Shocker: Exxon Mobil gives $1 million to lobby for US carbon tax

Exxon Mobil said Tuesday it would spend $1 million to support a US lobbying campaign behind a carbon tax, boosting an initiative that faces long odds in Washington in the near-term

The US oil giant, which has long faced criticism on climate change, committed the funds to Americans for Carbon Dividends, a new group co-chaired by former Sens Trent Lott, a conservative Republican and John Breaux, a conservative Democrat, that supports a “gradually rising carbon fee.”

Under the scheme, which was developed under former Republicans Secretaries of State James Baker and George Shultz, dividend checks from the carbon tax would be returned to American taxpayers. Supporters have characterized the measure as a free market-oriented response to climate change.

“We’ve been supportive of a revenue-neutral price on carbon for a decade,” said Exxon Mobil spokesman Scott Silvestri.

“Applying a uniform cost across the economy is consistent with our principles on how to manage the risk of climate change.”

But Mary Boeve, executive director of the activist, called Exxon Mobil’s latest step more “smoke and mirrors.”

“Exxon wants a low price on carbon to keep its business afloat and box out more effective climate mitigation strategies, including holding fossil fuel companies legally accountable for the damage they’ve done to our planet,” said Boeve, who called for a “sweeping” transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy.

Full story at AFP via the Daily Mail

71 thoughts on “Shocker: Exxon Mobil gives $1 million to lobby for US carbon tax

  1. Big companies enjoy and seek government regulation as they can withstand them financially; unlike their smaller competitors.

    • “Carbon taxes aren’t a problem for oil companies, they just pass it on to the consumer.”

      Exactly. Just like each and every other tax placed by government upon any other corporation, regardless of industry.

      • And as long taxation would be indirect it would at least respect our individual freedom. But the moment taxation becomes direct you are declared a slave. Form 1040 tells you you are a slave. That’s why they call it Tax Return and you do it ‘voluntary’.
        Direct taxation = Big Brother Government

        • “But the moment taxation becomes direct you are declared a slave.”

          Maybe a distinction without a difference?

        • Taxation is only bad when you pay it directly?
          You pay the same amount.
          You still have no choice in whether or not you pay it.
          The only difference is that one is hidden and the other isn’t.

    • “dividend checks from the carbon tax would be returned to American taxpayers. ”

      ……now pull the other leg

      • carbon tax would be returned
        we were fed this same lie in BC. 10 years of waiting and my carbon refund still hasn’t arrived. must have been sent via Post Canada Express.

        • BC is not governed properly. In California we get our “clean energy refund” every year. That helps to forget that electricity prices are high and going up.

    • TinyCO2. Exactly. This reminds me of the tobacco industry shakedown years ago. The tobacco companies agreed to pay the states 30 billion in compensation for the health effects of smoking. The payments were to be made over decades. However, the states, eager to get their hands on the money right away, issued tobacco bonds which will be paid back over time with the tobacco settlement money. Needless to say, the money will be coming from the pockets of hapless smokers who will continue to fall ill from smoking.

  2. So what is Exon up to ?

    Mesage to the Greens, “We are your friends, so don’t make any Court cases against us”.

    Plus it makes life difficult for their fellow fossell fuel companies.


    • Pretty well all publicly traded oil companies have to at least pay lip service to the Global War Against Weather.

      • Yes David, and a Million bucks barely put a new emergency generator in at our dental research building back in 2009. Spare change for the beggar with the “End Is Coming Soon” sign to the company.

    • message received:
      we surrender! please don’t stomp your furry feet at us!
      come back again when that runs out.

