On March 10 the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), which reduces air pollution that affects 28 eastern states, was finalized. " Once in effect, the Clean Air Interstate Rule will help keep energy prices stable, which is critical to preserving manufacturing jobs in this country. The Clean Air Interstate Rule is good environmental policy that will also help our strengthening economy," says Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez.
CAIR will permanently cap emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) and reduce SO2 emissions in 28 eastern states by over 70% and NOx emissions by over 60% from 2003 levels.
Projected savings will be almost $100 billion per year in health care costs by 2015. This estimate includes preventing 17,000 premature mortalities, 1.7 million lost work days and 500,000 lost school days, annually.
Under CAIR, states will use one of two options for compliance: 1) require power plants to participate in an EPA-administered interstate cap and trade system that caps emissions in two stages, or 2) meet individual state air emission limits through measures of the state's choosing.