There’s plenty to delve into in the EPA’s proposed rules to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 — the full proposal runs 645 pages. But right off the bat, this initial data point is worth paying attention to: by 2030, the EPA is predicting that the net health and climate benefits of the proposed rule will be as high as $90 billion. The annual cost? $7.3 billion to $8.8 billion in 2030 — far less than the $50.2 billion per year that the Chamber of Commerce predicted.
In its rundown on the rule, the EPA notes that in 2012, climate and weather disasters — sure to worsen with climate change — cost the economy over $100 billion. But “this is not just about disappearing polar bears and melting ice caps,” EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said Monday morning during the rule’s announcement. “This is about protecting our health and protecting our homes.” She notes that, through soot and smog reductions, every dollar invested in the plan would translate into a $7 health benefit.