Ten state AGs sue Biden admin for ‘social cost of carbon’ executive order

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Ten state attorneys general have announced a lawsuit against President Biden’s administration over his executive order regarding the “social cost of carbon.”

The lawsuit was announced on Friday, with the group calling the president’s executive order on tackling climate change “an act of executive overreach that will kill thousands of jobs throughout the country threatens to impose more burdens and harms on the American people.”

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr warned that Biden’s order would have “life-altering consequences” for the people of his state.

“This executive order is nothing but a license for gross federal overreach that will have potentially life-altering consequences for hard-working Georgians,” Carr said, “The President is using arbitrary numbers to justify regulating anything and everything, and we  will not allow this egregious overstep of Executive Branch authority.”

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The attorneys general wrote that the order creates a group of federal officials that “were required to establish a damages value based on global environmental damages from climate change.”

“These values are referred to as the social cost of carbon,’ the ‘social cost of methane’ and the ‘social cost of nitrous oxide’,” the group wrote. “The President further required federal agencies to immediately begin applying these numbers in regulatory actions and, vaguely ‘other’ decision-making.”

The team of attorneys general charged that Biden’ actions “improperly and illegally change the way federal decision-making is conducted,” which includes modifying the “cost-benefit analysis” for almost every important action undertaken by federal agencies.

“This means federal agencies could use these estimates to arbitrarily assign massive costs or massive benefits, whichever they choose, to every regulatory action, to environmental impact studies, and to establish mitigation costs, and more,” the team wrote.

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“These values have the ability to fundamentally transform the entire regulatory structure of the federal government, as well as the way States conduct business and Americans live their lives,” they added

The executive order in question was signed by Biden on the first day of his presidency. It establishes “an Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases,” which, as the name suggests, analyzes the monetary cost of greenhouse gasses on American society.

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“The ‘social cost of carbon’ (SCC), ‘social cost of nitrous oxide’ (SCN), and ‘social cost of methane’(SCM) are estimates of the monetized damages associated with incremental increases in greenhouse gas emissions,” the order reads. “They are intended to include changes in net agricultural productivity, human health, property damage from increased flood risk, and the value of ecosystem services.”

“An accurate social cost is essential for agencies to accurately determine the social benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions when conducting cost-benefit analyses of regulatory and other actions,” the order continues.

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