House, Senate Take Steps Toward Ensuring Appropriate Measurement of the Costs of Climate Pollution

October 5, 2017
Contact: 
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

Washington, D.C. – October 5, 2017) New bills introduced in the U.S. House and Senate today will help ensure a robust, scientifically and economically sound process for measuring the costs of climate pollution – and accounting for them appropriately in government decision-making.

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado and 11 co-sponsors introduced the Transparent Pollution Accounting Act today. Rep. Donald McEachin introduced the House version of the bill

The bills address the social cost of carbon – the cost of damages caused by climate pollution.

Environmental Defense Fund applauded the lawmakers for their efforts. 

“Climate pollution is already impacting all Americans. From extreme weather to rising temperatures to intensifying smog, there are real costs to families, businesses, and taxpayers,” said Susanne Brooks, EDF’s Director of Climate Policy and Analysis. These bills will help ensure that the federal government is basing decisions on the best available science and economics and in an open and deliberative process.” 

The most recent and most rigorous estimates of the social cost of carbon were developed by an Interagency Working Group (IWG) of experts through a transparent process based on the latest peer-reviewed science and economics available. 

In March, President Trump issued an executive order aimed at discrediting the IWG estimates, withdrawing them as government policy, and directing federal agencies to pick their own metric.

The Transparent Pollution Accounting Act and its House counterpart would re-establish a federal IWG to regularly revise the social cost of carbon as needed. They would also establish a Scientific Review Committee to strengthen the integrity of the estimates.

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