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Regional growth and exposure to nearby coal fired power plant emissions

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  • Kahn, Matthew E.

Abstract

Coal fired power plants emit high levels of air pollution per unit of power generated. A comparison of emissions factors (pounds of emissions per megawatt hour of power generation) based on year 2004 data reveals that the average coal fired power plant emits six times as much nitrogen oxide and more than twelve times as much sulfur dioxide as the average non-coal fired power plant. This paper uses data on the population of all electric utilities in the United States and evidence on population growth across regions to document that; pollution levels are higher in counties with coal fired plants, and that the population is moving away from regions such as the Midwest where the dirtiest coal fired power plants are located. Population growth is taking place in the South and West. Especially in the Western region, the power plants are newer and cleaner and less likely to be coal fired. In the South and West, population growth has a smaller impact on power plant emissions growth than in the Northeast and Midwest.

Suggested Citation

  • Kahn, Matthew E., 2009. "Regional growth and exposure to nearby coal fired power plant emissions," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 15-22, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:39:y:2009:i:1:p:15-22
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kahn Matthew E, 2003. "New Evidence on Eastern Europe's Pollution Progress," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, April.
    2. Henderson, J Vernon, 1996. "Effects of Air Quality Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 789-813, September.
    3. Krupnick, Alan J. & Burtraw, Dallas, 1996. "The social costs of electricity: Do the numbers add up?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 423-466, December.
    4. Greenstone, Michael, 2004. "Did the Clean Air Act cause the remarkable decline in sulfur dioxide concentrations?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 585-611, May.
    5. Muller, Nicholas Z. & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2007. "Measuring the damages of air pollution in the United States," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-14, July.
    6. Olivier DeschĂȘnes & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Extreme Weather Events, Mortality, and Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 659-681, November.
    7. Kahn, Matthew E., 1999. "The Silver Lining of Rust Belt Manufacturing Decline," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 360-376, November.
    8. Nicholas Z. Muller & Robert Mendelsohn, 2009. "Efficient Pollution Regulation: Getting the Prices Right," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1714-1739, December.
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Electricity as a Differentiated Product
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-01-13 21:42:00
    2. The Environmental Impact of Cloud Computing
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Legal Planet on 2012-09-23 20:16:17
    3. The Environmental Impact of Cloud Computing
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Legal Planet on 2012-09-23 20:16:17
    4. The Consequences of Ideology
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2014-08-13 20:18:00
    5. Applied Environmental and Urban Economics Research at RSUE
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2014-12-10 08:19:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chali Nondo & Peter Schaeffer & Tesfa Gebremedhin & Jerald Fletcher, 2010. "An Empirical Analysis of the Interactions Between Environmental Regulations and Economic Growth," Working Papers Working Paper 2010-13, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
    2. repec:spr:anresc:v:58:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00168-016-0783-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Matthew E. Kahn, 2010. "New Evidence on Trends in the Cost of Urban Agglomeration," NBER Chapters,in: Agglomeration Economics, pages 339-354 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Aguilar, Francisco X. & Goerndt, Michael E. & Song, Nianfu & Shifley, Stephen, 2012. "Internal, external and location factors influencing cofiring of biomass with coal in the U.S. northern region," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1790-1798.

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