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Business Leaders Say Clean Air Standards Good for Economy
New Clean Air standards will trigger nearly $200 bn in capital investments in the power sector over the next five years and create nearly 1.5 million jobs, according to a report by Ceres and UMASS Political Economy Research Institute.
Recently released data from independent business groups and the Environmental Protection Agency demonstrates the positive economic impacts of clean air standards and disprove the claims that new standards are bad for the economy, business and investing leaders said during a media teleconference today.
“The Clean Air Act has been a shining success story for this country. There is no reason to delay new air pollution standards that will benefit the economy, create jobs and protect clean air,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres and director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk. “It’s a win-win-win for utilities, families and the environment.”
“From a business perspective, the electricity sector specifically, there is no economic basis for delay of EPA standards for air pollution, especially the Utility Toxics Rule,” said Michael Bradley, executive director of the Clean Energy Group, which represents a dozen U.S. electric companies. “The Utility Toxics Rule provides businesses the certainty the electric sector needs to move forward with capital investment decisions.”
“As investors we prefer long-term certainty on energy and climate policy to be able to predict investment risks and opportunities,” said Stu Dalheim, director of shareholder advocacy at Calvert Investment Management, Inc. “National regulations on greenhouse gas emissions will not only allow America to compete globally with other advanced nations whose regulations do place a premium on low- or zero-emissions technologies, but will also benefit consumers and workers, create jobs, and help investors seize new economic opportunities in clean technology and other climate change solutions.”
Clean Air Act standards expected to be put in place this year will trigger nearly $200 billion in capital investments in the power sector over the next five years and create nearly 1.5 million jobs, according to a report published recently by Ceres and the University of Massachusetts' Political Economy Research Institute. A recent EPA analysis “The Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act from 1990 to 2020: Final Report,” found that benefits exceed costs by a factor of more than 30:1. In 2010 alone, clean air amendments generated environmental and health benefits of nearly $1.3 trillion.
Ceres is a leading network of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations working with companies to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk, a network of 95 institutional investors with more than $9 trillion of collective assets focused on the business impacts of climate change.