Trump changes in rules re air pollution analysis trades some Consumer prices would drop but preventable deaths would rise
The rule isn't billed as a trade-off but among its quantifiable effects would be an increase in preventable deaths and a small drop in electricity costs.
The proposal estimates that as many as 1,400 preventable deaths annually could occur by 2030 if Trump's plan replaces Obama's. (It's 1,600 preventable deaths if the Clean Power Plan is repealed and there's no replacement).
The deaths would largely be due to particle matter in the air that contributes to heart and lung diseases that were addressed in the Obama plan.
Wehrum pushed back on the notion that there would be premature deaths, saying the agency has other tools to deal with those pollutants directly. "We have abundant legal authority and we use that authority day in and day out," he said.
As for cost, Wehrum said electricity prices would decrease as much as 0.5 percent by 2025. Wheeler said Obama's plan would have led to "double-digit" increases in electricity prices in as many as 40 states.
Public health advocates say such analyses do not adequately take into account the savings gained from having fewer people sick or dying.