Report decouples carbon emissions, economic health

From 2008 through 2013, the US economy grew while power plants’ carbon emissions fell, according to a detailed study by four major utility companies, Bank of America and several environmental groups.

The analysis indicates that emissions controls on fossil-fuel-burning power plants may create less of an economic drag than many assume — and that the Obama administration’s proposed Clean Power Plan may have less of an adverse effect than critics contend.

The report matches US economic activity with power-plant emissions during that five-year period. Although demand for electricity was somewhat weaker during the recession than before, the US gross-domestic-product economy still grew while power-plant emissions fell 12 percent and nitrogen oxides, sulfur and mercury pollutants dropped proportionately. This follows news that the global economy grew in 2014 while carbon emissions remained flat.

Skip to content