The social cost of carbon

Interesting developments in the withdrawal from the war on CO2 in the US and some background on the work by Greenstone and Sunstein that resulted in the concept of the “the cost of carbon“.

The House GOP on Friday took a step forward in reining in the Obama administration’s method of assessing the cost of carbon dioxide pollution when developing regulations.

The House voted 212-201, along party lines, to include a rider blocking the use of the climate change cost metric to an energy and water spending bill.

The amendment offered by Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert bars any and all funds from being used under the bill to “prepare, propose, or promulgate any regulation that relies on the Social Carbon analysis” devised under the Obama administration on how to value the cost of carbon.

In February 2009, a month after Barack Obama took office, two academics sat across from each other in the White House mess hall. Over a club sandwich, Michael Greenstone, a White House economist, and Cass Sunstein, Obama’s top regulatory officer, decided that the executive branch needed to figure out how to estimate the economic damage from climate change. With the recession in full swing, they were rightly skeptical about the chances that Congress would pass a nationwide cap-and-trade bill. Greenstone and Sunstein knew they needed a Plan B: a way to regulate carbon emissions without going through Congress.

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12 Responses to The social cost of carbon

  1. H B Bear

    Has carbon (sic) lost its social licence?

  2. Given that the last decade or so, if it didn’t create, certainly cemented the concept of the Social Justice Warrior; the ‘social’ cost of anything and everything naturally became the tool of the Left (and the scientifically illiterate)

  3. Baldrick

    Leftards are hypocrites when it comes to carbon. From today’s Queensland budget:

    The Australian ✔ @australian
    Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad will bank on a $3.7bn boost in coal royalties to fund a spending spree

    All the while spruiking for a 50% RET

  4. Can the same Obama formula be used to calculate the cost of other superstitions and fiction? Perhaps the social cost of werewolves. Or the social cost of mermaids?

  5. manalive

    The purpose of the “social cost of carbon” (SCC) estimates presented here is to allow agencies …

    Referring to a concept by its acronym, e.g. “social cost of carbon” (SCC), gives it an authority as an established quality no matter how dodgy.

  6. Tel

    The Socialist cost of Carbon… whatever the ruling committee says it is.

  7. Entropy

    Interesting, but the article author’s plan has a very big, unltimately futile flaw. Sure, a plan to require the government implement thesame discount rate of future impacts of climate change that applies to every other cost benefit analysis (making it 7% instead of the current joke 3%), reducing the number of years (say to the year 2050 instead of 2300) the impact is calculated, and reducing impacts from global impacts to USA only, are three rational adjustments, but it has one very central, dangerous flaw: it leaves the mechanism in place for later governments to ratchet back up again.

    So sure, in the short term do those things, but failing the destruction of the mechanism altogether, also introduce laws that require these sort of values to require the approval of elected congress, the senate and the president. There has been enough setting of rules by the unelected bureaucracy.

  8. RobK

    SCC: Obama regime flummoxed by theit own acronyms, it doesn’t make sense. They were drifting further from reality by the day.

  9. Nerblnob

    Am I right in assuming that the cost/amount/anything of CO2 emissions, is pretty much all calculated, therefore notional, rather than measured?

    Where are the exhaustive and updated base measurements that justify all this cost imposition?

  10. Mark M

    The insidious ‘climate justice’:

    “far from being a fringe proposition, the path of climate justice is inherent in the outcome of COP 21 in Paris, which proposed the adoption of the following protocol by:
    ‘Emphasizing with serious concern the urgent need to address the significant gap between the aggregate effect of Parties’ mitigation pledges in terms of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020.’

    Climate justice and Australia’s climate priorities

    You can not thank PDT enough. A man for the times.

  11. classical_hero

    It’s only other people’s money. That’s why they want it to happen so they can get their cut. Global warming has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with economics.

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