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Report: Missourians Could Save With Clean Power Plan

A new report highlights the cost savings of the Clean Power Plan for Missourians, plus the health benefits to all Americans. (epa.gov)
A new report highlights the cost savings of the Clean Power Plan for Missourians, plus the health benefits to all Americans. (epa.gov)
June 27, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri households could save more than $1,300 a year in electricity costs under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, according to a new study by the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Report author Marilyn Brown says without any changes in the way electricity is produced and used, Missouri households can expect an increase of more than 14 percent in electricity bills over the next 15 years.

"A lot of analysts say that the Clean Power Plan is going to bankrupt the nation,” she relates. “But what we're showing is, in fact, if done wisely, we can save consumers money and also prevent fossil fuels from heating up the planet."

The Georgia Tech study says even if Missouri's leaders adopted the least-cost compliant scenarios,
Missouri's household electricity bills would see savings of $3.7 billion, and savings nationwide would top $248 billion.

Jeanette Mott Oxford, executive director of Empower Missouri, says the state's lower-income households can't afford to see more utility hikes.

She says high power bills often are the last straw for many, and calls it the heat or eat syndrome – meaning people often have to choose whether to pay a utility bill or buy food.

"They actually may have multiple times in the year that they get a utility disconnect notice, and there's just not enough help out there for folks," she states.

And it isn't just about saving money. The EPA projects its Clean Power Plan will help avoid up to 6,600 premature deaths, up to 150,000 asthma attacks in children and almost 500,000 missed school and work days annually, by 2030.

The agency says reducing carbon pollution would also prevent thousands of heart attacks and hospital admissions every year.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MO