How many lives did the EPA just save with coal pollution regulation?
The EPA's new rules regulate emissions from coal-fired power plants, limiting air pollution from coal plants in 27 Eastern states. According to the agency, this could result in 34,000 fewer premature deaths per year by 2014, plus preventing 15,000 heart attacks and 400,000 cases of asthma every year. (The above map shows how many early deaths could be prevented in each state.) By then, the rules will have cut sulfur dioxide emissions by 73 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 54 percent below 2005 levels — an ambitious goal, but one that will save lives and, not incidentally, also save $280 billion a year in health care costs.
Republicans complained, as usual, that the EPA's actions would hurt employment. They're right, in a sense — we could end up with 34,000 more people competing for jobs every year instead of being prematurely dead!