Regs scholars want feds to review carbon cost estimate

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The metric, dubbed the “social cost” of carbon, is used by the administration to calculate the monetary cost of carbon pollution. Increasing the estimated toll of the pollution, as the new cost did, would make new regulations seem more advantageous when the administration conducts cost-benefit analyses.

Dudley was the administrator of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs during the final years of the Bush administration. That position has been termed the “regulatory czar.”

In a written comment submitted to the Energy Department on Friday, she and her colleagues urged the administration to pull the metric back and open it up to outside examination.

“The difficulties and uncertainties of calculating the [social cost of carbon] demand greater attention — including public comment and peer review — to the task of getting it right,” they write. 

They also add that the way the cost was released seems to violate President Obama’s pledge to create “an unprecedented level of openness in Government” as well as policies encouraging outside review of rule-making efforts.

Their comments were issued in support of a petition from the conservative Landmark Legal Foundation, which asked the Energy Department to reevaluate the carbon cost estimate.