or other type of burden). But without knowing whether those costs had been accounted for during the decision making about location, technology, etc., the committee was unable to judge whether the externalities had been internalized or not.
Quantifying and Monetizing All Endpoints
The scope of the study spanned across a range of major or rapidly growing energy sources and carriers, with major endpoints being human health, climate change, and infrastructure and security. Although environmental and ecological endpoints were part of the committee charge, the lack of data and good analytical frameworks for evaluating those endpoints made it impossible for the committee to quantify or monetize them.
Exploring All Externalities
Hammitt’s personal view on the scope of the study was that too much effort was focused on well-understood damages—that is, quantifying basic human health effects associated with fossil-fuel combustion—and too little effort focused on describing other externalities. He said, “We had the opportunity here to try and do something more innovative—less quantitative, but potentially pushing the field further along.” For example, in Hammitt’s opinion, there could have been more effort directed toward describing security and infrastructure, or unconventional power (wind, solar, etc.). There was also some inconsistency across sectors, with health damages from fossil fuels being quantified, but health damages from infrastructure and security not being quantified. Arguably, many of the external costs associated with infrastructure and security are either too difficult to quantify or already fully internalized. For example, many attack scenarios (i.e., attacks on facilities) are internalized through corporate liability and other measures. With respect to dependence on foreign oil, which was explicitly in the charge, there might be some costs associated with military activity in oil-producing regions of the world. But those constraints are difficult to estimate, and the marginal effects of U.S. oil consumption on those activities may be negligible.
Use of Graphics
Graphics used in the energy report included flow charts showing which elements of the system were examined; pie charts and bar graphs showing consumption by source and use by sectors; and tables showing which components of the system were examined using quantitative versus qualitative methodologies (see Figure 5-1a-d). Hammitt referred to Heller and