In a new research paper published on Thursday, Resources for the Future warns that President Donald Trump’s proposal for boosting the struggling coal and nuclear plants could lead to premature deaths from pollution.
The group found that for every 2 to 4.5 coal mining jobs the plan protects, there would be 1 human death due to emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides over the next two years.
Resources for the Future describes itself as an “independent, nonprofit research institution.”
The research is seen as a response to Trump’s plan for the Department of Energy (DOE) to take steps to prevent the closure of aging coal and nuclear plants in the U.S. in the next two years.
Bloomberg News in June obtained a report by the administration showing that they plan to use a Cold War-era law to prop up the aging industries.
“Impending retirements of fuel-secure power facilities are leading to a rapid depletion of a critical part of our nation’s energy mix and impacting the resilience of our power grid,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg in June.
She added that Trump directed Perry “to prepare immediate steps to stop the loss of these resources and looks forward to his recommendations.”
Both coal and nuclear plants are considered “fuel-secure” due to the fact that they keep resources on site and don’t rely on pipelines or grids that could be vulnerable to attack or weather events.
The Hill reported that the study found that the policy would help coal miners by supporting 790 coal-mine jobs each year.
However, the side effects of keeping the plants open on the environment will contribute to an estimated 353 to 815 additional premature deaths in the United States in 2019-2020 due to emissions.