Planet Gore

Competing Carbon-Pricing Schemes

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is calling on Congress to enact a tax on carbon emissions, as opposed to enacting a cap-and-trade regime. The WSJ reports:

Mr. Tillerson said a cap-and-trade system would be costly, bureaucratic and create a “Wall Street of emissions brokers.”

The speech signals an evolution in the thinking of Mr. Tillerson, who became chief executive and chairman of Texas-based Exxon, the world’s largest Western oil company, in 2006. Mr. Tillerson now calls the issue complex and challenging to understand, but — in contrast to Exxon’s previous party line — he doesn’t question whether fossil fuel use has contributed to rising global temperatures.
In 2007, when he gave his last big speech on climate change, he said he didn’t support any particular policy for curbing carbon-dioxide emissions.
Observers say Mr. Tillerson’s endorsement of a carbon tax could have widespread ramifications. “When the biggest company in the world says this is OK, that is giving permission for a whole lot of people who have resisted carbon policy on the grounds it is bad for business to soften their resistance,” says Michael Webber, associate director of the University of Texas Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy.


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