Study: Obama’s climate plan directly threatens 37,000 workers

While all of the details are not yet clear, an American Action Forum (AAF) report out ahead of the announcement finds that coal plants are likely to be among those power sources most directly threatened.

Unlike natural gas plants, coal plants lack the technology to capture and store emissions.


“No matter the regulatory scenario that EPA elects to take, any limitations on carbon output will inevitably pull coal-based facilities off the grid,” the report found.

The study from the conservative-leaning AAF focuses on 111 greenhouse gas emitting plants. Beyond the coal industry, new rules would also hold implications for natural gas generation, steel mills, refineries and plastics manufacturers.

The survey included 13 plants in Texas, eight in Indiana, seven each in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, and six in Kentucky and West Virginia.

“With more than 37,000 employees at these facilities across the nation, a significant regulatory action could result in displaced workers,” the report found.

The study notes that Obama’s proposal to regulate existing power plants was not reflected in the Unified Agenda, the document previewing major regulatory undertakings at federal agencies.

“EPA established plans to finalize its future source rule by March, but omitted even tentative plans for regulating current sources,” the report found. “With a proposal of this magnitude that seeks to fundamentally transform carbon pollution in the U.S., 'an extensive public process' would probably have been a more appropriate procedural path than a political address.”