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Laurie Johnson’s Blog

U.S. Social Cost of Carbon: GAO approved

Laurie Johnson

Posted September 3, 2014

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This blog was originally published at the Cost of Carbon Pollution project here.

The U.S. social cost of carbon (SCC)—the set of calculations estimating that a ton of carbon dioxide emitted today causes about $40 worth of damages to human health, ecosystems, and the economy—now comes with a stamp of approval from the U.S. Governmental Accountability Office (GAO).

At the behest of Senator David Vitter and several other Congressional Republicans, the non-partisan watchdog group was tasked with investigating the SCC and the process by which it was calculated, after a 2013 update increased the official SCC by approximately 50%. The SCC was first estimated in 2010 by the Interagency Working Groups (IWG), consisting of several executive agencies and cabinet offices (see the GAO report for a list).

In its recent report, the GAO found that the IWG did a sound job. The report even highlights the IWG’s finding that the current U.S. SCC estimate may be too low due to omitted climate impacts.

Continue reading here...

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GuthrumSep 5 2014 08:36 AM

Anytime the word "carbon" comes up in the news people cringe and guard their wallets and purse strings. Carbon has come to mean extra taxes, fees, and higher utility costs. Does anyone think that the utility companies will not pass any taxes or "carbon" costs onto the consumer ?
Over the last several years homeowners have spent a lot of money and done a lot of work to make their homes energy efficient; and that is a great thing. Now it is time for the commercial sector to get on the ball. And the government. Most government buildings, especially schools, are way outdated and waste energy like crazy. I have been in schools where windows won't shut and the heat just goes out.
Climate: last winter here was one of the coldest in memory.
The last few summers have been mild: warm but not the daily 95 degree scorchers that we experienced in the '70's and '80's. Let me say this to all of you who read or write at this website: most of the people out there are not buying "global warming", "climate change", or whatever you now call it. Even most of the schools are now teaching that climates change as a natural process and has been going on for millions of years. The people are not convinced. The evidence is not there. Even the politicians are backing off because they know the public is very skeptical. Any action that would be seen as increasing taxes and costs would be politically unpopular.

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