Oil Companies Join Corporate Lobbying Push for U.S. Carbon Tax

Oil Companies Join Corporate Lobbying Push for U.S. Carbon Tax

 

(Bloomberg) -- Oil companies, automakers and consumer products manufacturers will unleash a campaign for a U.S. tax on carbon dioxide emissions even though it may lead to higher prices for their products.

Oil companies BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are giving $1 million each to the Americans for Carbon Dividends advocacy campaign, underwriting its efforts to persuade Congress to enact a carbon tax-and-dividend plan. And Ford Motor Co. is signing on as a founding member of the group developing its underlying initiative, the Climate Leadership Council.

Meanwhile, dozens of corporations, including Capital One Financial Corp., software company Salesforce.com Inc., and health care giant Kaiser Permanente, will be pleading with Congress for a carbon tax. Leaders of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., consumer products maker DSM North America and Nature’s Path Foods Inc. are set to appear at a news conference Wednesday on Capitol Hill before meeting with lawmakers on the issue.

Fossil fuel companies have been shifting their position on climate change in response to pressure from investors and growing public alarm about Earth’s rising temperature. And economists have long favored a carbon tax as a simple, predictable approach to putting a price on the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change.

“Shareholders, younger Americans and Americans who live in coastal communities who are especially exposed to climate change are demanding action by government and also by leading corporations,” said former Representative Carlos Curbelo, a Republican from Florida who sponsored a carbon tax bill before losing his House seat in 2018. “American companies want predictability and sustainability -- and this is the most efficient way of reducing carbon emissions while protecting economic growth.”

Even so, the efforts face headwinds on Capitol Hill, where Republicans have repeatedly voted against the very concept of a new tax on carbon dioxide. During a May 15 House Ways and Means Committee hearing on climate change, Texas Republican Kevin Brady summed up his position: “We believe a carbon tax is not the solution to address our environmental challenges.”

Some companies are hedging their bets. Last week, a new coalition of corporations and environmental groups calling itself the CEO Climate Dialogue outlined its ambitions for long-term federal policy “to protect against the worst impacts of climate change,” without insisting on a carbon tax.

By contrast, BP and Shell’s contributions are going to a campaign for a carbon tax-and-dividend plan that’s already being underwritten by oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp., renewable power producer EDF Renewables Inc., and nuclear power generator Exelon Corp. It dovetails with Shell’s recent decision to abandon a refining trade group over its climate change policy stance, and BP’s lobbying this year in support of a cap-and-trade plan in Washington state.

The initiative they’re backing would impose a predictable, nationwide price on carbon dioxide emissions -- starting at $40 per ton -- with the promise of deeper reductions in greenhouse gases than would be achieved through existing laws. For businesses, the plan also promises two potent prizes: a shield against climate-related lawsuits tied to past, legal emissions, and the end of federal regulations targeting greenhouse gas releases.

“It is by far the broadest climate coalition in U.S. history,” said Ted Halstead, head of the Climate Leadership Council. Members of the group are “coalescing around a consensus bipartisan climate solution that would far surpass the U.S. Paris commitment, that would far exceed the reductions of all prior carbon regulations combined and that would be pro-business, pro competitiveness and pro-growth.”

Under the plan, carbon tax revenue would be redistributed to households in the form of quarterly dividend checks -- an idea endorsed by economists as a way to help poor and middle-income Americans, insulating them from higher energy costs.

The initiative has emerged as a favored business alternative to the more aggressive Green New Deal, the plan championed by environmental activists and progressive Democrats to rapidly decarbonize U.S. electricity.

Susan Dio, chairman of BP America Inc., cast the company’s pledge as consistent with past advocacy for the carbon-cutting goals of the Paris climate accord and “a well-designed, economy-wide price on carbon to help deliver them.”

 

“With our $1 million pledge to the work of the Climate Leadership Council, we aim to make further progress on this front -- and to keep advancing the transition to a lower-carbon future,” Dio said in an emailed statement.

Shell Oil Co. President Gretchen Watkins called the campaign’s carbon dividend push “well thought out” and said she hoped it “leads to legislation that establishes a national price on carbon.”

The separate CEO lobbying effort this week aims to underscore the urgency of addressing the issue, said Anne Kelly, vice president of government relations for CERES, the corporate sustainability advocacy group organizing the push.

“Lawmakers need to hear a clear economic case for action, and I think they need to hear it over and over again,” Kelly said.

Public opinion is rapidly shifting on the issue, especially with young voters. Three-quarters of voters say the government should take action on climate change -- including 55% of Republican voters -- according to a survey of 1,000 hat Luntz Global Partners LLC conducted earlier this month for the Climate Leadership Council. And 69% of surveyed Republicans said they’re concerned that their party’s position on climate change is hurting it with younger voters, according to the poll released Monday.

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(edited)

A thinking person would instantly recognize that major oil companies wanting a carbon tax is because they intend to game the legislation with carbon credits as part of a cap and trade scheme. This will make them trillions of dollars as I'd said months ago on this site. 

Furthermore, a thinking person should now recognize that the AGW argument that "big oil" is financing "deniers" could not be further from the truth. But hey, when has truth (or lack thereof) had anything whatsoever to do with AGW? 

Edited by Ward Smith
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Of course select corporations want a carbon tax. Shell lobbied hard to get a carbon tax in place in alberta, and then just before the carbon tax was announced they sold 100% of their oil and gas assets in alberta.

Fuxk them seriously.

 

In reality the alberta carbon tax track record speaks for itself. Only 30% of the revenues were returned to individuals. The rest went to select politically connected corporations for so called co2 reducing incentives. Some examples are CNRL developing oil sand extraction in place that does not require tailings ponds. They already had this project well under way without a subsidy. It is a great breakthrough in oil sands which is why it DOES NOT need to be subsidized.

 

Then there are 3 albera pulp and paper mills that recieved millions of carbon tax revenues for their biomass power generation. They burn the tree wood waste such as branches and leaves not.used to make paper pulp and generate electricity. Again great idea but if we are trying to reduce co2 this is actually terrible news so why is this being celebrated? Wood burning has even higher co2 emissions then coal. And why should it be subsidized??? 

 

Then there is the federal liberals fiasco with the liberals subsidizing lawblaws purchase of new store freezers. Of all the things you could do with carbon tax revenues buying a mega corporation  new freezers is the best they can come up with? 

Corporations dont pay carbon taxes, consumers do. Corporations can use co2 bookkeeping wizardry to reduce their co2 levels from one theoretical amount to another theoretical lower amount and claim the carbon credits. This goes waaaaay way back to the early days of shell in alberta lobbying the government to bring in a carbon tax then rebate credits to corporations that reduce their emissions. Shell wanted alberta to pay them for the favor of stranding their assets in the ground and NOT produce oil sands. They wanted money to sit on their mine leases and do nothing with them claiming they theoretically reduced emissions by not building the mine they would have theoretically build but didn't.

 

They didn't get their way with that, and they sold everything they owned in alberta. But not before celebrating Alberta's new carbon tax, after everything was sold.  

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Tldr version:

Albera carbon tax revenues are  directly funding and subsidizing:

Oil sands extraction 

Cutting down trees for pulp and paper 

Storing meat in freezers

The 3 biggest baddest climate change boogiemen of them all quietly collecting carbon tax revenues in the name of saving the climate. 

 

I call your BULLSHIT tax for what it is. It's a reverse tariff on domestic goods while exempting imports and subsidizing politically connected insiders to shield them from the harm of the tax in the first place. 

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