Schmidt: “Social Cost” Should Not Be Considered in Pipeline Decisions

Can the Federal government use “social cost” in their analysis of gas pipelines?

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says no, they can’t.

Use of what is called the “social cost of carbon” analysis is beyond the legal scope of federal energy regulators to approve or deny permits for interstate natural gas pipeline construction, according to Schmidt.

Schmidt joined a coalition with 21 other state attorneys general in filing comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concerning President Joe Biden’s mandate to impose a social cost factor for certain greenhouse gases to address climate issues.

The attorneys general argue that neither the Natural Gas Act nor the National Environmental Policy Act authorizes the Regulatory Commission to use the analysis in consideration of certification applications.

They also say the analysis is speculative and scientifically flawed, and that the Commission should stick to its previous position that the “social cost of carbon” analysis is not appropriate to use.