Press Release

RFF Study: New Rules on Carbon Emissions May Have Minimal Effects on Household Utility Bills

Anticipated EPA proposal also could produce large health benefits
May 29, 2014

Resources for the Future (RFF) scholars Dallas Burtraw, Joshua Linn, Karen Palmer, and Anthony Paul have concluded in a new paper that the approaches likely to be taken by EPA in regulating carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants will result in minimal price increases for consumers. In addition, the emissions reductions will produce benefits far outweighing their costs even if the climate change aspects are ignored, thanks to improved health outcomes from the reduction of conventional air pollutants.

The paper, “The Costs and Consequences of Clean Air Act Regulation of CO2 from Power Plants,” appears in the May issue of the American Economic Review (subscription required). It is based on an RFF discussion paper by the same name. RFF has no special advance knowledge of the proposed rule, but the paper analyzes the most commonly discussed options, such as an emissions budget with trading.

Burtraw and RFF President Phil Sharp will be offering a briefing on economic analyses at RFF of options for emissions reductions being considered by EPA at a 10:30 a.m. conference-call on Friday, May 30. Interested media should contact Dave Cohen for details at

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Founded in 1952, Resources for the Future is an independent and nonpartisan institution.