The Law Center co-sponsored an economic study released December 8th finding that without key pollution controls, pollution from coal-fired power plants is costing businesses in affected downwind states nearly $6 billion annually due to higher labor and insurance costs, lost work days, and lost productivity.
The report, “Expensive Neighbors: The Hidden Cost of Harmful Pollution to Downwind Employers and Businesses,” measures the costs avoided by reducing dangerous emissions from upwind states, and it concludes that the benefits of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed “Transport Rule” under the Clean Air Act far outweigh any associated costs. The report recommends that any coal-fired power plants that have not yet installed pollution controls be required to do so immediately.
The EPA’s proposed “Transport Rule” requires that by 2014, 31 states and the District of Columbia significantly reduce harmful power plant emissions that contribute to pollution in other states.
The report shows that failure to enact the transport rule would have the following effects:
- Businesses will suffer over $47 billion in costs;
- Over 360,000 jobs will be lost;
- State and local governments will lose $9.3 billion in tax revenue; and
- Families and businesses will pay $26 billion more for reformulated gasoline.
According to the report, each dollar invested in pollution controls avoids $50 to $100 in downwind costs annually.