Evaluating the Efficacy of Ambient Air Quality Standards at Coal-Fired Power Plants
By: Raff, Zach ; Walter, Jason M.
Raff, Zach ; Walter, Jason M., Evaluating the Efficacy of Ambient Air Quality Standards at Coal-Fired Power Plants, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 45, Issue 3, September 2020, Pages 428-444
This study evaluates the health benefits and abatement costs of the PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) at coal-fired power plants. We find that the emission reductions from the PM2.5 NAAQS between 1995 and 2016 are sizable and that the health benefits from these reductions far exceed the abatement expenditures of affected plants. We then use this ex post analysis to simulate future health benefits and abatement costs in this sector from more stringent PM2.5 standards. Our policy simulation shows that tightening these standards to levels recommended by the World Health Organization also passes a benefit-cost test.