This is a win for President Obama and enviros. . .
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) is part of a growing coalition backing a carbon tax as an alternative to costly regulation, giving newfound prominence to an idea once anathema in Washington.
Conservative economists and fossil-fuel lobbyists united in 2009 to fend off climate-change legislation that would have established a cap-and-trade mechanism. They are now locked in a backroom debate over a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions that could raise an estimated $100 billion in its first year.
And also a smart business move for Exxon:
Exxon is the biggest U.S. natural-gas producer. A carbon tax could boost demand for natural gas in U.S. power plants, as gas emits half the carbon dioxide as coal when burned to make electricity. Natural gas futures fell 1.5 percent to $3.703 per million British thermal units today. Gas prices fell to a 10- year low in April after mild winter weather crimped demand for heating fuels while production rose to a record.