‘Social cost of carbon’ draws coal, oil industry lobbying


The profile of the social cost of carbon grew when the Obama administration recently increased the estimated damages from carbon emissions that agencies use in crafting regulations.

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The cost is a an estimate of damages from various climate-related factors, such as changes in agricultural productivity, human health effects and increased flood risk.

The House voted last week to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from weighing the social cost in energy-related regulations unless a law is enacted that allows its consideration.

And on both sides of Capitol Hill, Republicans have alleged that decisions to increase the estimated social carbon cost have not been transparent.

Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-Texas) and John Culberson (R-Texas) have introduced legislation that prevents agencies from using the estimate in rulemakings until they take public comment on the estimate.