Chip Knappenberger writes in The Hill:
The social cost of carbon is a poor concept from the start. It is an ill-conceived, one-sided supposed measure of the damages associated with climate change resulting from human emissions of carbon-containing greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane). Or, rather, it is a measure of the damages predicted to occur by a collection of computer models—computer models which themselves largely fail at capturing the climate evolution during recent decades.
Under normal circumstances, little attention would be paid to the esoteric squabbling of economists arguing about how to place a largely theoretical value on a measure which is imprecise and ever-changing by its very nature. However, the social cost of carbon has been elevated to the limelight by the Obama administration which has introduced it into the cost-benefit analysis that must be performed for new rules and regulations.
The social cost of carbon—or its converse, the alleged benefits conferred by reducing carbon dioxide emissions—has become one the administration’s favorite tools for counteracting the high costs associated with an ever-growing string of actual and proposed new rules governing everything from microwave oven efficiency to coal-killing power plant emissions standards.