A report from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) says that states can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by using a combination of renewable energy sources and energy saving strategies. It says those changes are affordable if done properly.
Marilyn Brown, the project’s lead researcher and the Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech tells Think Progress, “To minimize costs, the country needs to reduce its coal consumption more rapidly, continue to expand its gas-fired power plants, but temper this growth with aggressive policies to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy.”
Complying with the Clean Power Plan would also produce substantial collateral benefits such as lower electricity bills, greater GDP growth, and significant reductions in SO2, NOx, and mercury emissions. “The strong push on energy efficiency also enables GDP to rise above the business-as-usual forecast,” said Brown. “The US increases its exports and decreases its imports as a result of being more competitive.”
Another recent report by energy research firm Synapse Energy Economics finds that average energy bills in 2030 could be $35 per month lower under a “Clean Energy Future” scenario than they would be if the Clean Power Plan is not put into operation.