New EPA Coal Rules Would Kill 224 Texans a Year, According to Harvard Study


  • Via Flickr user ribarnica
If you've been watching President Trump's crusade to prop up the failing coal industry (SAD!), you've likely aware his Affordable Clean Energy rule will prematurely kill up to 1,400 Americans yearly (EVEN SADDER!).

The New York Times first reported the stat Tuesday after sifting through hundreds of pages of analysis attached to the EPA's new regs. Unfortunately, the stats don't break down the health impacts at a local or even state level.

However, a 2015 study by the Harvard School of Public Health does. And, hang on to your hats, Texans — the numbers are goddamned grim.

If the EPA replaces Obama-era regulations with the Trump proposal, an estimated 224 people in the Lone Star State will die prematurely each year from increased pollution levels, according to the study. On top of that, another 65 would be admitted to hospitals for respiratory-related ailments and 13 would suffer non-fatal heart attacks.

"It's pretty much taking us back to where we would be with no policy," said study author Jonathan Buonocore, a research associate with the Harvard School's Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment, or C-CHANGE. "(The Trump plan) would do very little for the climate, and it would have a negative impact on human health."

The C-CHANGE study, conducted before the Obama administration implemented its Clean Power Plan, contrasted three separate plans to regulate coal emissions, including one similar to Obama's and another similar to the Trump's.

The upshot of implementing the new, laxer rules — which lets states cook up their own regulations or even petition for a complete opt-out — means the health benefits of the Obama-era plan would be virtually erased, according to Buonocore.

Adding to the pain, Texas stood to gain the third-biggest improvement in pollution-related fatalities under the Obama plan behind Pennsylvania and Ohio, the research shows.

To quote Rick Perry, our one-time governor and a regulatory hatchet man after Trump's own heart: "Oops."

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