A federal court recently blocked one of President Joe Biden’s executive orders that attempted to quantify the economic impact of climate change by factoring in the "social cost" of carbon emissions. U.S. District Judge James Cain reiterated a number of points made in Heritage Foundation research in his 44 -page ruling.
Heritage researchers have long argued that the Obama -era impact models, recently resurrected by the Biden administration, are inherently flawed, deliberately ignore guidance made by the White House Office of Management and Budget, highly sensitive to slight changes to fundamental assumptions, and fail to adequately incorporate positive externalities associated with energy production.
Kevin Dayaratna, principal statistician, data scientist, and research fellow in Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis, has worked on analyzing the social cost of carbon models for years. His work has been published in Heritage Foundation reports, peer-reviewed academic literature, and discussed in numerous talks as well as congressional testimony.
Dayaratna concludes that although the statistical models used to determine the social cost of carbon are interesting from a statistical standpoint, they are extremely sensitive to fundamentally important assumptions and thus highly prone to user manipulation.
“We applaud the judge's decision,” Dayaratna said. “It’s disturbing and quite frankly dangerous to put these models in the hands of policymakers who can manipulate them to achieve any result that they want to rubber stamp their agenda. We applaud the judge's decision to prohibit the social cost of carbon in rulemaking, and hope lawmakers also realize the flaws in these models.”
Read Dayaratna’s research on the social cost of carbon summarized and linked to here.