The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this weekend took action that is expected to justify stricter climate regulations.

Releasing an updated rule aimed at cutting methane emissions from oil and gas, the agency also unveiled an updated estimate of the “social cost” of carbon dioxide.

This is an economic estimate that is used by the government to calculate the benefits of mitigating climate change — or the cost of not doing so — as more global warming means more storms, heatwaves and damage to the planet.

The new estimate nearly quadruples the estimated cost of carbon dioxide to the world — a change that experts expect will result in stronger climate rules going forward.

Michael Greenstone, who co-led the development of the climate metric under the Obama administration, called the Biden administration’s update a “BFD” — an acronym that stands for “big f—ing deal.”

He said the increased estimate will “unlock reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that will benefit us and benefit our children and benefit their children.”

“We now recognize the benefits of reducing greenhouse gases are four times larger,” Greenstone said. “That will justify more stringent regulations.”

He noted that this could show up in everything from “tiny rules” such as those concerning vending machines to more significant regulations.

“Most importantly,” he said, it “paves the path for stricter power plant rules and car rules and other major sources of greenhouse gases.”

Continue reading on The Hill…

Areas of Focus: Climate Change
Climate Change
Climate change is an urgent global challenge. EPIC research is helping to assess its impacts, quantify its costs, and identify an efficient set of policies to reduce emissions and adapt...
Climate Law & Policy
Climate Law & Policy
As countries around the world implement policies to confront climate change, EPIC research is calculating which policies will have the most impact for the least cost.