Metric loss

GOP officials ask Supreme Court to block use of ‘social cost’ measure in climate-related decisions

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On Thursday, a group of 10 energy-producing states led by Republican officials asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a ban on the federal government’s use of a controversial “social cost” measure and speculative when valuing carbon producing industries. The so-called social cost measure was a means of quantifying in dollars the impact on society of the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The social cost measure adds a dollar amount for each additional ton of greenhouse gases a company emits to offset anticipated future damages from climate change – sea level rise, droughts, wildfires, etc

Under former President Donald Trump, the cost to the climate of carbon emissions was around $7.00 per tonne of emissions. After Biden’s Executive Order 13990, that cost rose to about $51 a ton.

Ten states — Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming — have sought to block a specific part of Biden Executive Order 13990, which attempts to monetize potential climate damage.

The states argue that speculative estimates of social costs are hurting their economies and ensuring “climate friendly” policies across all sectors of the US economy. Under Biden’s executive order, the social cost of carbon metric is calculated on the global effects of carbon emissions — not just the US effects.

“The estimates are a power grab designed to manipulate the entire US federal regulatory apparatus through speculative costs and benefits so that the administration can impose its preferred policy outcomes on all sectors of the economy. American,” state officials wrote in their brief dated Thursday.

As Executive Order 13990 itself explains:

It is essential that agencies capture the full cost of greenhouse gas emissions as accurately as possible, including taking into account global damages. This facilitates sound decision-making, recognizes the magnitude of climate impacts, and supports U.S. international leadership on climate issues. The “Social Cost of Carbon” (SCC), “Social Cost of Nitrous Oxide” (SCN) and “Social Cost of Methane” (SCM) are estimates of the monetary damages associated with incremental increases in greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse effect.

States first hinted at the use of the social cost measure in February when U.S. District Judge James Cain ruled that the measure would “artificially increase cost estimates for rental sales” and banned its use.

Moreover, it increases costs based on speculative science. These costs are set by the Interagency Working Group (IAWG), which includes bureaucrats from 70 different federal agencies whose mission is to improve “America’s coordination, efficiency, and effectiveness…