Commercial, GHG Emissions, Industrial - June 20, 2017
Oil majors join GM, PepsiCo & more in carbon tax push
Eleven of the world's biggest companies, including oil majors BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell and Total, have thrown their support behind a proposal for a U.S. carbon tax.
The companies, which also include General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Santander, Schneider Electric and Unilever, have been announced as founding members of the Climate Leadership Council. The group, according to The Washington Post, first made headlines in February as a coalition of former Republican officials including three former secretaries of the Treasury, James Baker, Henry Paulson and George Shultz when they proposed eliminating nearly all Obama-era climate policies in exchange for a tax on carbon emissions starting at $40 per ton.
Axios reported June 20:
The support of oil-and-gas majors — Exxon, Shell, Total, and BP — will be needed to get Republicans to back a policy that remains politically toxic. The coalition, which launched in February with the backing of conservative leaders from earlier GOP administrations, represents the most diverse set of interests pushing Washington on climate policy in a decade.
"We expect that when the moment is right, the companies will lend their lobbying weight to our plan," the group's executive director, Ted Halstead, told Axios.
In a New York Times op/ed published in February, Halstead and two other members argued that their plan is "a conservative case for climate action," amid the country's transition from Obama's "grab bag of regulations" issued mostly by executive order to President Donald Trump's moves to unravel them.
"As Democrats are learning the hard way, it is all too easy for a new administration to reverse the executive orders of its predecessors. On-again-off-again regulation is a poor way to protect the environment. And by creating needless uncertainty for businesses that are planning long-term capital investments, it is also a poor way to promote robust economic growth," Halstead and the others wrote in February. "By contrast, an ideal climate policy would reduce carbon emissions, limit regulatory intrusion, promote economic growth, help working-class Americans and prove durable when the political winds change."
Axios noted that while the backing of big oil "is a prerequisite, but it may not be enough with strong conservative opposition to a carbon tax from powerful groups like Americans for Tax Reform and Competitive Enterprise Institute. Plus, almost no elected Republicans back a tax.
The full plan is laid out on the Climate Leadership Council's website.
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