Agenda Item 5C
April 22, 2014
JlAmanda Mihill, Legislative
Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney
Action: Bill 5-14, Environmental Sustainability - Social Cost of Carbon
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee recommendation
(3-0): enact Bill 5-14 with an amendment to require that when the Department of General
Services is reviewing the energy efficiency of a County building, the Department should
include the social cost of carbon as a factor in determining the return on investment of the
proposed energy efficiency improvements.
Bill 5-14, Environmental Sustainability - Social Cost of Carbon Assessments, sponsored
by Councilmembers Berliner, Floreen, Riemer, EIrich, Andrews, and Navarro, was introduced on
January 28, 2014. A public hearing was held by the Committee on February 11 and a
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee worlcsession was held on
March 24. At the hearing, a representative of the Executive expressed the Executive's general
support for the package of environmental initiatives (©23).
As introduced, Bill 5-14 would require the Office of Management and Budget to submit
an analysis of the social cost of carbon with certain capital projects in the Capital Improvements
Program. The use of conventional fuels, particularly coal, extracts a cost on society that is not
reflected in its price. These "external" costs should be factored into the costlbenefit calculations
that the County uses when it assesses the potential for energy efficiency improvements.
Councilmember Berliner explained the purpose of this Bill in his January 14
memorandum describing his proposed energy/environmental package (see ©24).
Bill 5-14 is not expected to have a fiscal impact (©28).
A fact sheet from the Environmental Protection Agency providing background
information on the social cost of carbon, including how the values are determined and the
process used to determine the cost, is on ©6. The most recent social cost of carbon estimates for
certain years is on ©8.