mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author

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ExxonMobil Accepts Carbon Price, Privately

ExxonMobil and four other Big Oil companies are already putting a price on carbon pollution for internal corporate planning, reveals a new report from the excellent non-profit, CDP (aka, The Carbon Disclosure Project): https://www.cdp.net/CDPResults/companies-carbon-pricing-2013.pdf/. So are at least 25 other corporate giants, including Microsoft, Google, Walmart, General Electric, Dupont, Disney and Delta Airlines. So it’s high time that these corporations–many of whom, such as ExxonMobil, have spent millions of dollars to confuse the public and the media about climate change and back obstructionists on Capitol Hill–stop blocking government actions to fight climate change, wouldn’t you say?

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The corporations could begin by telling Republicans (and oil and coal state Democrats) to move immediately to put a price on carbon pollution, just as these firms are doing internally. Adopting ExxonMobil’s internal carbon price, which rises to $60 per metric ton by 2030, would revolutionize the world energy market, motivating businesses, consumers and government agencies to abandon climate-destroying fossil fuels in favor of energy efficiency, solar, wind and other forms of clean energy. It would also give momentum to the urgent need for the world’s governments to agree on radical emissions reductions at the next big climate negotiations in Paris in 2015. To cushion the economic impact of higher fuel prices in the short-term, especially on the poor, the extra tax revenues should be returned to the American people on a per capita basis via an annual check, just as residents of Alaska receive an annual check in compensation for their state hosting so much oil infrastructure.

Bravo to the New York Times–whose coverage of climate change has sharply diminished since its shameful decision last March to close its environment desk–for leading its web edition with this landmark story: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/business/energy-environment/large-companies-prepared-to-pay-price-on-carbon.html?ref=international-home/. What do you suppose the chances are that Fox News will do the same???

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One Response to “ExxonMobil Accepts Carbon Price, Privately”

  • Tom says:

    It is too bad that the Times has cut their environmental coverage. The reason? While everyone knows that climate change is real, if they publically admit that, some are afraid of being labeled as a “conspiracy theorist”. Also, in many ways this is a propaganda battle. Have you ever seen/read/heard a rational and factual discussion on climate change? No. it’s always who can attack the loudest.

    Now, in global govt. negotiations, it’s who will admit the least liability. And two, who can get the most for their country (because that’s what leaders are supposed to do. We’re protecting our “national security”).


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About Mark

Called "one of America’s finest reporters" by Barbara Ehrenreich, Mark Hertsgaard is the author of six books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including Earth Odyssey and On Bended Knee. He has covered climate change, politics and the media for leading media outlets around the world, including Vanity Fair, The Nation, Time, The New Yorker, NPR, L’espresso, Die Zeit and Le Monde Diplomatique.

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