Biden Reverses Trump’s Way of Valuing Climate – Reality Check: The ‘social cost of carbon’ a ‘transparent & obvious fraud’

By: - Climate DepotFebruary 19, 2021 5:17 PM

‘Social cost of carbon’: With One Number, Biden Reverses Trump’s Way of Valuing Climate

Bloomberg Law: President Joe Biden has reactivated the Obama-era approach to estimating the cost of climate change, a move that will revamp environmental regulations by establishing a much higher dollar value for greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

A document published by the White House in the Federal Register on Friday reinstalls the Obama administration’s interim values for the “social cost of carbon,” a figure that has been used to shape dozens of energy-related regulations. The Trump administration disbanded the interagency group responsible for the work and reduced the estimate to a small fraction of conventional values.

The social cost of greenhouse gases is an estimate of how much money the U.S. stands to benefit from avoiding each additional metric ton of emitted carbon dioxide, methane, or nitrous oxide, which are the three most important planet-warming gases. This measure is used in federal benefit-cost analyses to account for damage caused by fossil fuel, capturing impacts from pollution that aren’t reflected in the market prices for gas, oil, and coal.

Typically an obscure economic measure of climate change, the social cost of carbon occasionally escapes academic journals to play a central role in federal climate policy. A federal court ruled in 2007 that the White House had to consider the costs of climate change in rulemaking, and President Obama convened an interagency working group to identify a measure grounded in data and the mechanics of strict federal guidelines.

The models underpinning the social cost of carbon have become something of a punching bag in economic circles, in part because of the particular sensitivity of their results to assumptions over how fast money loses value over time. Economists call this the discount rate.

The Biden administration is reverting to Obama’s 2016 guidance until its new working group fully updates its work next year. Researchers, industries and environmentalists have begun to line up to advise the White House just how they think this number should be calculated.

The National Academies in 2017 published a voluminous report calling for external input into the process. Several industry groups took up that offer on Feb. 16, addressing a letter to key White House officials: “It is not clear what the process is to solicit public and stakeholder input” for today’s interim numbers, the industry groups wrote. The letter, first reported by E&E News, was signed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as trade groups for energy, chemical, and other industrial companies.

“There are a lot of things that they’ll weigh in how they decide to change this number,” said Kevin Rennert, director of the Social Cost of Carbon Initiative at the think tank Resources for the Future.


Reality Check: Analysis: Social Cost of Carbon is a “Transparent and Obvious Fraud” – —Francis Menton in 2016: “The ‘Social Cost of Carbon’ can fairly be described as the mother of all government cost-benefit analyses…

“In reality, it is a completely dishonest scam that wildly exaggerates costs and ignores benefits in order to justify vast seizures of power unto the government….“ This ‘climate change’ thing had the potential to impose hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars of costs on the U.S. economy…. The government has convened literally everybody who is anybody in the regulatory apparatus to put out a document to ‘prove’ to the world what every thinking person knows can’t possibly be true, namely that carbon fuels are a cost rather than a benefit to humanity. It’s hard to imagine a more transparent and obvious fraud.”

EPA used Obama’s ‘social cost of carbon’ trick to bankrupt the coal industry: ‘Used a controversial estimate of the monetary cost of carbon pollution to develop limits for greenhouse gases emissions from new power plants’

Update: Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore tells Climate Depot: 
Moore: “Clearly, the social cost of carbon is negative on so many fronts. Perhaps we should be paid for emitting it. It is responsible for up to 70% of increased food crop production (I guess they didn’t factor that in). It is greening the land and presumably the oceans. It is perhaps involved in slightly increasing global temperature above the frigid Pleistocene Epoch the Earth has been locked in for 2.6 million years, although there is no proof of this. It makes all plants more efficient in their use of water. It makes greenhouse production of food 30-60% higher than at ambient levels.
It is a fact that during the Pleistocene, CO2 has sunk to the lowest levels since the Earth was born. And it is a fact that during the Pleistocene, the global temperature, even in this Holocene Interglacial, is lower than it has been for the past 250 million years, when the ice age before this one, the Karoo, finally ended after 100 million years of cold. The Pleistocene has only lasted 2.5% as long as the Karoo so far. And despite the International Commission on Stratigraphy officially (and falsely) declaring the Holocene a new Epoch, thus declaring the Pleistocene over, we have no idea when the Pleistocene will end, or if it will get even colder before it ever gets warmer again.

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