An Analysis of Costs and Health Co-Benefits for a U.S. Power Plant Carbon Standard


Jonathan J. Buonocore, Kathleen F. Lambert, Dallas Burtraw, Samantha Sekar,
Charles T. Driscoll


Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants can have important “co-benefits for public health by reducing emissions of air pollutants. Here, we examine the costs and health co-benefits, in monetary terms, for a policy that resembles the U.S. Environmental Protectio Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

We then examine the spatial distribution of the co-benefit and costs, and the implications of a range of cost assumptions in the implementation year of 2020. Nationwide, the total health co-benefits were $29 billion 2010 USD (95% CI: $2.3 t $68 billion), and net co-benefits under our central cost case were $12 billion (95% CI: -$15 billion to $51 billion). Net co-benefits for this case in the implementation year were positive in 10 of the 14 regions studied.

The results for our central case suggest that all but one regio should experience positive net benefits within 5 years after implementation.


May 2016

Updated: 2016-06-10

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