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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in a pair of August letters, urged federal regulators to revise draft environmental reviews for two natural gas projects, to include a social cost of carbon calculation in order to better understand their impacts.
Columbia Gulf Transmission has proposed new gas facilities in Louisiana that EPA says would cause “over $205 million dollars in climate damages per year.” Separately, Iroquois Gas Transmission has a proposed Northeast project that could do more than $144 million in annual damage, the agency said.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is independent and does not have to follow EPA’s recommendations, according to Gillian Giannetti, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. But the agency is “extremely influential” and using the carbon cost calculation could help meet President Joe Biden’s plans to decarbonize the U.S. economy.