An 80×30 Clean Electricity Standard: Carbon, Costs, and Health Benefits

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An analysis of an illustrative 80×30 clean electricity standard (CES) by the Clean Energy Futures project shows that achieving the Biden Administration’s clean electricity goal through a CES would have modest costs and large benefits. Furthermore, if a CES were passed through budget reconciliation, many of the costs of the clean energy transition would shift to the federal government and electricity rates would likely fall. Our analysis is the first to map the air quality and related health benefits for an 80×30 CES. The results show that they are widely distributed across all states in the coterminous U.S. and that the illustrative 80×30 CES has the largest total benefits, climate-related net benefits, and health benefits of eight policies examined. The present value of the estimated climate benefits through 2050 ($637 billion) outweigh the estimated costs ($342 billion). This 80×30 CES would also prevent an estimated 317,500 premature deaths between now and 2050 and generate estimated present value health benefits of $1.13 trillion due to cleaner air, bringing the estimated present value net benefits to $1.43 trillion for 2020 to 2050.

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