Penn. coal plant to get $700 million in emissions controls

Here’s why this is not good for the economy.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports,

The Homer City coal-fired power plant in Indiana County, one of the biggest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the nation, is planning to add up to $700 million worth of pollution controls that its owners say will enable it to meet future federal and state air pollution control regulations.

While this expense will create jobs in the short-term anyway, it will also cost a commensurate amount of jobs elsewhere in the economy as this $700 million will not be available to be spent elsewhere. But here’s the rub.

The pollution control equipment provides no benefits to the surrounding communities and so has no wealth creating effects. It is zero-sum economics.

One thought on “Penn. coal plant to get $700 million in emissions controls”

  1. You might think less people getting sick or dying because of pollution is good for the economy. Actually the monetary benefits from avoided illness exceed the costs more than 10-fold. But I guess you refer to the “economy’ of the owner of the polluting plant rather than the economy that comprises normal working folks.
    http://www.epa.gov/air/sect812/prospective2.html

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