US Chamber, Kochs join ‘social cost of carbon’ lobbying battle

The nation’s most powerful business group has joined the growing ranks of parties formally lobbying against the Obama administration's use of the “social cost of carbon,” a metric used to help tally the benefits of federal regulations that cut emissions.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s newly filed third-quarter lobbying report says the group has lobbied on legislation that would prevent use of the metric absent a formal rulemaking to create the estimate.

More broadly the filing states that the Chamber is lobbying on “formulation and use of social cost of carbon in environmental and energy related rulemakings.”

A growing number of oil and coal interests are opposing use of the metric in federal rulemakings, alleging the Obama administration has not been transparent in creating the estimate or in its recent increase.

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Third-quarter lobbying filings show that Koch Industries, a refining industry trade group called American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, and others are listing the topic in lobbying reports.

The lobbying is part of a wider industry and GOP attack on use of the social cost of carbon, which includes Republican legislation to thwart its use.

The social cost of carbon is an estimate of monetary damages from changes in agricultural productivity, human health, rising sea levels and flood risks and other effects of climate change.