Supreme Court blocks Republican push to block Biden’s accounting metric

The United States Supreme Court shot down an attempt by Republican-dominated states to block the Biden administration from using a metric for assessing climate change in decision making.

According to a report by The Hill, the new order which was handed down on Thursday saw the court deny the request that enabled the administration to measure climate impact less positively for those concerned about inappropriate changes in conjunction with climate concerns.

The court’s order did not provide reasoning for the court’s decision, but they decided that the tool known as the “social cost” tools for greenhouse gasses could be used as part of the government’s calculation of climate costs or benefits for its actions.

“For example, the values may be used to help the government quantify the benefits of a regulation that prevents planet-warming carbon dioxide from being released into the air or the additional damage that could be caused by approving a project that emits a lot of it,” The Hill reported.

Both of the previous administrations have used social cost values for greenhouse gasses in the case of some gases, such as carbon dioxide, and others.

However, the Trump Administration put a lower cost on the release, whereas a higher cost of gases could be used to justify more serious reactions to their release, while lower costs could justify less serious actions.

Republican attorneys general from 10 states took the Biden Administration to task about their cost evaluations according to The Hill:

“They have said that their states are harmed when high values are used to evaluate potential oil and gas leasing on their lands. Since the states receive revenue from those leases, they may end up shortchanged if less land is leased because of the climate costs, the attorneys general argued.

“At their request, a federal court in Louisiana temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s use of the metric in February, but in March, that ruling was halted, reinstating the use of the social costs.”