Federal Citations to the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases

Federal Citations to the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Jane A. Leggett. October 19, 2016

Executive Order 12866 requires that federal agencies assess the cost and the benefits of intended regulations as part of their regulatory impact analyses (RIAs). The 1993 executive order stated that “recognizing that some costs and benefits are difficult to quantify, [each agency shall] propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs.”1 In 2008, a federal appeals court remanded a rule in part, despite acknowledging the uncertainty, because the agency did not monetize climate-related benefits of anticipated emission reductions in its RIA.2 In response, in 2008, federal agencies began using various values of the social cost of carbon (SCC or SC-CO2) as a means to estimate the climate-related benefits of abating emissions of carbon dioxide. Since then, they have begun using similar estimates for the benefits of reducing emissions of other greenhouse gases (GHG), including methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O).
This report compiles a table of Federal Register notices related to federal regulatory actions that specifically cite the SC-CO2, SC-CH4, SC-N2O, or SC-GHG.

[PDF format, 18 pages, 617.59 KB].

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