Cutting Carbon Pollution from Power Plants Won't Cost Jobs Nationally

July 14, 2013

Last week, President Obama announced his plan to reduce carbon pollution in the United States, tasking the EPA with creating a strategy to set limits on carbon emissions from power plants by June 2014. A number of opponents of the measure claimed that any such strategy would cost the country jobs; however, Synapse recently examined the broad economic impacts of a similar carbon emissions standard proposed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and found this plan would result in a net increase in jobs.
The carbon emissions standard analyzed by Synapse was proposed by NRDC in its December 2012 report, Closing the Power Plant Carbon Pollution Loophole: Smart Ways the Clean Air Act Can Clean Up America’s Biggest Climate Polluters. Synapse found that NRDC’s proposal would lead to 76,000 more jobs in the United States as a whole in 2016 and 210,000 more jobs in 2020 than would the reference (or business-as-usual) case. Of course, any change in the electricity generation mix will result in job losses in some areas, such as the closure of existing coal plants, and gains in other areas, such as new renewable energy resources and energy efficiency. Synapse’s model suggests that the gains of NRDC’s proposed carbon standard would far outweigh the losses nationally, as well as in almost every state studied. View the full Synapse report, Economic Impacts of the NRDC Carbon Standard.