How Climate Rules Might Fade Away

Bloomberg discusses the Social Cost of Carbon with Marlo Lewis. 

Trump can’t undo the SCC by fiat. There is established case law requiring the government to account for the impact of carbon, and if he just repealed it, environmentalists would almost certainly sue. “Unfortunately, you can’t just pull this thing up by the roots,” says Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a free-market think tank in Washington. “While that might actually be a great idea on the merits, you have to address the court cases that will be litigated.”

Another issue for those who question the Obama administration’s SCC: It estimates the global costs and benefits of carbon emissions, rather than just focusing on the impact to the U.S. Critics argue that this pushes the cost of carbon much higher and that the calculation should instead be limited to the U.S.; that would lower the cost by more than 70 percent, says the CEI’s Lewis. But to some, it makes sense to use a global estimate for the SCC, since climate change is worldwide. “This gets at a very basic economic concept of protecting the global commons and the natural resources we all share,” says Kenneth Gillingham, who served as senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the White House in 2015 and now teaches economics at Yale.

Read the full article at Bloomberg