Social cost of carbon lives another day

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2022

A federal appeals court picked apart a lower court ruling Wednesday that gutted President Joe Biden’s social cost of carbon, meaning federal agencies will be able to get back to using the figure in writing rules and assessing projects.

The Biden administration set the social cost of carbon last year at $51 per ton — the same as under the Obama administration — and environmentalists hoped that number would go up following further review. But Republican states challenged the SCC’s legality, with a federal court in Louisiana siding with them and preventing the Biden administration from using the figure, which the administration warned would lead to chaos by cutting out a major variable in their assessments.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found the whole GOP-led exercise specious and lifted the injunction. The judges rejected the argument that the metric could cause real, measurable harm, and dismissed the claims as “generalized grievance” against the administration. Their stay on the Louisiana decision is temporary, but the judges cast serious doubt on the red states’ case.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry will appeal the stay, his press secretary, Cory Dennis, told POLITICO in an email. “We strongly disagree with the 5th Circuit’s opinion that we lack standing in Biden’s latest attempt to inject the federal government into the everyday lives of Americans,” Dennis wrote. “We will petition for a rehearing en banc and will continue to stand up against this Administration’s vast overreach.”