Court Rejection of Climate Metric Baffles Regulatory Experts

RFF CEO and President Richard Newell remarks on a court's decision to invalidate the Biden administration's interim social cost of carbon.

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Feb. 14, 2022

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Richard Newell, president and CEO of Resources for the Future, which has worked with EPA on the upcoming social cost metric, called the measure an “economic ingredient into an analysis" conducted by federal agencies — rather than a regulation reviewable by a court.

Newell said the federal government’s use of the social cost of greenhouse gases had been affirmed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which decided in 2006 that agencies must estimate climate impacts in rulemakings.

"In other words, you can't assume that the social cost of carbon is zero," Newell said.

But Cain's decision, Newell said, seemed to reach the opposite conclusion, that “you shouldn't use those estimates, the implication of that being you should assume it's zero."

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