Nearly 30 of the nation’s largest corporations, many of which have close ties to the Republican Party, have incorporated the expectation that they will be forced to pay a tax on the carbon pollution as a means of controlling climate change, reports the New York Times.
“Ultimately, we think the government will take action through a myriad of policies that will raise the prices and reduce demand” of carbon-polluting fossil fuels, said Alan Jeffers, an ExxonMobil spokesman.
Internally, ExxonMobil now plans its financial future with the expectation that eventually carbon pollution will be priced at about $60 a ton, which Mr. Jeffers acknowledged was at odds with some of the company’s Republican friends.
“We’re going to say and do what’s in the best interest of our shareholders,” he said. “We won’t always be on the same page.”
It remains unlikely that any climate policy will move in today’s deadlocked Congress, but if Congress does take up climate change legislation in the future, Mr. Jeffers said ExxonMobil would support a carbon tax if it was paired with an equal cut elsewhere in the tax code — the same policy that Mr. Gore has endorsed. “ExxonMobil and many other large companies understand that climate change poses a direct economic threat to their businesses,” said Dan Weiss, director for climate policy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal research group with close ties to the Obama administration. “They need to convince their political allies to act before it’s too late.”
Not surprisingly, the article reports that Koch Industries is ramping up its campaign against action on climate change. Glad that a really rich guy on the other side is willing to take up the fight.
In related news, InsideClimate News reports on a new analytical tool Bloomberg recently unveiled that attempts to quantify the effect climate policies will have on corporate earnings.