New NRDC Climate Analysis: Nation Can Create Jobs and Save on Electricity Bills while Cutting Carbon Pollution from Power Plants
Category: Prime Politics Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
The nation can significantly cut carbon pollution from power plants, the centerpiece of President Obama's climate action plan, while adding thousands of new jobs and saving families money on their electric bills, according to a new analysis released by the Natural Resources Defense Council and business and labor groups.
Countering critics' charges, the NRDC analysis shows that the carbon pollution driving climate change can be reined in while creating a net increase of at least 210,000 jobs and modestly reducing electricity bills, by an average of about $.90 per month.
"For the sake of our children's future, we have an obligation to fight back against climate change, which is already damaging and disrupting our communities," said Dan Lashof, director of NRDC's Climate and Clean Air Program. "The nation must curb the largest source of climate-changing pollution pouring into our skies, without any limits, from coal-fired power plants. And the good news is we can while creating more than 200,000 new jobs, trimming electricity bills and helping our economy."
NRDC also examined how such standards would affect 14 states across the country with their varying sources of energy. The analysis found that in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Virginia jobs would increase and electric bills would decrease. Colorado, Iowa and Minnesota would see job gains, and Maine residents would save on their electric bills.
Changes in Net Job Years and Utility Bills in the U.S. and by State from Carbon Standard in 2020* (Policy Case Relative to Business-as-Usual)
Total net change
in job-years Change in average monthly
U.S. 210,000 -$0.90
Colorado 5,000 $1.82
Florida 14,000 -$0.31
Illinois 7,800 -$2.47
Iowa 5,100 $1.06
Maine -200 -$3.19
Michigan 9,300 -$0.84
Minnesota 1,800 $6.02
Montana 3,600 -$1.25
New Hampshire 1,300 -$3.61
North Carolina 9,900 -$2.73
Ohio 12,000 -$1.03
Oregon 1,900 -$0.65
Pennsylvania 8,700 -$0.29
Virginia 5,000 -$4.35
* Estimates do not include savings beyond 2020 from efficiency measures or positive productivity impacts from reduced climate change.
The study for NRDC was done by Synapse Energy Economics, Inc.-widely used by industry and government-which was asked to analyze the economic impact of a plan NRDC released in December 2012. That plan shows how the administration could use the Clean Air Act to achieve major reductions in dangerous carbon pollution from the nation's power plants.
Lashof discussed the analysis that was co-released during a telephone press conference today, along with Celia Canfield, Chair, Board of Directors of Small Business Majority, and David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance.
"Small business owners are eager for pragmatic, innovative energy policies that can help them develop new technologies and increase business opportunities," said Canfield, whose group represents small businesses nationwide. "They understand that to survive in this tough economy they need creative solutions to curb costs and increase their competitive edge. These include continued government investments in clean energy and the enforcement of standards that reduce harmful emissions in their communities, which our opinion polling shows they strongly support. Right now, giving small businesses the incentives and tools needed to drive job creation and increase market competitiveness should be a top priority."
Foster, whose group unites 14 unions and major environmental organizations, said: "This report shows what we have known to be true: a well-crafted carbon pollution standard can be part of the solution to drive innovation and job creation while also reducing dangerous carbon pollution. "In order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we must act now, but we must do so in a way that creates and maintains quality jobs for American workers. This report shows how we can begin to achieve just that."
The new analysis comes a week after President Obama announced a major climate action plan and said the nation has an obligation to our children and future generations to act against the ravages of climate change.
The president unveiled a multi-part climate action strategy that includes directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants, and do so in a way providing flexibility to different states and build on actions many states, cities and companies are already taking.
Today, the nation's existing power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution that is driving climate change. They emit about 2.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year, accounting for about 40 percent of the nation's total carbon dioxide emissions.
While there are federal limits for power plants on arsenic, mercury, sulfur and soot, surprisingly, there are no federal limits on how much carbon pollution they emit.
The Clean Air Act gives EPA the authority and responsibility to reduce this pollution to protect Americans from harmful health impacts and climate disruption that is fueling stronger storms, wildfires, floods, heat waves and drought.
