Fellows in the News

A sweeping Obama-era climate rule could prevent up to 4,500 premature deaths per year by 2030, the Trump administration has found in its analysis of the plan, projecting that the plan could save more lives than the Obama administration said it would.

The Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency is moving to repeal the plan.

The rule in question is the Clean Power Plan, which consists of regulations on U.S. power plants aimed at decreasing the country’s contribution to global climate change by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. In practice, the rule is projected to move the energy sector away from coal-fired power plants and toward more natural gas-fired power plants, as well as wind and solar power sources.

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It remains to be seen how the agency ultimately decides to treat the health benefits of addressing climate change in its final analysis — given that, after all, it wants to withdraw the Clean Power Plan. Kathy Fallon Lambert, a researcher at the Harvard Forest, said she worries that there’s a possibility that the agency will ultimately opt to dismiss these “co-benefits” entirely.

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“It’s down in the weeds, but I think it does point to a big picture story that’s important,” Lambert said. “Which is, will these kinds of benefits and emissions reductions occur absent the Clean Power Plan?”
 
 

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