort Sea. Frankly speaking, the five-minute clip—with its all-American voiceover and electric guitar riffs—is something you'd expect from a pickup truck commercial.

Keep reading... Show less
www.youtube.com

Scientists Discover Sea Levels Rose in Sharp Bursts During Last Warming

By Rice University

Scientists from Rice University and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi's Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies have discovered that Earth's sea level did not rise steadily but rather in sharp, punctuated bursts when the planet's glaciers melted during the period of global warming at the close of the last ice age. The researchers found fossil evidence in drowned reefs offshore Texas that showed sea level rose in several bursts ranging in length from a few decades to one century.

The findings appeared Wednesday in Nature Communications.

Keep reading... Show less
Gemasolar 15 MW Parabolic Power Plant in Spain / Greenpeace

Quitting Coal: New Global Survey Names the Companies, Countries and Cities

More than a quarter of the 1,675 companies that owned or developed coal-fired power capacity since 2010 have entirely left the coal power business, according to new research from CoalSwarm and Greenpeace. This represents nearly 370 large coal-fired power plants—enough to power around six United Kingdoms—and equivalent to nearly half a trillion dollars in assets retired or not developed.

While many generating companies go through this rapid makeover, the research also shows that a total of 23 countries, states and cities will have either phased out coal-fired power plants or set a timeline to do so by 2030.

Keep reading... Show less
Roderick Eime / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

New Evidence Suggests Ancient Egypt Was Brought Down By Volcanoes and Climate Change

Ancient Egypt is often described as an exotic place—pyramids, hieroglyphics, lavishly worshipped kings and queens.

But in many ways, it has a lot of parallels to modern life. It was an economically diverse, culturally vibrant and unequal place.

The millenniums-old society also struggled with a phenomenon that people today know all too well: climate change. And it may have ultimately led to the civilization's demise, according to a new paper by a team of researchers at Yale University.

The team of researchers studied the tail-end of ancient Egypt during the Ptolemaic dynasty between 305-30 BCE.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Portuguese youth plaintiffs, from left to right: Simão and Leonor; Cláudia, Martim and Mariana; André and Sofia. Global Legal Action Network

Kids Harmed by Portugal Fires Reach Key Crowdfunding Goal for Climate Lawsuit

As Portugal reels from its worst wildfires on record, seven Portuguese children have met an important crowdfunding goal for their major climate lawsuit against 47 European nations.

More than £20,000 ($26,400) was pledged by 589 people, allowing the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN)—the nonprofit coordinating the lawsuit—to identify and compile evidence to present to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. GLAN now has a new stretch target of £100,000.

Keep reading... Show less
Flying insects such as bees are important pollinators. Flickr / M I T C H Ǝ L L

German Nature Reserves Have Lost More Than 75% of Flying Insects

A new study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE adds more evidence that insect populations around the globe are in perilous decline.

For the study, researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands, alongside their German and English colleagues, measured the biomass of trapped flying insects at 63 nature preserves in Germany since 1989. They were shocked to discover that the total biomass decreased dramatically over the 27 years of the study, with a seasonal decline of 76 percent and mid-summer decline of 82 percent, when insect numbers tend to peak.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Politics

Pushing Toxic Chemicals and Climate Denial: The Dark Money-Funded Independent Women’s Forum

By Stacy Malkan

The Independent Women's Forum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has taken money from tobacco and oil companies, partners with Monsanto, defends toxic chemicals in food and consumer products, denies climate science and argues against laws that would curb the power of corporations.

IWF began in 1991 as an effort to defend now Supreme Court Justice (and former Monsanto attorney) Clarence Thomas as he faced sexual harassment charges. The group now says it seeks to "improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty."

Keep reading... Show less
Mladen Kostic / iStock

Toxic Toys? After Nine Years, a Ban on Harmful Chemicals Becomes Official

Phthalates are a particularly harmful type of chemical, used, among a range of other ways, to soften plastic in children's toys and products like pacifiers and teething rings. In response to mounting concern about the serious health impacts of phthalates—most notably, interference with hormone production and reproductive development in young children—Congress voted overwhelmingly in 2008 to outlaw the use of a few phthalates in these products and ordered the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to assess the use of other types of the chemical in these products. After much delay, the CPSC voted 3–2 Wednesday to ban five additional types of phthalates in kids' toys and childcare products.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

Get EcoWatch in your inbox