EPA Rules May Spark Legal War over Social Cost of Methane

RFF President and CEO Richard Newell is quotes extensively in an E&E News article about the social cost of methane.

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Nov. 9, 2021

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E&E News

"EPA appears to have a strong defense for the cost-benefit calculation behind its proposed methane rules because the agency’s predictions of future benefits are so high, said Newell of Resources for the Future.

The agency had found that the net climate benefits alone of its proposed methane rules for new and existing sources would be $48 billion — meaning the benefits outweighed the costs at a margin of 7-to-1, he said.

'One could imagine if it was close, that might be a basis for questioning the level of stringency of the rule,' Newell said. "But it’s not even close."

That value leaves out co-benefits of the rule, or additional reductions in ozone, fine particulate and hazardous air pollutants not directly targeted by EPA’s regulation, Newell added.

EPA’s move is noteworthy because the agency has faced criticism in the past for focusing on indirect benefits.

'It looks like EPA and this regulatory impact analysis doesn’t even include those kinds of benefits, and it’s still a 7-to-1 ratio of benefits to costs,' Newell said."

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