Environmental Group Says Carbon Tax Would Prevent Thousands Of Premature Deaths In Wisconsin

Citizens Climate Lobby Focuses Report On Possible Effects Of Tax

The new report finds that air pollution from carbon emissions leads to at least 10,000 premature deaths per year in and around Wisconsin. Photo: Seth Tisue (CC-BY-SA).

A Citizens Climate Lobby-funded report released this week highlights how a carbon tax could prevent premature deaths caused by air pollution.

The group hired researcher Scott Nystrom of the firm Regional Economic Models to see how a $10 per ton carbon tax, that included later refunds to households, might affect various parts of the country.

Nystrom said his east-north central grouping, which includes Wisconsin, has a lot of power plants that would burn less coal. He said that would lead to thousands fewer premature deaths per year from air pollution in the region.

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“The air quality damage that’s done by mostly coal emissions is roughly equivalent to about 10,000 to 15,000 deaths per year,” said Nystrom. “By using the carbon tax to take the coal out of our carbon generation, it saves this many lives over the long term.”

Some members of Congress from areas where coal is mined, or used a lot in power plants, are lining up to keep a carbon tax from being passed.