In a first, EPA says its climate rule helps kids learn

By Ariel Wittenberg | 05/24/2024 06:50 AM EDT

The agency crunched the numbers for lost school days to help justify the cost of its power plant regulation.

Yahir Garcia is treated for asthma in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Reducing soot and particulate matter from power plants can prevent school absences, EPA says. Ramon Espinosa/AP

Fighting climate change can keep kids in school and parents at work.

That’s the finding tucked inside a 400-page regulatory impact analysis for EPA’s carbon rule finalized last month.

The sweeping regulation made headlines for the effect it could have on greening the power sector by reducing carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants and future natural gas facilities. But it also packs a punch for public health — including in ways that have not been quantified in previous regulations.


In requiring new gas and existing coal plants to slash climate pollution 90 percent by 2032, the rule also lowers people’s exposure to ozone and particulate matter.