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Reports Predict Savings for New Mexicans Under Clean Power Plan

President Obama finalized the Clean Power Plan August 3, 2015. Courtesy: US White House
President Obama finalized the Clean Power Plan August 3, 2015. Courtesy: US White House
August 4, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.. – The Clean Power Plan, which President Obama finalized Monday, is expected to help energy consumers in New Mexico and around the country save money on their utility bills.

Synapse Energy Economics, which developed a model that includes investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency in a new report, found the average New Mexico household participating in energy-efficiency programs will save $19 per month on its electric bill in 2030.

Economist and report co-author Elizabeth Stanton said there will also be far less carbon emissions.

"It not only achieves the requirements of the EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan, but it actually exceeds them in terms of having even greater emissions reduction," said Stanton.

The goal of the Clean Power Plan is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. A similar report from the Georgia Institute of Technology shows similar cost savings using more renewable energy and energy-efficiency policies, along with setting a modest price on carbon.

Critics claim the standards will jeopardize jobs in the coal industry, but according to President Obama, the new plan will lead to 30 percent more renewable energy generation, create tens of thousands of jobs and lower the costs of renewable energy. He added cleaner air will benefit human health, especially in communities of color.

"Today, an African-American child is more than twice as likely to be hospitalized from asthma," said Obama. "A Latino child is 40 percent more likely to die from asthma. So if you care about low-income minority communities, start protecting the air they breathe and stop trying to rob them of their health care."

Obama added that by 2030, according to government estimates, the Clean Power Plan will prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths, 90,000 asthma attacks in children and 300,000 missed work days and school days.

Lori Abbott/Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM