Letters to the Editor

Clean Power Plan saves lives, money

The CDT article’s headline was “Study: Power plan could hurt low-income families.” It should have been “Koch Brothers produce another study protecting their investments in dirty, unhealthy energy.”

The Clean Power Plan would reduce power plant emissions by one-third by 2030. Jobs would be created, people would be healthier and climate change would be less disastrous. Anticipated health benefits include:

▪  1,500 to 3,600 less premature deaths

▪  90,000 fewer asthma attacks in children

▪  Up to 1,700 fewer heart attacks

The health benefit for American families is estimated to be $4 for every $1 invested through the Clean Power Plan.

So what is the “hurt” referenced in the headline? I read the study referenced in the article by the Pacific Research Institute (a “think tank” promoting free-market, small-government ideologies, funded in large part by the Kochs). Even with their biased analyses, they estimate that electricity costs by state will increase 0.1 to 0.6 percent of median income. In Pennsylvania, it is 0.4 percent, and with a median income today of about $50,000, that translates to $200 a year (EPA estimated that families would pay $84 less per year).

That’s not much, but it will impact poor people more than the rest of us. But what is missing from the PRI study is the 4-to-1 health cost benefit. If I pay $200 more a year for electricity, I’ll pay $800 less for health care. That’s a net savings of $600 per year. The CPP saves lives and money, and results in a healthier world.

Andy Lau, State College