EPA comments on the April 2013 Keystone NEPA review—monetizing the social costs of carbon dioxide emissions
01 May 2013Environment Alert
In April 22, 2013, comments filed on the Keystone Pipeline draft supplemental environmental impact statement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled a new approach to evaluating climate change impacts under NEPA—monetizing social costs of CO2. In those comments, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recommended that the State Department use "monetized estimates of the social cost of the GHG emissions from a barrel of oil sands crude compared to average U.S. crude." What EPA means is that the final EIS should calculate the cost to society of the difference in GHG emissions between using Keystone crude and an average U.S. crude. Over 50 years, the State Department suggests the difference could be as much as 935 million metric tons of CO2.