EDF Calls for Federal Agencies to Value the Benefits of Greenhouse Gas Reductions

October 28, 2008



Martha Roberts, 303-447-7214, mroberts@edf.org

Tony Kreindler, 202-210-5791, tkreindler@edf.org

Vickie Patton, 720-837-6239, vpatton@edf.org



(Washington, DC – October 28, 2008) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) called on the federal government today to value the benefits of global warming pollution cuts under significant new regulations, finding in a study that agencies consistently neglect the benefits of greenhouse gas reductions when they assess the economics of new rules.


“It’s common sense that federal agencies should evaluate the potential climate benefits of major new regulations,” said Martha Roberts, an EDF economic policy analyst. “By neglecting the economic benefits of global warming pollution reductions, we’re missing important and efficient opportunities to achieve climate security.”


When significant new rules are developed, government-wide policy administered by the White House calls for federal agencies, in many cases, to assess the benefits and costs of the new rules. The results of these economic analyses can determine the design of the final rule.


A new EDF report, Carbon Counts (http://edf.org/article.cfm?contentID=8722), reviews the economic assessments performed for the Department of Transportation’s fuel economy standards, the Department of Energy’s furnace efficiency standard, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s small engine emission standards.  The selection among the different regulatory options considered for these rules has significant implications for global warming pollution. Yet across the board, these standards neglected the value of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, overlooking cost-effective opportunities to cut pollution.   


“The Department of Energy heralded the greenhouse gas reductions from its furnace efficiency standards, yet omitted the value of climate protection in actually developing the foundation of the rule,” Roberts said.  “By relegating the benefit of a stable climate to window dressing, the Agency may have missed important and efficient opportunities to reduce global warming pollution.”


The Department of Transportation conducts an analysis of benefits and costs to determine the appropriate fuel efficiency standard.  If the Agency fundamentally discounts the value of greenhouse gas reductions in its analysis, it will again fail to secure the full societal benefits of stronger fuel efficiency standards for energy security and climate security.




Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. For more information, visit www.edf.org.