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Clean Power Plan Would Benefit Consumers in Every State

Nov. 16, 2015

Clean Power Plan Would Benefit Consumers in Every State

States Suing to Block EPA Rule Would Raise Residents’ Electricity Bills if They Prevail, New Public Citizen Report Shows

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 26 states suing to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan are working to raise their own residents’ electricity bills, according to a new Public Citizen report (PDF).

The report, “Clean Power, Clear Savings,” shows that energy bills will fall in every state by 2030 as a result of the Clean Power Plan compared to a business-as-usual scenario, including the states contesting the plan. The Clean Power Plan, finalized in August, is designed to curb pollution from power plants 32 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels. It sets targets for reducing carbon pollution in each state.

Households in Kentucky and West Virginia, the two states leading the suit, would lose up to $98 and $189 in annual savings on their electricity bills by 2030, respectively, if the Clean Power Plan is blocked.

“The states suing to block the Clean Power Plan are acting against the financial interests of their own residents,” said David Arkush, author of the report and managing director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program. “These states are looking out for big polluters and dirty power companies instead of working families who can’t afford higher electricity bills.”

This week, the U.S. Senate likely will vote on a Congressional Review Act resolution to block the Clean Power Plan. A U.S. House of Representatives vote will follow in the coming weeks. President Barack Obama is expected to veto the resolution.

The top 10 states expected to see the largest savings by 2030 are Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island – and Illinois under one scenario and Delaware under another scenario. These states rank high in large part because they are getting a head start on energy efficiency initiatives, which will generate consumer savings under the rule.

As part of the EPA’s plan, states can decide how to meet their targets. They can use a mix of strategies – from improving the efficiency of existing coal-fired power plants to switching to renewable power or using energy efficiency to reduce electricity consumption. Energy efficiency measures should feature prominently in state compliance plans, as they are the lowest-cost way to reduce carbon emission and save consumers money on their energy bills.

“The Clean Power Plan is a great opportunity not just to fight climate change, but to lower our nation’s electricity bills,” said Arkush. “We can and should go beyond the EPA’s targets when it comes to energy efficiency, saving consumers even more and doing even more to curb climate change and extreme weather events.”

This week, the EPA will hold public hearings in Denver, the District of Columbia and Atlanta to discuss the proposed federal plan and model rules for states that do not develop a carbon reduction plan of their own. Many of the states suing to block the Clean Power Plan are nevertheless preparing to comply.

Read the report (PDF).