Fact Checks

  • FACT: The Clean Power Plan will reduce electricity costs, reduce carbon emissions, and deliver significant public health benefits.

Ever since the Environmental Protection Agency announced the finalized Clean Power Plan, anti-renewable groups have done their best to disparage the plan with claims that it would cost jobs, weaken our grid, and provide no public health benefits. We fact checked some of those claims.

Claim: America’s power generation sector doesn’t emit enough greenhouse gasses for the Clean Power Plan to make a difference.

  • Power generation is the largest greenhouse gas-emitting sector in the U.S. It was responsible for 31% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2013. (U.S. EPA, May 2015, http://1.usa.gov/1J00YFS)

Claim: The Clean Power Plan will cost jobs.

  • Research from the Economic Policy Institute found that the Clean Power Plan is likely to lead to a net increase of roughly 360,000 jobs in 2020. (Economic Policy Institute, June 2015, http://bit.ly/1QJcraR)
  • Solar energy alone supports over 170,000 jobs in the U.S. – about as many jobs as the coal industry supports. (The Solar Foundation, January 2014, http://bit.ly/1Ur0fzs)

Claim: The Clean Power Plan is too difficult for states to comply with.

  • The Clean Power Plan mandates that America’s power-sector carbon emissions be reduced by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. About half of this reduction has already been achieved. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, October 2014, http://1.usa.gov/1MdjYkV)

Claim: The Clean Power Plan won’t bring any real public health benefits.

  • The Clean Power Plan will avoid up to 3,600 premature deaths and lead to 90,000 fewer asthma attacks in children. (The White House, August 2015, http://1.usa.gov/1UibCtq)

Claim: The Clean Power Plan will raise electricity costs.

  • Thanks to the Clean Power Plan, consumers will save $155 billion from 2020-2030, and the average family will save $85 on their electricity bills annually by 2030. (U.S. EPA, August 2015, http://1.usa.gov/1EeqTCf)

Claim: The Clean Power Plan will make our grid more unreliable.

  • According to the World Bank, countries can integrate high levels of variable renewable energy such as solar and wind into their power grids without compromising the reliability or affordability of electricity. (The World Bank, March 2015, http://bit.ly/1KTLALm)
  • With the right policies, the U.S. could run entirely on renewables by 2050 without threatening grid reliability or the economy. (Vox, June 2015, http://bit.ly/1FGJk2X)
  • Germany – which gets 28% of its electricity from renewables – experiences just 15 minutes of power outages per year. (Bloomberg, April 2015, http://bloom.bg/1IQI5mD)
  • The western half of the U.S. could reliably obtain 35% of its electricity from renewables without significant infrastructure changes. (Washington Post, September 2013, http://wapo.st/1IZURBl)
  • The EPA requires states to address grid reliability in their plans. (U.S. EPA, August 2015, http://1.usa.gov/1gjPIqw)

Claim: The Clean Power Plan is illegal.

  • In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled in Massachusetts v. EPA that the Environmental Protection Agency had the right to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act. (The Oyez Project, http://bit.ly/1IZ73Ct)

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