Trump’s EPA issues damning analysis of his effort to get rid of Obama’s climate plan

Bombshell: Ending Clean Power Plan could kill 100,000 Americans by 2050

The coal-fired Plant Scherer, one of the nation's top polluters. CREDIT: AP/Branden Camp
The coal-fired Plant Scherer, one of the nation's top polluters. CREDIT: AP/Branden Camp

A Trump administration analysis has concluded that its effort to undo Obama’s climate plan could kill some 100,000 Americans over the next few decades.

Compared to 2015 calculations by the Environmental Protection Agency — done under the Obama administration — this new, updated analysis by Trump’s EPA actually raises the projected death toll from undoing the Clean Power Plan, the Obama-era rule aimed at cutting carbon pollution from power plants and preserving a livable climate, while creating jobs.

Last month, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt announced he would begin the process of undoing the plan. We wrote at the time it could mean up to 3,600 more premature deaths (and up to 90,000 more asthma attacks in kids) annually by 2030.

Those numbers came from the 2015 EPA analysis, which found that “reducing exposure to particle pollution and ozone in 2030 will avoid a projected 1,500 to 3,600 premature deaths.” The EPA’s online fact sheet — which is now archived and no longer appears on the agency’s website — further noted that reductions in soot and smog “mean we will avoid thousands of premature deaths and mean thousands fewer asthma attacks and hospitalizations in 2030 and every year beyond” (emphases in original).


But on Monday, the Washington Post’s Chris Mooney reported on the Trump EPA’s own analysis of premature deaths, deep inside “a long, technocratic document called a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) that the EPA released last month when it moved to repeal the plan.”

The latest EPA numbers — which were based on the federal government’s latest power sector projections — were that the Clean Power Plan “would prevent 1,900 to 4,500 premature deaths per year by 2030,” Mooney notes. Those deaths ramp up in the 2020s and then continue every year after.

The new EPA numbers mean that Obama’s Clean Power Plan would prevent, cumulatively, some 40,000 to 100,000 deaths between 2020 and 2050.

Bottom Line: By its own admission, the Trump Administration’s effort to undo Obama’s climate plan could kill as many as 100,000 Americans by mid-century.