The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan is “a slap in the face to poor and minority families,” says the National Black Chamber of Commerce.
The organization released a study last week finding that the Obama administration’s proposed rules, which would require a 30 percent drop in carbon emissions by 2030, would disproportionately affect some of America’s most vulnerable minority citizens.
Compared to white families, black families spend 50 percent more of their income on utilities, and Hispanics spend 10 percent more, the study notes.
The Clean Power Plan would have especially egregious effects in the seven states with the most black and Hispanic residents, the study finds.
Incidentally, these findings correspond nicely with a study published last fall by National Economic Research Associates, which predicts major price hikes in those same seven states. In Texas alone, it found, the cost of electricity could rise by as much as 54 percent by 2031.
“With blacks and Hispanics spending a larger share of their income on energy than whites, the burden of cost will fall hardest on minorities,” the National Black Chamber of Commerce’s president, Harry C. Alford, wrote in an op-ed last week. “We will be hurt again through job losses, as businesses take steps to mitigate the damage of high overhead.”
If the Clean Power Plan goes into effect, the study estimates that blacks and Hispanics together see 19 million lost jobs by 2035, accompanied by significant increases in poverty.
Opposition to this plan becomes even more justified, given how small the actual impact on the global environment would be.
Though the EPA did not include this number in its report, Cato’s Center for the Study of Science crunched the number last summer using the agency’s own methods. Though the Clean Power Plan would carry astronomical costs, especially to minorities, it would cut global warming by eighteen-thousandths of a degree Celsius by 2100, a number too small to measure on most temperature-detecting tools.