Tags: Trump Administration | GAO | carbon pollution

GAO: Administration Underestimates Carbon Pollution Costs

multiple coal fossil fuel power plant smokestacks emit carbon dioxide pollution of environment and air
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By    |   Tuesday, 14 July 2020 12:48 PM

A new report issued by the Government Accountability Office found that the Trump administration has been underestimating the damage caused by carbon pollution.

The government watchdog office found that the Trump administration cut figures used by the Obama administration.

The figure, known as the social cost of carbon, was slashed from $50 to $7. According to the GAO report, the Trump administration used the reduced figure to justify a number of environmental rollbacks. 

The reduced figure got rid of taking any international impacts carbon pollution from the U.S. might have into account.

“The current federal estimates, based on domestic climate damages, are about 7 times lower than the prior federal estimates,” the GAO wrote in its report.

The social cost of carbon is typically used to calculate the impact of a policy related to the environment. A lower cost of carbon can make less restrictive environmental regulations appear more favorable, The Hill reports.

A group of eight Democrat senators requested a review of the figure after Trump issued an executive order in 2017 that disbanded a team that was working to update the methods used for determining the social cost of carbon.

"We need a social cost of carbon pegged to the best available science to plan and adapt,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., who requested the report, wrote in a release. “Instead, the Trump administration undermined the social cost of carbon, and then stuck its head in the sand when the federal government’s top scientists recommended implementing important changes. Shutting off the headlights of science and sound economics makes it more likely that we’ll drive straight off a climate cliff.”

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A new report issued by the Government Accountability Office found that the Trump administration has been underestimating the damage caused by carbon pollution.
GAO, carbon pollution
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2020-48-14
Tuesday, 14 July 2020 12:48 PM
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