Believe It Or Not: Exxon Mobil Now Favors a Tax on Carbon

by Duane Nichols on December 9, 2015

Tax Me, Says Exxon Mobil, in Declaring Support for Climate Talks

From an Article by Alex Nussbaum, Bloomberg Business News, December 2, 2015

Exxon Mobil Corp., a favorite target of global warming activists, said (last week) that it’s hopeful for a deal out of the climate-change talks in Paris and still thinks the best solution is a tax on carbon pollution.

As the United Nations negotiations moved into a third day, the world’s biggest oil explorer said in an blog post that it supports “meaningful action to address the risks of climate change” as long as it preserved access to the reliable and affordable energy.

“The long-term objective of climate-change policy should be to reduce the risks of serious harm to humanity and ecosystems at minimum societal cost, while recognizing shared humanitarian necessities,” Exxon Mobil General Counsel Ken Cohen wrote in the post.

In the run-up to the Paris talks that began November 30th, Exxon has been under heavy assault by environmentalists and politicians who say it misled the public by promoting uncertainties about climate science. New York State’s attorney general has subpoenaed company records about its research going back decades, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in a Rolling Stone interview published Tuesday, said Exxon’s actions would amount to “a betrayal” of humanity if it’s found to have suppressed knowledge about climate risks.

Revenue-Neutral Tax

Exxon has said it made its research public and did nothing wrong. The Irving, Texas-based explorer takes climate change seriously and has taken steps to reduce its own emissions, Cohen said in today’s post.

The most effective solution would be a revenue-neutral tax on greenhouse gas emissions, Cohen wrote, reiterating a position Exxon has held for years.

“Instead of subsidies and mandates that distort markets, stifle innovation, and needlessly raise energy costs, a carbon tax could help create the conditions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that spurs new efficiencies and technologies,” he said. “The revenue-neutral carbon tax could be a workable policy framework for countries around the world.”

Long a hard-line opponent to climate-friendly carbon limits, Exxon began to soften its outlook and embrace the need to curb greenhouse gases in 2006 when Rex Tillerson succeeded Lee Raymond as chairman and CEO. The company’s $35 billion takeover of XTO Energy in 2010 was inspired in part by expectations that stricter climate rules would spur natural gas demand as a replacement for dirtier coal.

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NOTE: The Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is an international grassroots environmental group that trains and supports volunteers to build relationships with their elected representatives in order to influence climate policy. Operating since 2007, the goal of CCL is to build bipartisan support to put a price on carbon, specifically a revenue neutral carbon fee and dividend at the national level.

The Citizens Climate Lobby is supported by notable climate scientists James HansenKatharine Hayhoe, and Daniel Kammen. CCL’s advisory board also include George Shultz, former Secretary of State, former US Representative Bob Inglis of South Carolina and many others. Membership is now over 20,000.

The WV State chapter of CCL is headed by Jim Probst ( .  The recently formed chapter in Morgantown is being coordinated by Kayde Cappellari ( and her son Torrence.

Every Wednesday at 8 pm Eastern time, an introductory CCL conference call-in is held.  You can join in here.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jim Probst December 18, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Good Morning All,

I want to start by thanking any and all of you that played a part in getting a Citizens Climate Lobby chapter started in Morgantown. As with any new endeavor, there are sure to be challenges involved in getting a new group off the ground. It is my sense that many of us are taking a bit of a breather from our work on climate change for the holidays but will be ready to come back with renewed vigor in the new year.

Getting a fee on carbon emissions has become even more relevant lately with many prominent individuals calling for it during and after the conference in Paris. A recent piece in the New York Times ended with this quote, “A price on carbon would drive technology, it would drive R&D, it would drive investment, and  it would drive consumer habits. So, Paris was necessary.

A price on carbon will make it sufficient.” I firmly believe that the most promising and ultimately the most effective approach to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions will result from the implementation of Fee and Dividend.

Please resolve to get involved in 2016 and help us with our efforts in Morgantown. For me, my work with CCL has helped tremendously in channeling my concerns about our future and hopefully you will find this to be true as well.

Please call or email me if you have any questions or concerns.

I hope everyone has a happy holiday and I hope to see or talk with many of you next year.

Sincerely, Jim Probst,
State Coordinator WV Citizens Climate Lobby
304-824-5916 Days
304-824-5705 Evenings


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