Exxon, BP support carbon tax plan by elder Republican statesmen

Carbon tax

James Baker and George Shultz were two of the authors who created a carbon tax plan that is supported by Exxon, Shell, BP, Total, GM and other multinational companies. PA Wire photo by John Giles.

Carbon tax plan calls for $40/tonne of CO2 produced

Global oil companies including Exxon Mobil and BP Plc are throwing their support behind a carbon tax plan put together by a group of Republican statesmen, according to an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

The carbon tax plan calls for a $40 tax on each tonne of carbon dioxide produced and would rise in price over time.  Revenues from the tax would be paid into the Social Security Administration.

Tuesday’s Climate Leadership Council ad said “This plan would achieve significantly greater emissions reductions than all current and prior climate regulations, while helping America’s businesses and workers get ahead.”

Companies supporting the group include Exxon, BP, Shell, Total, GM, Johnson & Johnson and PepsiCo.

The Climate Leadership Council proposal co-authors included two Republican heavy hitters from the 80’s and early 90’s:  James Baker, former secretary of state during the George H.W. Bush administration and George Shultz, secretary of state under Ronald Reagan.

But, the plan may be a non-starter.  It does reflect past proposals generated by the Republican Party to address climate change, but President Donald Trump has expressed doubts over climate change and any efforts to fight it put the US at a competitive disadvantage.

Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord earlier this month.

The White House did not immediately respond for Reuters’ request for comment.  The Trump administration has said in the past a carbon tax is not under consideration.

Oil majors like Exxon and BP have faced criticism for their roles in contributing to climate change through the production and sale of fossil fuels.  However, recently, they and other large oil companies have supported government’s efforts to regulate emissions, including the Paris Climate Accord.

Exxon CEO Darren Woods had urged Trump to keep the US in the Paris Accord.  He argued America’s abundant reserves of natural gas made it possible for the US to honour its Paris pledge.

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