The Corner

Politics & Policy

Rex Tillerson, Carbon-Tax-Backing Climate Change Believer

From the Tuesday Morning Jolt:

Rex Tillerson, Carbon-Tax-Backing Climate Change Believer

In further “this is why people don’t trust the media” coverage…

What do you know about Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson based upon the coverage of him so far? Probably just that he’s head of Exxon and he’s close to Vladimir Putin, right? He once was given the Order of Friendship decoration by Putin.

Would you have expected for Tillerson to first be recommended to Trump by… former Defense Secretary Robert Gates?

Would you have expected for the recommendation to be strongly endorsed by… former Secretary of State Condi Rice?

Rice, speaking out on Facebook this morning:

Rex Tillerson is an excellent choice for Secretary of State. He will bring to the post remarkable and broad international experience; a deep understanding of the global economy; and a belief in America’s special role in the world.

I know Rex as a successful business man and a patriot. He will represent the interests and the values of the United States with resolve and commitment. And he will lead the exceptional men and women of the State Department with respect and dedication.

I look forward to supporting Rex through the confirmation process and then welcoming him to the family of Secretaries of State.

Would you have expected former Vice President Dick Cheney to support the selection?

Kind of an unusual fan base for a guy who’s supposed to be a puppet of Putin, isn’t it?

Has any of the coverage so far pointed out that Tillerson believes in climate change and supports a carbon tax?

From a Tillerson speech in October:

At ExxonMobil, we share the view that the risks of climate change are serious and warrant thoughtful action. Addressing these risks requires broad-based, practical solutions around the world. Importantly, as a result of the Paris agreement, both developed and developing countries are now working together to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, while recognizing differing national responsibilities, capacities and circumstances. In our industry, the best hope for the future is to enable and encourage long-term investments in both proven and new technologies, while supporting effective policies.

Which is what we are doing. We have long supported a carbon tax as the best policy of those being considered. Replacing the hodge-podge of current, largely ineffective regulations with a revenue-neutral carbon tax would ensure a uniform and predictable cost of carbon across the economy. It would allow market forces to drive solutions. It would maximize transparency, reduce administrative complexity, promote global participation and easily adjust to future developments in our understanding of climate science as well as the policy consequences of these actions.

At some point, some Democrat will inevitably demonize him for heading up one of those evil greedy oil companies, one who villainously caters to the world’s ravenous hunger for fossil fuels. From the text of this speech in May, it sounds like Tillerson will be prepared to smack down those Greens who forget that human life itself requires energy:

According to the latest figures from the International Energy Agency, about one in six human beings still has no access to electricity. And about two out of five people must rely on biomass such as wood, charcoal, or animal waste for basic cooking needs.

In other words, over a billion people in the developing world still live in a state of “energy poverty.”

The costs of this energy poverty are steep – especially in terms of lives lost. The World Health Organization estimated that in 2012 alone, more than 4 million people around the world died from household air pollution resulting from the use of solid fuels – like wood and biomass – in their homes.

Such sobering statistics remind us that there is a moral imperative to expanding energy supplies. And that the millions of people working in the energy industry are playing a critical role in transforming the world for the better.

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