News & Politics

Biden Increases the Cost of Carbon, Setting the Stage for Drastic Climate Rules

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

For four long years, Democrats were out of power. It must have seemed like an eternity to them, given the frenetic activity they’ve been engaged in since January 20.

Like a starving man walking into a banquet room full of food, Democrats can’t seem to decide what to eat first. So, they’re trying to eat everything at once.

The next three months will see an unbelievable amount of cash getting shoveled out the door in Washington. Two trillion for pandemic relief, another 2 trillion for a massive infrastructure bill, an attempt to reinvent Obamacare, an immigration bill, student loan debt — and they’ll just be getting started.

Indeed, it’s not just the president and his Congress who will be busy. The green geeks at the Environmental Protection Agency have had 4 years to watch the planet heat up and sizzle. That’s got to eat at them. They have so much pent-up energy, we should probably figure out a way to tap into it and run Los Angeles or New York for a couple of days.

The EPA is about to become very, very busy.

Politico:

President Joe Biden on Friday restored an Obama-era calculation on the economic cost of greenhouse gases, a step that will make it easier for his agencies to approve aggressive actions to confront climate change.

But the administration stopped short, for now, of boosting the cost figure to higher levels that economists and climate scientists say are justified by new research.

The interim figure — $51 for every ton of carbon released into the atmosphere — is well above the $8 cost used under former President Donald Trump, who declined to factor the global impacts of climate pollution into his calculation. It’s on par with a price based on analyses undertaken between 2010 and 2016 under former President Barack Obama, whose administration was first to calculate the figure known as the social cost of carbon.

People who hate capitalism are calculating how much the capitalists have to pay for “polluting” the planet with CO2? I smell a rat. A slimy, green, rat.

I confess to not having any expertise when it comes to calculations like this. I’m sure Biden’s green-eyeshade guys could trot out their charts, and graphs, and calculations showing us all exactly what they are basing their estimate of $51 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions on. There is probably no silliness like factoring in racism and oppression or gender inequities into the cost of CO2. So we have to take Biden at his word that his staff really thunk this through.

The social cost of carbon is an effort to quantify the economic and societal damage from greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades. The figure will be baked into the administration’s number-crunching on the costs and benefits of a wide array of regulations.

Friday’s notice, posted on the Office of Management and Budget website, fulfills a promise Biden made on Inauguration Day when he signed an executive order on climate change that called for a recalculation of the social cost of carbon, which the Trump administration had sharply reduced.

The “social cost” of carbon? Maybe I spoke too soon about the silliness.

“This is to be celebrated for getting the social cost of carbon out from being a political football, which is what Trump did, but it’s Step One. Step Two is restore a transparent process and to return the social cost of carbon to the frontier of climate science and economics,” said Michael Greenstone, a University of Chicago economist.

When you’re talking about other people’s money, being at the “frontier of climate science and economics” is so easy. There’s no need to be careful or even realistic in your estimates. You’re on the “frontier.” There’s no time to be cautious. The earth is in danger and only the ministrations of the high priests of climate can save us.

Using carbon as a whipping boy for our climate problems is more political than scientific. But that’s what climate change advocacy has degenerated into and it will continue to grind us down until they get their way.

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