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Study Shows Money Savings for Mainers with Clean Power Plan

Mainers could save at the utility meter with a cost effective clean power plan, according to a new report. (Dwight Burdette via wiki)
Mainers could save at the utility meter with a cost effective clean power plan, according to a new report. (Dwight Burdette via wiki)
June 28, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine – Implementing the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan could cut carbon emissions and save Maine consumers money, according to a new study by the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Opponents of the plan maintain that enforcing mandatory reductions in emissions from power plants could bankrupt the nation.

But Marilyn Brown, the study’s author, points out there are cost effective ways to go about it.

"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," she states.

The report says Mainers are looking at big increases in energy costs in the coming years, and the Clean Power Plan could help with cost savings of from $117 to $129 by 2030.

The U.S. Supreme Court put the plan on hold during a legal challenge by 27 states and a number of corporations.

But Mike Tipping, communications director for Maine People's Alliance, says the plan will help many Mainers who need it most.

"Lower-income Mainers have been disproportionately hurt by big swings in oil and gas prices in the past,” he states. “More renewables and more efficiency means more predictability and lower costs."

Even if the courts strike down the EPA's plan, states are free to implement plans of their own.

Some suggest phasing out coal-fired power plants by increasing reliance on natural gas, but that's also a potent contributor to climate change.

Brown maintains that increasing energy efficiency is a piece of the puzzle that's often overlooked.

"If we cut back on our electricity requirements by investing in efficient equipment, then we can prevent the build-up of this expensive infrastructure that would not serve the next generation very well," he explains.

Nationally, the goal of the Clean Power Plan is a 32 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, slowing global climate change, saving billions in health care costs and preventing up to 6,600 premature deaths.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - ME