President Biden on Friday dramatically altered the way the U.S. government calculates the real-world cost of climate change, a move that could reshape a range of consequential decisions, from whether to allow new coal leasing on federal land to what sort of steel is used in taxpayer-funded infrastructure projects.The administration plans to boost the figure it will use to assess the damage that greenhouse gas pollution inflicts on society to $51 per ton of carbon dioxide — a rate more than seven times higher than that used by former president Donald Trump’s administration. But the number, known as the “social cost of carbon,” could reach as high as $125 per ton once the administration conducts a more thorough analysis.
By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis. Washington Post. February 27, 2021.