The fact that the EPA’s proposed rule to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants will harm the U.S. economy has been well documented. Now, a new report has shed further light on just how much the rule stands to impact the lives of the most vulnerable Americans.
The report from the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) analyzed the effect that that the rule would have on residents living across nine states— Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The SPP warns that the EPA’s rule will lead to power outages, blackouts, and reliability problems for at least 15 million individuals in these states “due to the rapid pace of capacity reductions required by the EPA’s proposed rule.”
Enforcement of the EPA’s rule would force the closure of more than 45,000 megawatts of coal-powered capacity—more than is produced across all of New England. Leaving elderly residents, literally, out in the cold.
The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC), an advocacy organization representing American seniors, has come out in full force against the proposed rule. The AMAC claims that because many seniors have fixed or low incomes, they are especially susceptible to the problems with the rule.
As Dan Weber, president of the AMAC noted, seniors “are not equipped to deal with the unexpected loss of power nor with the anticipated spikes in the cost of electricity. They will have to choose between heating their homes or having enough money for food and medicine.”
Kids, now it’s your turn to buy Grandma and Grandpa a thick ugly sweater this year for Christmas!
However, seniors aren’t the only group of Americans that will be disproportionately hurt from implementation of the rule. In fact, families with an annual household after-tax income between $10,000 and $30,000, already devote 24% of their income to energy costs. Those individuals living in states like Kentucky or Ohio, where the vast majority of electricity generation comes from coal, will be hit with a double-whammy. Not only are people in those states losing their jobs, they’re also going to bear the brunt of rising costs.
When the EPA makes the rules, everyday Americans lose.