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Shocker: Exxon CEO Wants A Carbon Tax

From the Wall Street Journal:

Exxon CEO Advocates Emissions Tax

By RUSSELL GOLD and IAN TALLEY

JANUARY 9, 2009

The chief executive of Exxon Mobil Corp. for the first time called on Congress to enact a tax on greenhouse-gas emissions in order to fight global warming.

In a speech in Washington, Rex Tillerson said that a tax was a "more direct, a more transparent and a more effective approach" to curtailing greenhouse gases than other plans popular in Congress and with the incoming Obama administration.

"My greatest concern is that policy makers will attempt to mandate or ordain solutions that are doomed to fail," Mr. Tillerson said.

The policy he is advocating is often called a carbon tax because it would be imposed on emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common man-made greenhouse gas…

The leadership of the Democratic-led Congress and other major oil companies prefer using a cap-and-trade approach. Under this system, the government would establish economy-wide emission limits as well as limits for individual companies. There would be a market for firms to buy and sell pollution allowances based on whether they were above or below their caps…

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

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.

We guess Mr. Tillerson knows which side of the bread his butter is on.

Maybe he’s right. It’s certainly far better to have a gas tax for Exxon, than “cap and trade.”

(Not that Exxon would ever have to pay this tax.)

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 9th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Shocker: Exxon CEO Wants A Carbon Tax”

  1. proreason says:

    A gas tax will not affect Exxon’s P&L. Cap and Trade will. He’s protecting share-holder value.

    It has nothing to do with global warming.

    The reason Cap and Trade will afect his P&L is that it will be a fine directly to companies and will impact operating margin. Exxon has high energy costs to extract, transport, refine and deliver petroleum products and therefore will have to pay high fines.

    If a gas tax does hit his P&L (I’m not sure), then it is unlikely to impact his operating margin, since it isn’t a direct cost to Exxon.

    If there is an O&G accountant who reads this blog, please confirm or deny.

    • JohnMG says:

      Typical. Kick the can down the road. Either way, any businessman understands that the end consumer is the one paying the tarriff.

      All this does is further mask what is actually going on.

    • proreason says:

      This should say”

      “The reason Cap and Trade will NOT affect his P&L is that it will be a fine directly to companies and will NOT impact operating margin. Exxon has high energy costs to extract, transport, refine and deliver petroleum products and therefore will have to pay high fines.”

  2. Confucius says:

    Isn’t it terrific that Mr. Tillerson likes his bread buttered on the other side? I was worried he might not like bending over.

  3. U NO HOO says:

    When rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it. Rex Tillerson has realized this fact.

    My apology in advance.

    Flame away!


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