Policies & Economics
Earlier this month, the Administration’s Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon (IWG) released a report that was a response to public comments of the IWG determination of the social cost of carbon that were solicited by the Office of Management and Budget in November 2013. Of the 140 unique set of comments received (including a set of my own from which this testimony in drawn), the IWG adopted none.
Here, Dr. Pat Michaels of the CATO Institute address why this decision was based on a set of flimsy, internally inconsistent excuses and amounts to a continuation of the IWG’s exclusion of the most relevant science—an exclusion which assures that low, or even negative values of the social cost of carbon (which would imply a net benefit of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels), do not find their way into cost/benefit analyses of proposed federal actions.
Patrick Michaels and Paul Chip Knappenberger submitted these comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 8, 2015. The EPA's report, "The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment", and all other similar ones that have come before, is that the USGCRP simply chooses not to accept the science on human health and climate and instead prefers to forward alarming narratives, many based on science fiction rather than actual science. To best serve the public, this report should be withdrawn. By going forward without a major overhaul, its primary service would be to misinform and mislead the general public and policymakers alike. They write "it is readily obvious that Americans, across all climates, are well-adapted to the prevailing climate. ... for the entire collection of extreme weather impacts, mortality has greatly declined over the course of the past several decades, not only in the U.S., but for the globe in general. ... Mortality during the 2000s was lower than in earlier peak periods by 59%–81% for floods, lightning, tornados, and hurricanes, while mortality rates were 72%–94% lower. ... Americans have actively been moving to warmer climates. And there is every indication that they are continuing to do so."
All the Canadian premiers got together recently to come up with a Canadian Energy Strategy document which . . . curiously . . . does not mention the Alberta oil sands. Excluding a major national resource widely acknowledged to be a driver of at least one third of the Canadian economy from a national energy strategy document has to be a new low in the world of politically correct energy discussions. This was just after Quebec signed a multi-million dollar 10-year deal in support of the height of fossil fuel indulgence, the Formula-1 Montreal (Fossil Fuel) Grand Prix. The oil and gas industry is expected to create roughly 900,000 jobs by 2035, about 126,000 of which will be in provinces outside of Alberta. Quebec manufacturers made about $400 million supplying goods and services to the oil sands in 2009.
Marita Noon, policy analyst for CFACT, writes "When you read a headline such as one from CNBC touting “Solar power’s stunning growth,” realize that it’s thanks to you — even if you’ve never even thought of putting solar panels on your roof. If you live in the United States, vote, pay taxes, and get your electricity from a utility company, you’ve helped the solar power industry. You support the solar industry through a variety of tax and regulatory policies—voted in by politicians you elected—that favor it over other lower cost forms of electricity generation. ... With all the claims of renewable energy reaching cost parity with conventional energy, realize this headline is only semi-accurate because government regulation is driving up the cost of conventional electricity while ratepayers and taxpayers are underwriting the cost of renewables."
This report by Robert Lyman compares the present and proposed targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions in Canada and to assess their implications in terms of Canada’s main economic sectors. Electricity from wind and solar sources are very costly and unreliable. The report concludes that meeting the targets would be very costly and possibly destructive to Canada's economy, while global emission continue to grow.