Businesses also benefit from the EPA’s carbon emissions regulations

The Washington Post
Letter to the Editor
June 10, 2014

It’s no surprise that the Environmental Protection Agency’s move to regulate carbon emissions has stirred up controversy or that critics are being misleading about the effect these rules would have on our economy [“EPA to seek cuts in coal plants’ emissions,” front page, June 2].

Climate change is an economic issue. If we don’t act, it will increase health-care costs for businesses, put more strain on the energy grid and lead to more frequent severe weather events, which could damage infrastructure and put some companies out of business.

By the EPA’s estimate, while power plants might have to spend up to $8.8 billion annually to comply with its proposed rule, the benefits could range from $55 billion to $93 billion a year, much of that from improved public health (which means lower costs for businesses) and fewer severe weather events. Business owners would race to take advantage of such a return were it a private investment.

Forward-thinking businesses know that failing to tackle climate change will harm the economy. Making an investment to address it will boost the economy substantially.

David Levine, Washington

The writer is the chief executive and co-founder of the American Sustainable Business Council.

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