The 30-17-10 Percent Solution: Cleaner Air by the Numbers

The numbers are official: a proposed EPA regulation under the Clean Air Act would cut carbon pollution from U.S. power plants 30% by 2030 from 2005 levels. This reduction would be achieved by various means, including increased use of renewable energy sources. That number may seem ambitious, but it's already one-third of the way there. The natural gas boom has contributed to a fall in emissions of 10% since 2005, and, at the current rate of decline, emissions should reach 17% less by 2020, a pledge that President Obama made at Copenhagen. What's the bottom line? The EPA estimates the rule will lead to economic benefits of $55 - $93 billion; a health forecast suggests that between 2,000 and 6,000 premature deaths and up to 150,000 asthma attacks could be prevented. These numbers should add up to healthier American air and a boost in tech innovation for more efficient, more economical renewable energy.

John Howell, Editorial Director