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Friday, July 25, 2014

Oh, the irony.

A study released yesterday by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Rhodium Group finds that the EPA’s plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants – part of President Obama’s Climate Change Action Plan - could make Pennsylvania an economic winner.

Remaking American Power: The Economic and Energy Impacts of Power Plant Emissions Standards looked at the impact of EPA’s draft carbon rule, which seeks a 30% reduction in carbon emissions nationwide by 2030 based on 2005 emissions levels. The rule would encourage utility companies to switch from burning coal to natural gas.

According to this New York Times story, the study concludes that EPA’s proposed rule: 
…would cut demand for electricity from coal — the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution — but create robust new demand for natural gas, which has just half the carbon footprint of coal. It found that the demand for natural gas would, in turn, drive job creation, corporate revenue and government royalties in states that produce it…
States that produce both coal and natural gas, such as Pennsylvania, would experience an economic trade-off as diminished coal production was replaced by new natural gas production.

Can Pennsylvania be an economic winner under the EPA’s rule? Undoubtedly yes. And a big one at that.  However, current Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is a climate change denier whose policies have caused the state to fail to benefit fully from the resource boom, and who - by opposing the EPA rule - cements the state’s unenviable position as an economic loser

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