Federal Court Affirms Social Cost of Carbon

Supreme Court Affirms The Social Cost of Carbon

US Supreme Court

Good news in the fight against climate change was granted by the Supreme Court this week! The Court ruled against a suit brought by a trade group representing refrigerator manufacturers who were suing the government for its use of the “social cost of carbon” in determining efficiency standards. In effect, the $36 per person calculation determined by a consortium of bureaucrats working in concert with academic economists has been confirmed as a legitimate means to set goals and assess efficiency.


The Social Cost of Carbon

The social cost of carbon has been one of the largest methods used to guide policy decisions with regard to global warming. This theoretical number, or cost, is based upon findings that Michael Greenstone, an economist at the White House, and his cadre of bureaucrats and other economists extrapolated after studying all of the current projections and studies done by economists on the costs of global warming. In fact, the number they eventually settled on, is right in the middle. In other words, some studies put it lower and some higher.

Baton Rouge Flooding
1 in a 1,000-years flood in Baton Rouge, LA.

Calculating Social Cost of Carbon

The economic studies in question sought to generate “a comprehensive estimate of climate change damages and includes changes in net agricultural productivity, human health, property damages from increased flood risk, and changes in energy system costs, such as reduced costs for heating and increased costs for air conditioning.” The EPA currently uses the $36 per person as their benchmark and this number, or cost, is what has been used to guide the policies within the Clean Power Plan.

While the Clean Power Plan is on hold, the means by which the Obama Administration and the EPA arrived at their policy choices has been affirmed!