Published on January 9th, 2014 | by Guest Contributor1
Counting The Social Cost Of Carbon
It’s just common sense. Each year, here in the U.S., we generate a certain amount of carbon pollution. And each year, climate change driven by carbon pollution impacts our lives in all kinds of waysfrom flooded homes to higher insurance rates, each of which has a very real price tag that we pay either as individuals or as a society.
Several years ago, the federal government developed a tool to connect these monetary damages with the carbon behind them, effectively putting a dollar value on the effects of climate change. Known as the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC), this figure estimates how much we pay for each ton of carbon pollution we produce. The government factors this figure into its analyses of different programs and activities to ensure the carbon they add to the atmosphere doesn’t lead to more costs than benefits for the economy in the long run.
Recently, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) increased the estimate of the Social Cost of Carbon to $37 per metric ton of carbon pollution. This number highlights the fact that society is paying more for carbon pollution than we’ve ever recognized. And, it means that in contrast, clean energy options like wind and solar are relatively cheaper in the long term than traditional fossil fuels contributing to super storms, droughts, wildfires, and other results of climate change.
Naturally, Big Oil and Big Coal aren’t thrilled about the increase. After all, if the Social Cost of Carbon goes up and people understand the real price of fossil fuels and demand a shift to clean energy sources, it’ll be a lot harder for them to keep making record profits. That’s why they’re doing everything they can to fight the increase.
Here’s where you come in. OMB has recently opened the revised SCC up to public comments so everyone can have their say. It’s our chance to speak up for a strong SCC and fight back against Big Oil and Big Coal. We’re inviting you to add your name to our petition and send a comment to OMB today. The window closes on January 27 so we don’t have long to act.
We’ll be holding a special webinar on Wednesday, January 15 to break down the SCC and what it means. But it starts with adding your name to the petition to make sure we protect this vital tool.
Our government was created for the people, by the people. Not for the fossil fuel industry. Not for some of the most profitable corporations in the world. Quite frankly, it’s People vs. Carbon – and it’s high time the people had their voices heard.
Help us stand up for our future – a future without carbon pollution, a future where industry doesn’t run the government – and a future where we count the true cost of carbon pollution on our health, our livelihoods and our children.