A consise summary is provided by Paul Driessen and Roger Bezdek
in this article Anti-fossil fuel SCC relies on garbage models, ignores carbon benefits and hurts the poor. Excerpts below.
The UN Development Program also calls energy “central to poverty reduction.” And International Energy Agency Executive Director Dr. Fatih Birol notes that “coal is raising living standards and lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.” In fact, all fossil fuels are doing so.
Indeed, fossil fuels created the modern world and the housing, transportation, other technologies and living standards so many of us take for granted. They are essential for electricity and life, and over the past 250 years they more than doubled average life expectancy in countries that took advantage of them.
But the Obama Administration and radical environmentalists despise fossil fuels and used every tactic they could devise to eliminate them. One of their most important schemes was the “social cost of carbon.”
Six Things Wrong with Social Cost of Carbon
1. Each ton of U.S. emissions averted would initially have prevented a hypothetical $25/ton in global societal costs allegedly resulting from dangerous manmade climate change: less coastal flooding and tropical disease, fewer droughts and extreme weather events, for example. But within three years regulators arbitrarily increased the SCC to around $40/ton.
That made it easier to justify the Clean Power Plan, Paris climate agreement, and countless Obama Era actions on electricity generation, fracking, methane, pipelines, vehicle mileage and appliance efficiency standards, livestock operations, carbon taxes, and wind, solar and biofuel mandates and subsidies.
2. The supposed bedrock for the concept is the now rapidly shifting sands of climate chaos theory. New questions are arising almost daily about data quality and manipulation, the degree to which carbon dioxide affects global temperatures, the complex interplay of solar, cosmic ray, oceanic and other natural forces, and the inability of computer models to predict temperatures, sea level rise or hurricanes.
3. The SCC scheme blames American emissions for supposed costs worldwide (even though U.S. CO2 emissions are actually declining). It incorporates almost every conceivable cost of oil, gas and coal use on crops, forests, coastal cities, property damage, “forced migration,” and human health, nutrition and disease. However, it utterly fails to mention, much less analyze, tremendous and obvious carbon benefits.
4. CC schemes likewise impute only costs to carbon dioxide emissions. However, as thousands of scientific studies verify, rising levels of this miracle molecule are “greening” the Earth – reducing deserts and improving forests, grasslands, drought resistance, crop yields and human nutrition. No matter which government report or discount rate is used, asserted social costs of more CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere are infinitesimal compared to its estimated benefits.
5. Government officials claim they can accurately forecast damages to the world’s climate, economies, civilizations, populations and ecosystems from U.S. carbon dioxide emissions over the next three centuries. They say we must base today’s energy policies, laws, and regulations on those forecasts. The notion is delusional and dangerous.
6. Finally, the most fundamental issue isn’t even the social cost of carbon. It is the costs inflicted on society by anti-carbon regulations. Those rules replace fossil fuel revenues with renewable energy subsidies; reliable, affordable electricity with unreliable power that costs two to three times as much; and mines, drill holes, cropland and wildlife habitats with tens of millions of acres of wind, solar and biofuel “farms.”
Anti-carbon rules are designed to drive energy de-carbonization and modern nation de-industrialization. Perhaps worst, their impacts fall hardest on poor, minority and blue-collar families. . . Worldwide, billions of people still do not have electricity – and the SCC would keep them deprived of its benefits.
It’s time to rescind and defund the SCC – and replace it with honest, objective cost-benefit analyses.
Roger Bezdek is an internationally recognized energy analyst and president of Management Information Services, Inc. Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of books and articles on energy, climate change and human rights.