White House to Take Another Look at ‘Social Cost of Carbon’

President Obama will revisit estimates for the polarizing "social cost of carbon" metric.
National Journal
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Alex Brown
Nov. 4, 2013, 10:13 a.m.

The White House will seek more pub­lic in­put on the con­tro­ver­sial “so­cial cost of car­bon” met­ric that pegs the be­ne­fits of emis­sions-cut­ting rules, The Hill re­ports.

An up­ward re­vi­sion of the so­cial-cost met­ric in May drew fire from some who said the ad­min­is­tra­tion did not al­low for ad­equate pub­lic com­ment. White House of­fi­cial Howard Shelanski said “in re­sponse to pub­lic and stake­hold­er in­terest” that the es­tim­ate would be tweaked ater a pub­lic-com­ment peri­od.

“These up­dated val­ues re­flect minor tech­nic­al cor­rec­tions to the es­tim­ates we re­leased in May of this year,” he said, such as a $1 de­crease per met­ric ton of car­bon di­ox­ide. Busi­ness and en­ergy groups have sought to block or lim­it the stand­ard, and GOP law­makers have tried to stop its use. But it seems un­likely the White House’s re­vis­it will res­ult in a ma­jor over­haul.

“The May 2013 es­tim­ates re­flect val­ues that are sim­il­ar to those used by oth­er gov­ern­ments, in­ter­na­tion­al in­sti­tu­tions, and ma­jor cor­por­a­tions,” Shelanski said in de­fend­ing the es­tim­ates.


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