Buried in a little-noticed rule on microwave ovens is a change in the US government’s accounting for carbon emissions that could have wide-ranging implications for everything from power plants to the Keystone XL pipeline, Bloomberg News reported today.

The increase of the so-called social cost of carbon, to $38 a metric tonne in 2015 from $23.80, adjusts the calculation the government uses to weigh costs and benefits of proposed regulations. The figure is meant to approximate losses from global warming such as flood damage and diminished crops.

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