Many of the world’s major oil companies have signaled their support for a new carbon tax as a way of reducing emissions and reducing environmental regulations.
Republicans including former secretaries of state George Shultz and James Baker are leading the effort against others in their own party as part of the Climate Leadership Council, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Exxon, BP, and automaker General Motors are some of nearly a dozen companies supporting the idea of a carbon tax even as the Trump administration continues to roll back regulations aimed at cutting carbon emissions, WSJ reported.
Chief Executive of Exxon Darren Woods blogged in February that he saw a “revenue-neutral carbon tax” as a “sensible approach” to reducing emissions, WSJ reported. Others supporting the tax include astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and former Obama economic adviser Larry Summers.
The tax would result in gas price increases of about 36 cents per gallon and would increase over time, The New York Times reported. Taxpayers would receive “carbon dividends” to offset the impact of the tax. Proponents feel that the rising tax and dividend would provide incentive to cut the use of fossil fuels and push consumers to more environmentally friendly energy sources like wind or solar.
Trump adviser and former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said in 2009 that carbon taxes were a “more direct, a more transparent and a more effective approach” than the cap-and-trade proposal being considered by Congress at the time, the Times reported. Most Republicans supporting the proposal think it would be simpler than the regulations currently in place, which could then be scrapped.
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