The Government Seeks To Institute New Carbon Pricing Regulations
Everyone agrees that environmental conservancy is a good thing. While there is really no reasonable way to expect seven billion inhabitants of the planet Earth to “leave no trace,” having as small an impact on the environment as possible is a good thing. This impact must be balanced by the need for energy-producing natural resources, and the resulting impact of extracting these commodities. The US Government is seeking to levy a substantial tax on companies that expel significant levels of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Most exposed to these costs are energy industry businesses that operate drilling rigs, oil and gas refining operations, and general natural resource extraction activities. Seeing this impending legislation at face value, oil industry experts are begging the question, “US Government, how are you coming up with these figures?”
The Problem Is In The Math
Oil industry experts are puzzled over the calculations used to estimate the “social costs” of emitting carbon dioxide. Social costs refer to the tangible financial damage that is caused by carbon dioxide emissions – measured by increases in public health issues, environmental damage, and agricultural fallout. This cost is generally calculated as a price per 1,000 pounds of CO2 emissions, though this figure has drawn controversial reactions from the majority of oil industry experts as of late.
The inherent problem, say industry analysts, regards the wide range of social cost estimates that have been tossed around. There really hasn’t been a definitive, agreed-upon social cost associated with carbon emissions, so oil industry experts tend to agree that it isn’t fair to levy a new fee without adequate research into the basis of the fee. This conundrum has led to much debate over the fairness of taxing energy-producing entities without much research around the actual damages that carbon emissions may cause.
Oil Industry Experts Demand Transparency and Peer Review Of Social Costs
The House voted in July to restrict the EPA’s ability to use social cost estimates to debate the merits of certain pieces of upcoming energy legislation. This is an important show of support for those who believe that carbon-based social costs must be thoroughly researched, peer reviewed, and that transparency must be maintained throughout the entire process. The future of energy producing entities may be at stake if carbon social costs are levied before adequate research can be conducted. It is important to emphasize that this argument isn’t about climate change or any of the other hot button issues regarding our environment. This is simply our energy industry asking regulators to paint a completely clear picture prior to changing the landscape of the domestic energy sector forever.