ORIGINAL REPORTING: Colorado And Minnesota Impose Carbon Costs On Utility Planning
Carbon calculus: More states are adding carbon costs to utility planning guidelines; Colorado and Minnesota were two states that added carbon costs to planning guidelines. Now others are following suit
Herman K. Trabish, Aug. 31, 2017 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: This is one key way states can fill the gap left by the White House in the climate fight. No new state initiatives have emerged.
The Trump administration is abdicating Obama-era climate regulations, but a small — and growing — number of states are taking matters into their own hands by requiring that the cost of carbon be included in resource planning. The federal social cost of carbon, developed by the former Obama administration’s interagency working group composed of federal scientists and economists monetizes the net damages of carbon dioxide emissions, necessitating the cost to be expressed as a range of dollar values. Minnesota, New York, Illinois, and California have all moved forward with work on the cost of carbon. The federal government used the social cost of carbon in more than 150 proposed and final regulatory measures, according to according to energy and environmental policy think tank Resources for the Future (RFF).
Support gained momentum when Colorado became the first state to impose a regulatory requirement that utilities use it in resource planning. But that momentum was lost when a presidential executive order disbanded the working group in March. The order also specified that the social cost of carbon is no longer governmental policy. Its rollbacks and guidance was a clear indication that the White House is disengaging from scientific evaluation of the benefits of emissions reductions. Not all utilities are following that lead. In Minnesota, Xcel Energy called for “bold action” on carbon reduction and said it “does not question” the science of climate change, the legitimacy of externality pricing, or even the properly used social cost of carbon… click here for more