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Analysis Sets Carbon Reduction Path

nrdcThe Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released an update of its 2012 proposal on how to cut carbon pollution from power plants under the Clean Air Act.

The analysis shows that 470 to 700 million tons of carbon pollution can be eliminated per year in 2020 compared to 2012 levels. These are greater emission cuts than in the original analysis, which projected a 270 million ton reduction in 2020 relative to 2012.

NRDC says it updated its 2012 model to reflect recent trends in the electricity industry, including lower electricity demand, and reduced costs for wind turbines, and natural gas.

The analysis shows that:

  • Power plant carbon pollution could be cut by 21 to 31 percent in 2020, and by 25 to 36 percent by 2025.
  • Annual emissions could be reduced by 470 to 700 million tons of carbon pollution by 2020.
  • Investments of $52 billion to $121 billion into cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy by 2020 could be achieved
  • All these benefits could occur without significant effect to consumers’ electricity bills.

The reductions would net $28 billion to $63 billion in health and environmental benefits, NRDC says.

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