Big Oil Steps Up Support for Carbon Tax

The Wall Street Journal
June 20, 2017
By Timothy Puko

Some of the world’s largest oil companies and the country’s biggest auto maker are joining a group pushing the U.S. government to tax carbon in an effort to slow climate change.

General Motors Co. , Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP PLC are among almost a dozen companies joining the Climate Leadership Council, a new organization that advocates replacing many environmental regulations with a simplified tax on businesses that release carbon into the atmosphere. The plan proposes directly paying out this money to all citizens to defray the likely costs from rising energy prices.

A group of influential Republicans, including former secretaries of State George Shultz and James Baker, have spearheaded the group’s efforts, which are at odds with many in their own party.

Since winning control of the White House and Congress last year, Republican lawmakers have worked to roll back Democratic policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, culminating with President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.

Several business leaders criticized that decision, and some of the companies joining the group, which officially launched in February, have advocated more aggressive policies to address rising temperatures and air pollution. Exxon, GM and the other corporations are joining alongside astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, hedge-fund magnate Ray Dalio, Harvard economist and former Obama economic adviser Larry Summers and others.