Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
WASHINGTON, D.C.--An Obama administration panel that tried to assign a dollar amount to benefits derived from cutting carbon dioxide emissions set a far too conservative figure because it significantly underestimated the societal benefits of carbon reductions, according to a study published Sept. 17.
President Obama formed the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon in 2009 to get a consensus on assigning a dollar value to the social cost of carbon dioxide in the hopes of using a consistent figure in regulatory impact analyses used by agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency.
The interagency panel’s report, published by EPA in February 2010, provided a range of figures in 2007 dollars, including $5, $21, $35, and $65 for each metric ton of carbon dioxide avoided, but it essentially settled on $21 per ton as its best, or “central,” estimate. At $21 per ton, only regulations implemented below that cost would be considered economically beneficial (136 WCCR, 7/13/11).
The new study, published Sept. 17 in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, concluded that those ranges “significantly understate potential benefits of climate mitigation.” The federal panel did not take into account the economic damages that climate change will impose on future generations, according to the study, “The Social Cost of Carbon in U.S. Regulatory Impact Analyses.”
Study authors Laurie Johnson of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Chris Hope of the United Kingdom's University of Cambridge Judge Business School put the social cost of carbon, or SCC, at a low of about $55 per ton, or 2.6 times the $21.36 per ton “central” estimated offered by the interagency panel. On the higher range, the authors wrote, that figure could be as much as 12.45 times the $21.36 per ton figure, or $266 per metric ton.
The study’s higher estimated social cost of carbon could have a significant effect on policies that encourage renewable energy, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, which highlighted the study in a Sept. 17 press release. For example, it would mean traditionally more expensive energy sources such as wind and solar may actually be less expensive than fossil fuels, including natural gas, when the full social costs imposed by carbon are taken into account.
The higher values assigned by the authors “show, after incorporating the economic costs of carbon and other pollutants from fossil fuel generation, [that] building new generation using wind and solar power would be more cost effective than either natural gas or coal,” NRDC said.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)