In December 2012, NRDC issued a report showing one way to make major reductions in carbon pollution at lower cost with bigger benefits than many would expect by using the Clean Air Act to set state-specific targets for carbon pollution limits. The NRDC plan proposes tailoring pollution limits to the specific energy mix of each individual state; giving utilities flexibility to determine the most cost-effective way to hit the target and would save families on their electric bills by providing incentives to increase energy efficiency.
Doing so, could cut power plant carbon pollution by 26 percent by 2020 at a cost to industry estimated at $4 billion in 2020: about 1 percent of industry revenues. And it would deliver up to $15 in health and climate benefits for every $1 invested.
The NRDC proposal is not the only way to curb power plant pollution, but it is one of several options EPA is expected to consider as it writes its proposal in response to the president's directive.
The Synapse analysis of NRDC's plan shows that, nationally, energy efficiency upgrades would be the key driver of new job growth. Power companies could earn credit toward compliance with new standards through avoided pollution and by helping their customers use less electricity. There would be some job decreases at older power plants compared to business-as-usual, but there also would be job growth as plants installed new burners or carbon capture and storage technology.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 11:14
Category: Prime Politics Written by Tom Watkins
Today Gov. Rick Snyder announced that Michigan State Police amended a recent disaster declaration to include the entire state of Michigan to support ongoing response and recovery efforts after the Michigan Senate controlled by his own Republican Party, left town without passing Medicaid Expansion. The Senate's inaction leaves 450,000 working adults exposed to illness, injury and death.
Governor Snyder took this extraordinary action today after the GOP-controlled Senate, of whom ALL have gold-plated, taxpayer-funded health care plans, refused to bring the Medicaid Expansion bill to a vote.
What a disaster!
The potential carnage bought about by the Senate's failure to act is more than some boring, accounting statistic. Our CPA-nerd Governor explained, "Their failure to act will take a human toll on someone's grandma-grandpa, mom-dad, sister-brother, son-daughter across the state of Michigan".
"The repairs and assessments of Michigan's damaged areas are ongoing," Snyder said. "We are looking at all options to rebuild our communities and our public health after the GOP Senate leadership shirked its responsibility to all Michiganders, leaving the working poor to fend for themselves."
Snyder declared a state of disaster to ensure that all possible resources, in accordance with the Michigan Emergency Management Plan, would be provided to assist the local communities.
Pure Politics-Pure Michigan
The Governor reiterated that this man-made disaster can still be avoided if members of his own party stop playing politics with the health care of 450, 000 Michigander sand get back to work to pass the Medicaid Expansion Bill.
"This human disaster can't be pinned on President Obama" declared Snyder, biting his lip with his best intimidation of his ole "relentless positive action" self. "No", the governor continued, "This mess has GOP tattooed all over it."
Gov. Snyder got it right saying, "those without health care insurance typically wait until their medical conditions are so severe that they no longer can ignore them, and then they go to an emergency room. That's an expensive way for them to get care. What's even worse is they have to suffer with their illnesses. It's not right, and it's a failure for our society. That's a failure for all of us, and we should do something about it."
Governor Snyder was last seen mumbling to no one in particular, "Forget the Tea Party, come back, take a vote."
Gilda Jacobs, Executive Director of the Michigan League for Public Policy understands the consequences of the GOP Senate's inaction saying, "This is utterly disappointing and shameful. While the Senate has gone fishing for the summer, hundreds of thousands of hardworking people in their districts continue to face a future without needed health care – and for no good reason."
Come back to work, Senators. It is not too late to rectify this mess. Emergencies are better if they are avoided all together.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 10:09
Category: Prime Politics Written by Sharon Banks
(See complete Poll Results, Page 2) Turnaround Detroit, a political action committee (PAC), commissioned Michigan-based pollster Mitchell Research and Communications to conduct a survey of likely Detroit voters on the upcoming mayoral race. The June 25-26th survey results reflect that among likely voters polled, there is strong support for Mike Duggan as a write-in candidate, and that he has a likely chance to be one of the top two vote getters in the August 6th primary election.
