Social Cost of Carbon: Identifying a Federal Entity to Address the National Academies' Recommendations Could Strengthen Regulatory Analysis, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 753KB]

From the GAO [Government Accountability Office] Highlights: "To address climate change, some countries develop monetary estimates to assess the costs and benefits of government actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide. In the United States, in 2009, OMB [Office of Management and Budget] convened an interagency working group to estimate the social cost of carbon--the dollar value of the effects of an incremental increase in carbon dioxide emissions in a given year--for assessing regulatory costs and benefits. In 2017, the National Academies recommended updates to the methods used to develop the estimates. Later that year, Executive Order 13783 disbanded the working group, withdrew its guidance, and directed agencies to ensure that, to the extent permitted by law, estimates are consistent with Circular A-4, OMB's general guidance for regulatory analysis. GAO was asked to review approaches for developing and using the estimates. This report examines, among other objectives: (1) how the federal government's current estimates compare to its prior estimates and (2) how the federal government plans to address the recommendations of the National Academies. GAO reviewed executive orders, OMB guidance, and regulatory impact analyses and interviewed OMB, EPA [Environmental Protection Agency], NHTSA [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration], and BLM [Bureau of Land Management] officials and staff who had conducted such analyses."

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