The Biden administration has now missed its own self-imposed deadline to publish updated values that are used to assess the costs and the benefits of fighting climate change, data that is supposed to help them justify new, more strict greenhouse gas mandates.
According to the Washington Examiner, the missed deadline comes at a time when many prominent figures in the realm of economics have come forward and started to question the “social cost of carbon” metric, even going so far as to slam former President Barack Obama and his administration’s value as far too low to justify the kind of policies that are allegedly needed to help prevent climate change that are in line with the Paris climate agreement.
“‘The way the Obama administration did it was deeply flawed,’ wrote Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate economist at Columbia University, and Nicholas Stern, an economist with the London School of Economics and Political Science, in a commentary Feb. 15,” The Washington Examiner reported.
“Even before Donald Trump became president, therefore, the world — and the U.S. in particular — was on track to do little about climate change,” the pair wrote in the piece. Stiglitz and Stern also said that they recommend a social cost of carbon of $100 per ton, minimum, in a recent working paper now being passed around by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
“President Biden, as part of a day-one climate executive order, directed federal agencies to review and update the social cost of carbon in an effort to reduce climate pollution. He set a 30-day deadline for an interagency working group to publish interim values for the social cost of carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide. That deadline passed on Friday,” The Washington Examiner report continued.
The press office at the White House has not, as of this writing, shared any details publicly about when an announcement is to be made.
The Biden administration is currently expected to at least go back to the social cost of carbon as it existed during Obama’s time in the White House. The cost at that time was around $50 per ton. This could be the solution as it stands right now, though federal officials are looking to explore longer-term changes to how the metric is actually calculated.