Considering the Social Cost of Carbon

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Date(s) - 2/26/20149:00 am - 10:30 am

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On February 26, the George C. Marshall Institute  hosted a discussion of the Social Cost of Carbon, which is a tool used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to calculate the benefits of carbon dioxide reductions (see here for details) and thereby justify new regulations limiting fossil fuel use.

SCC calculations are contentious.  They rely on the uncertain projections of climate change models to calculate the long-term impacts of CO2, while largely downplaying prospective and known benefits.  They are highly sensitive to changing key assumptions, such as the discount rate (or the present value of a future value) or the time horizon.

Yet, the EPA is using the tool to establish regulations on emissions from power plants, motor vehicles, and manufacturing facilities.

The Institute has assembled a panel to discuss the SCC, how it is derived, and its limitations.  Panelists included:

  •  Dr. Patrick Michaels, Director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute.  Dr. Michaels’ slides are available here.
  • Dr. David Kreutzer, Research Fellow in Energy Economics and Climate Change at The Heritage Foundation
  • Dr. Roger Bezdek, President, Management Information Services.  Dr. Bezdek’s slides are available here.

Considering the Social Cost of Carbon

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