Exxon Supports A Carbon Tax Except When There Is A Vote On A Carbon Tax

The House votes on Friday.
Lucas Jackson / Reuters

ExxonMobil has long maintained that it supports a carbon tax in the United States.

For instance, here's Suzanne McCarron, ExxonMobil vice president of public and government affairs, in the Los Angeles Times on Mar. 14: "When governments are considering policy options, ExxonMobil believes a revenue-neutral carbon tax is the most effective way to manage carbon emissions."

Here's Exxon's CEO Rex Tillerson at last month's shareholder meeting: "Our valuation of those [policy] alternatives suggests that a carbon tax is the most efficient way to implement policy design to influence behavior."

These are not new or isolated comments. Tillerson has publicly said Exxon supports a carbon tax -- which helps combat global warming by putting a price on the greenhouse gases in fuels -- since 2009. He said back then that "a carbon tax strikes me as a more direct, a more transparent and a more effective approach," compared to more cap-and-trade regulation, which creates a complex market for the right to emit greenhouse gases.

So where does the company stand now that the House of Representatives is set to vote on a non-binding resolution that rails against a carbon tax?

"We’re not commenting on the resolution," Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers told The Huffington Post in an email. He went on to detail the company's long-standing support of a carbon tax and many of the policies benefits that the resolution denies exists.

In 2015, David Hasemyer and Bob Simison of Inside Climate News detailed how Exxon's public support of a carbon tax has never been matched by a practical commitment to backing a carbon tax politically. Exxon's reluctance to comment on the carbon tax vote in the House Friday is, at least, a continuation of that consistent strategy.

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