GLRPPR Sector Resource: Regulatory Impact Analysis: Development of Social Cost of Carbon Estimates
Regulatory Impact Analysis: Development of Social Cost of Carbon Estimates
Executive Order 12866 directs federal agencies to assess the economic effects of their proposed significant regulatory actions, including a determination that a regulation's benefits justify the costs. In 2008, a federal appeals court directed DOT to update a regulatory impact analysis with an estimate of the social cost of carbon--the dollar value of the net effects (damages and benefits) of an increase in emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.
In 2009, the Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon was convened to develop estimates for use governmentwide, and it issued final estimates in its 2010 Technical Support Document. In 2013, the group issued revised estimates that were about 50 percent higher than the 2010 estimates, which raised public interest.
GAO was asked to review the working group's development of social cost of carbon estimates. This report describes the participating entities and processes and methods they used to develop the 2010 and 2013 estimates. GAO reviewed executive orders, OMB guidance, the Technical Support Document, its 2013 update, and other key documents. GAO interviewed officials who participated in the working group on behalf of the EOP offices and agencies involved. GAO did not evaluate the quality of the working group's approach.
U.S. Government Accountability Office
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