Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Tuesday he wants to fight global warmingusing the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, but doing sowillÂ hurt the very people he claims to champion:everyday working Americans.
The Clean Power Plan is expected to cost a staggering $41 billionannually.Â The plan willÂ eliminate mostcheap coal and natural gas power with expensive sources like solarand wind.
As electricity becomes moreÂ expensive, the cost ofproducing goods and services thatuseÂ electricityÂ increases, effectively raising the price of almosteverything.Â TheseÂ higher prices areultimately paid for by consumers.
Raising the price of electricityÂ has a massiveregressive impact by harming low-income individuals far more thanit harmsÂ the wealthy. Poorer working-class people tendtoÂ spendÂ a higher proportionÂ oftheir incomesÂ on “basic needs” likegroceries, power bills, clothing, housing and gasoline thanwealthierÂ people do.
Increases in the price of electricity harm African-Americans andother ethnic minorities far more than they harm the averagehousehold,Â according to a study by the Pacific ResearchInstitute.Â The regulationsÂ Sanderssupports willÂ cause the average annual electricity billto rise from 2.9 percent toÂ 3.8 percent of averagehousehold income. For the average African-American household,annualÂ spending on electricity willÂ rise from4.5 percent to 5.8 percent of household income. Lower-incomeAfrican-Americans willÂ bear an even larger burden andcould spend up to 26 percent of their household income onelectricity.
The Clean Power Plan Sanders supports won’t have muchimpact on global warming. According to analysisÂ by thelibertarian Cato Institute, using models created by theEnvironmental Protection Agency, the plan willÂ onlyavert only 0.019Â° Celsius of warming by the year 2100,an amount so small that itcouldnâ€™t be detected.
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