Over 120,000 Stand Up for a Social Cost of Carbon

February 26, 2014
Deb Greenspan, Climate Reality Project, 202-481-8751, press@climatereality.com
Sharyn Stein, EDF, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org
Organizing for America, press@barackobama.com
Maggie Kao, Sierra Club, 202-675-2384, maggie.kao@sierraclub.org

WASHINGTON, DC (February 26, 2014) — Today, The Climate Reality Project along with partners Environmental Defense Fund, Organizing for Action and Sierra Club announced the delivery of more than 120,000 citizen comments to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in support of a strong Social Cost of Carbon (SCC).

“Right now, carbon polluters are using our atmosphere as an open sewer, and it’s costing all of us– in disaster clean-up, altered growing seasons and public health impacts,” said Vice President Al Gore, chairman of The Climate Reality Project. “The carbon calculus needs to accurately reflect the high cost we’re all paying for the damage done to our planet. The Social Cost of Carbon is a vital step in doing just that.”

What began as a small, technical matter fought hard by fossil fuel interests and their champions in Congress was brought to the fore by a group of organizations dedicated to quantifying the dramatic costs of carbon pollution on the daily lives of all Americans.

EPA and other federal agencies use the SCC to estimate the climate benefits of rulemakings. The SCC is an estimate of the economic damages associated with a small increase in carbon dioxide pollution. After careful scientific analysis, the current estimate was increased to $37 per metric ton of carbon pollution. Under pressure from fossil fuel supporters, OMB opened up its SCC calculation for public comment.

“Exxon, Duke Energy, DuPont, General Electric, Walmart, and many other major corporations are incorporating a carbon price into their long-term planning. It’s only logical for the U.S. government to do so too, and to set policy and regulations based on it. Calculating the true social cost of carbon is an important first step in that process,” said Gernot Wagner, EDF Senior Economist.

“With increasing extreme weather, rising sea levels and other threats linked to climate change looming, it is clear that carbon pollution comes with a cost. We need a Social Cost of Carbon that reflects that reality,” said Ivan Frishberg, Climate Change Campaign Manager, Organizing for Action.

“Carbon pollution threatens our health, our families, our communities, and our economy. As we decide how to power our nation and consider the effects of carbon pollution on our nation and our families, in the form of superstorms, drought, and increasingly erratic weather, the choice before us is clear.  We can continue relying on expensive, climate-disrupting power plants or we can replace these dirty fossil fuels with clean, cheaper renewable energy that doesn’t destabilize our climate,” said Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director.



About the Climate Reality Project
The Climate Reality Project is one of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to mobilizing communities to act on climate change. With a global movement more than 5 million strong and a grassroots network of trained Climate Reality Leaders, we are spreading the truth about what’s happening to the planet and using cultural momentum to solve the climate crisis. Former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore is the Founder and Chairman of The Climate Reality Project. For more information, visit www.climaterealityproject.org or follow us on Twitter at @ClimateReality.

About Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. See twitter.com/EnvDefenseFund; facebook.com/EnvDefenseFund


About Organizing for Action
Organizing for Action (OFA) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to advancing the policies that the American people voted for in 2012.  In just eleven months, more than 4 million volunteers have taken action through Organizing for Action.  As a grassroots funded social advocacy group, OFA is committed to tipping the scales of power back to the American people instead of special interests in Washington.  OFA is working to advance policies like job creation, strengthening the middle class, gun violence prevention, comprehensive immigration reform and measures combating climate change that a majority of the American people support. More information at www.barackobama.com.

About Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org