Cooking the warming books: Obama quietly raises the cost of CO2 emissions by 60%

This is how the EPA plans to cook the books for the cost-benefit analysis of its greenhouse gas regulations.

Obama has increased the social cost of carbon emissions from $21 per ton to $33 per ton.

The social cost of carbon will be used in its cost-benefit analysis to monetize the alleged benefits of cutting carbon emissions.

It is a total BS concept. There is no social cost of carbon as 100% of economy relies on carbon.

Read the White House OMB document.

Read a report from Renew Economy.

6 thoughts on “Cooking the warming books: Obama quietly raises the cost of CO2 emissions by 60%”

  1. bestruger1022-

    you write “Since the social benefit of fossil fuel is about a hundred times (my estimate) greater than the cost, the social benefit is $3,300 per ton, for a net social value of $3,267 per ton.”

    Actually, that remarkably agrees with what I calculated based on the following-

    Carbon Rebates for all!- WUWT comment 06/02/2013
    Lars P. says- “…as Freeman Dyson said : at least 15% of our food is due to the increase in CO2. For 7 billion humans that is food for 1 billion!”

    I decided to adopt the EPA estimate of around $7M as the value of an avoided human death. This money is often claimed to pay for renewable energy schemes or justify spending billions on pollution control schemes.
    If global emissions are approximately 30 billion tonnes CO2 per year, then 30 tonnes per year CO2 emissions keeps one person fed. At the EPA’s $7M value per fed person, apparently CO2 emitters can collect on $7,000 Trillion over the average life of about 70 years. Or equivalently, the CO2 rebate should be about $7,000,000/(30*70) = $3333 per tonne CO2. This is a rebate that acknowledges just one of the positive contributions of using fossil fuels.
    It explains why Ocophobes (people who are fearful of OCO, aka CO2) never want to discuss the benefits of CO2 emissions.

  2. If they can make statistics lie, what will they do with an imaginary opinionated statistic? (Govern.)

  3. Let’s assume for the heck of it that the social cost of carbon is $33 per ton. Since the social benefit of fossil fuel is about a hundred times (my estimate) greater than the cost, the social benefit is $3,300 per ton, for a net social value of $3,267 per ton.

    This means that, for each $33 of ‘social cost’ avoided, $3,267 of benefits are taken off the table.

    Now, maybe my 100x multiplier is wrong. But — and this is the important part — if the social benefits outweigh the costs, things will always be lopsided this way. Always.

    Stated the other way around, the social costs of reducing carbon will *always* be greater than the benefits of reducing carbon.

    The only way out of this dynamic is innovation. Innovation can increase the efficiency of energy use, delivering more social benefits per unit of carbon. The trouble is, you can’t legislate innovation. Inventors have to do that.

  4. Recently I have been reviewing the economic cost benefit studies. By definition the benefits of GHG and projected global warming must be included in addition to any disbenefits (costs). What I find exceptional is that the studies I have seen either omit the benefits of elevated CO2 and warming or do not adequately set out the benefits.

    When a study shows only the net costs after offsetting the benefits there is no way to assess the sensitivity of the cost variable, such as “cost of impact on agriculture”. A New Zealand study of global markets for agricultural products showed that the costs and benefits of CO2 / AGW were about equal. Uncertainties made the projection uncertain and as a consequence future global prices for agricultural products could not reliably be determined.

    A study for Quebec showed that impact of CO2 / AGW on agriculture would be beneficial: the benefits would be. greater than the costs.

    The CO2 fertilzation effect is real, but is commonly NOT included in the cost benefit analysis. Neither is the reduction in water needs included in most CBA. Experiments have shown that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 increases photosynthesis by 30–50% in C3 plants and 10–25% in C4 plants (Ainsworth & Long 2005).

    Studies have further shown that with elevated CO2 leaf stomata become smaller thus reducing water needs through reduced evapotranspiration.

    Finally, the bottom line of a cost-benefit analysis depends on the discount rate used. The lower the discount rate, the more benefits to distant future generations outweigh benefits to the present generation, their children and their grandchildren.

    As Richard Tol has shown, the low discount rate used in the Stern Review would make future generations substantially richer than the present generation. Basing public policy upon that study would result in inter-generational inequity.

    In my opinion, cost benefit analysis is always susceptible to bias. In the case of CBA applied to the impact of CO2 and AGW, I agree the books are systematically cooked. Tthe sponsors of the research are getting what the pay for, advice that supports policy that has already been decided.

    Disclaimer: The author was formerly, a principal scientist under contract to the UK government, a senior research officer in the Department of Economics under contract to the London School of Economics. Since 1969 he has intermittently participated in cost-benefit studies in support of government-sponsored infrastructure development both in the UK and in developing countries.

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