White House admits ‘social cost of carbon’ a put-up job

The social cost of carbon is an entirely bogus concept as the entire global economy is dependent on fossil fuels — i.e, no fossil fuels — no GDP.

KFGO reports:

The SCC is a notional figure used in rule-making that estimates the economic damages associated with a rise in carbon emissions. It accounts for the effect of climate change in such areas as agricultural productivity and property damage from increased flood risk.

That naturally makes it a contentious figure, all the more so due to the lack of transparency around how SCC is calculated.

A panel of experts from nearly a dozen agencies, including the EPA, Energy Department, Department of Treasury and Office of Management and Budget determines the so-called cost of carbon.

The group used three different academic models to develop its estimates that “combine climate processes, economic growth, and interactions between the climate and the global economy into a single modeling framework,” Howard Shelanski, head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, or OIRA, testified to Congress last month.

Patrick Traylor, an environmental litigation specialist at Washington law firm Hogan Lovells, says he expects opponents to attack the rules because the SCC “have not been subject to normal peer-reviewed scientific rigor”.

Critics were also angered with the way that the SCC figure was released: in a late-May blog post by Obama’s energy and climate adviser, Heather Zichal, to announce the roll out-of new Department of Energy efficiency standards for microwave ovens. She said the new standards would result in $4.6 billion in net benefits, based on the revised SCC figure.

Ari Isaacman Astles, a spokesman for the White House Office of Management and Budget, said the reason the figure was released then was because it only “became available during interagency review of the final rule.”

Opponents also said they had not been given time to provide input or respond to the new figure before it was implemented.

OIRA’s Shelanski defended the transparency of the inter-agency process in his congressional testimony, saying: “Agencies using the SCC values in rulemakings received extensive public comments.”

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5 thoughts on “White House admits ‘social cost of carbon’ a put-up job”

  1. We’ve been all over the “social cost of carbon”, which can be rigorously calculated as zero. The supposed harms are always in the future or they are assigned to events that occur normally.
    The “social cost of green”, however, is hard to calculate with any rigor. What is the cost of food in one part of Africa that can’t be transported to another part because “green”policies interfere with roads, vehicles, and fuel? What is the cost of 140 elderly people dying, in part or entirely due to heat stress, because their pensions were too small to pay for California’s foolish energy policies? What is the cost of lost jobs in national parks because gas is expensive and so fewer people travel? What is the cost of lost appreciation of nature because people stayed home instead of visiting national parks? How tenuous do we want to go?

  2. You don’t understand, Geoff. If we followed the guidance of our leaders and the intellectual elite, then the climate would be controlled and there would be no need for the extra energy. Besides, if it didn’t have to compete with carbon, alternative green energy would be cheaper, doncha know.

  3. How could the SCC be anything but a totally bogus, political construct? It has no rigorous definition and is based on predictions that change almost daily. If we need a higher SCC to justify stopping something, then we just adjust the basis and viola, we get more than twice the SCC in 3 years. Just like magic. I’m waiting to see what happens when a pet project needs a lower SCC. I bet the intelligensia finds a way to make that happen and put it right next to one that is 3-fold larger. That’s the beauty of a squishy amorphous concept like SCC.

  4. Bob, you know I love you, so please understand this is meant for guidance and fun.
    “…and viola, we get more…” I don’t know what a stringed orchestra instrument has to do with this. I’m sure you meant “voila”.
    Ewe mussed awl weighs bee vary car-full width Spill Chick.
    Of course you’re right about the “social cost” concept. Even where there are real social costs and benefits, as with disruptive technology, we lack the skill to calculate either side with serious rigor. The clumsy but effective hand of free economic activity will approximate the optimum outcome, though rarely hit the optimum on the head. As if we knew the actual optimum anyway.

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