EPA Clean Power Plan to Disproportionately Affect Seniors
The EPA itself has predicted that their proposed Clean Power plan will cause electricity rate prices by 2020 to go up an average of 5.9% - 6.5%, or even 10%-12% in some regions. The cost of this will be hard enough for the average working American to shoulder, but could be devastating for the approximately 27 million senior households in the United States, who already only have a median pre-tax income of $33,848. A recent study from the 60+ Association details these disturbing predictions as well as others for young and elderly Americans alike. Among the findings are:
- The Census Bureau reports that the median pre-tax household income of 65+ households in America was $33,848 in 2012, 41% below the $57,353 median income of younger households.
- More than 40% of America’s 65+ households had gross annual incomes below $30,000 in 2012, with an average pre-tax household income of $17,032, or $1,419 per month.
- The prices of all essential consumer energy products – electricity, natural gas and gasoline- have increased at rates exceeding both the CPI and Social Security COLAs for the past decade, and these trends are expected to continue.
- The average annual electric bill for 65+ households, $1,164 in 2009, represented 61% of total residential energy bills.
- Energy costs are adversely impacting lower-income seniors afflicted by health conditions, leading them to forego food for a day, reduce medical or dental care, fail to pay utility bills, or become ill because their home was too cold. (APPRISE, 2009).
The Clean Power Plan will have no significant effect on global carbon emissions as it is. There is no way to justify a regulation that stands to do so much harm to some of the most vulnerable among us.