Turnaround Detroit was created earlier this year to support a leader that can turn Detroit around. The next five weeks will be spent communicating to Detroiters the importance of voting for Mike Duggan - who has a proven record of success and 30 years of commitment to Detroit. Duggan brings the unique combination of experience we need to rebuild our neighborhoods and take back our city from the state.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 08:49
Category: Prime Politics Written by Jesse Jackson
President Barack Obama should lead a forceful drive to revive the Voting Rights Act, which was effectively disemboweled by the Supreme Court’s decision last week.
All celebrate the 1965 Act as the most consequential civil rights legislation of the past century. Its passage was central to the building of the New South, opening the way to attracting foreign investment in auto factories, creating CNN, hosting the Super Bowl, even electing presidents. One afflicted with a poisoned heart is often blind to its effects. The South learned only after the civil rights legislation that segregation was blighting its own potential.
In 2006, the Congress, after weeks of hearings and thousands of pages of testimony and evidence, overwhelmingly reauthorized the law by a vote of 98-0 in the Senate and 390-33 in the House. Legislators chose to sustain Section 4 that identified which counties and states had a history of discrimination sufficient that changes in voting rights would be subject to prior approval by the Justice Department under Section 5. “Preclearance” not only blocked laws with discriminatory effect, but it also inhibited efforts to suppress the right to vote.
But last week, Justice John Roberts, writing for the court in a five-four decision, argued that “our country has changed.” He and the activist reactionaries on the court substituted their judgment for that of elected officials and struck down Section 4. Yet, the decision came after an election in which Republicans, particularly in Section 4 states, had pushed harsh restrictions on voting that would make it harder for minorities to vote. When the Miami Heat played the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA finals, the games were rough, but proactive referees kept them from becoming brawls. Justice Roberts’ decision, in essence, would pull the referees off the court.
With Republican office holders increasingly worried by the growing numbers of African-American, Latino, Asian-American and other minority voters, measures to curtail voting rights have spread. It is perverse that the chief justice thought this was the time to overrule the congressional judgment.
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) defended the court’s decision, saying that his state had witnessed “tremendous progress” in voting rights. Progress, no doubt, but in 2012 South Carolina passed a discriminatory voting act that was struck down by the courts. David Gergen said he was from North Carolina and “times have changed.” Change, yes, but in 2012, North Carolina pushed an aggressive agenda to curtail voting rights, including restrictive voting ID, elimination of early voting on Sunday, a ban on same day voter registration and more. Similar reforms in Texas, blocked by a Section 5 preclearance review, were immediately taken up again when the court’s decision came down.
We need to keep the referees on the court. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has already pledged hearings to begin reformulating Section 4. Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that he hoped the House would find a “responsible way forward.” The president should elevate this issue so that Americans can see who stands for voting rights, and who stands in the way.
Over the past years, the new South has made progress, but that is in large part because the Voting Rights Act put referees on the field to enforce the law. Will Republicans join Democrats in reviving bipartisan support for remedying the Supreme Court’s wrong-headed decision? Or will they use the court’s decision to intensify their efforts to suppress the vote? By pushing hard for action, the president can help re-create the bipartisan support that is vital for our progress as one nation.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 July 2013 13:35
Category: Prime Politics Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer released the following statement in regard to this morning’s United States Supreme Court ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, which denies federal benefits to gay and lesbian couples married in states that allow such unions. The court found the law to be unconstitutional based on violations of equal protection principles.
“Today’s ruling is a proud step forward for our nation and affirms the belief that love, not politics, should be the only factor that determines whether any two Americans choose to get married. I was proud to sponsor legislation to recognize same-sex marriages here in Michigan and now, with today’s ruling from the Supreme Court, it’s clear that it’s time to move forward on that process to ensure that same-sex couples have the same rights, opportunities and protections as everyone else in our state.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 12:51
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- Senator Bert Johnson Condemns Republican Inaction on Medicaid Expansion
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