    • All oil companies are keen on carbon taxes; the short term business case is that it taxes coal out of the electricity generation business in favour of their gas. As a bonus, the public relations mincers can milk the greenwashing for all it’s worth to assuage these ‘activist investors’ who demand ‘transparency in gullible warming risk assessment’ and think that sort of lip service will save the planet, one annual report at time.
      No oil companies are quite deluded enough to dream they can convince card carrying ecotards that their business is genuinely ‘green’, no matter how much of the year’s dividend they urinate up a wall on poseur ‘stakeholder engagement’ gimmicks.
      …and while making headines in the left-tard lying press, and in fairness maybe being somewhat annoying, the Greenprick’s lawfare is clearly no more damaging to ee-vil big oil than an angry newt nawing on the thick hide of an elephant’s arse is to the elephant.
      Even the oil companies who frequently claim an ambition to cash in on the present virtue signalling and subsidy mining opportunities afforded by foisting yesterday’s technology on tomorrow’s energy consumers (under the pseudonym of ‘renewables’) aren’t genuinely stupid enough to believe their own greenwash press releases about wind or solar being the pathway to the decarbonized economy. Their end game is the hydrogen economy – purely because such profligate waste is needed to save the fecking planet of course.
      Converting today’s electricity generation, heating and transport energy demand to hydrogen, plus providing expensive energy to the developing world, means reforming natural gas on a monumental scale and then making a prodigious effort to refill depleted reservoirs and saline acquifers with soda water; and who is going to do that if not oil companies?
      Any moonbat, NGO wastrel or useful idiot commenting on Grauniad articles who believes in the fairytale of a hydrogen economy powered by unrelieables and electrolysis really is dreaming and the oil companies, who demonstrably CAN do maths, know that very well.
      For now, the hydrogen pipedream is low key, because it will be perceived as undermining the unreliables business and all companies know the wisdomofmaking hay while the sun shines. While quietly preparing the seeds for the next cash crop.
      When it finally dawns on ‘rich’ economies (in receivership) that yesterday’s technology tomorrow really is a complete lemon, and if the UN et al can con them into binding requirements to cut thin-air emissions in the meantime and if oil companies can then sell the idea of pure hydrogen unicorn farts to governments as ‘the only workable answer’ to the 1.5 degree mythical red line, then not only is the long term business case for gas assured despite what ever gullible warming dictats are issued by the United Numpties, but the oil companies must produce (and of course charge for) at least twice the gas needed to meet the real demand. The extra cream on the profit-loss sheet comes from the energy losses in reformation, energy wasted on CCS, plus the reduced ‘bang-for-your-buck’ per unit of hydrogen compared to oil and gas.
      So don’t be suckered into the ‘divestment’ movement; buy your oil shares today! But the hydrogen fairytale can only only be justified if the gullible warming gravy train keepsrocking on, and thin air taxes are seen as an essential part of propping up the scam.
      So when ecotards, moonbats, bloatocrats and the lying press have the nerve to be surprised when oil companies support thin-air taxes, it just proves to me that they really are as dumb as a box of rocks (as if such proof were needed).
      *And while Exxon is only following the crowd and making money as best they can despite the mindlessly manipulated energy market existing today, and fair play to them, I have to say Exxon’s turncoat act on gullible warming since Reg left and Darren took over is a real disappointment.

  3. Exxon’s action is not only wrong, technically and ethically, it is offensive and destructive.

    I am curious to see what their “end game” is, if any, or whether they are just being politically-correct, to cover all their bases.

    • ExxonMobil’s management is convinced that carbon emissions regulations in the US are just a matter of time.

      A carbon tax, which is rebated to the public, is the least damaging of all of the potential carbon regulation schemes. It would also heavily favor natural gas over coal. It is a logical position for ExxonMobil to take… plus, the fact that a carbon tax is DOA until at least 2020, allows ExxonMobil to support this at no cost to their business.

      • Right again, David, almost like you have worked with Big Oil! I was on a Technical Advisory Team for CONOCO and, although any company can lurch over to one side at times, almost every thing is considered and analyzed by Departments and/or Teams. We even had a Contingency Plan for dealing with “put one cup of this in water and it instantly forms gasoline” advances, although these claims were obviously scams. In the above case it is highly likely that ExxonMobil has bought a cheap Insurance Policy of some sort.

        • Then they’re buying fire insurance from a company that plans to eliminate their building because they catch on fire.

          • It’s more like paying off the building inspector to move your building to the end of the demolition schedule.

        • Never worked for “Big Oil”… But even in “Little Oil” and “Medium Oil,” if you’re publicly traded, Wall Street expects you to at least pay lip service to “sustainability” and all that other enviro-psychobabble.

          • The Silicon Valley brand is becoming very toxic with all the revelations on extreme peer pressure, leftist “diversity” cult, etc. (mostly from DC and Breitbart).

            When will the NY stock exchange become a toxic brand too? Mandatory reporting of hypothetical dangers doesn’t look too good.

            Maybe regulation of publicly traded corps isn’t such a good idea.

      • Don’t forget that a million dollars is probably pocket change to Exxon. They can afford to throw a million here and a million there just in case something useful comes of it. If they were to invest a billion dollars I would sit up and take notice, but a million is the equivalent of whiling away a slow afternoon by playing on-line poker.

      • David: A carbon-tax hurts coal far more than oil, because the former provides much less useful energy per ton of CO2 emitted.

        You are correct in noting that a carbon tax that is rebated equally to all citizens is the least damaging form of regulation. With mandatory spending consuming nearly all revenue and an annual deficit approaching Obama’s $1T/yr during the Great Recession, we really can afford to rebate anything to anyone right now. However, we can’t even raise the federal gasoline tax enough to restore constant purchasing power from road construction (which is why toll roads (far more expensive) are proliferating around me.

        • Yep… A $27,000/ton carbon tax would be $56,720/short ton of coal… Powder River Basin coal is currently around $12/short ton.

          Even a measly $25/ton carbon tax would be huge on coal… $52.52/short ton.

          I agree, the carbon “dividends” would never materialize. Mordor on the Potomac would spend that carbon tax faster than they collected it.

          • David: Both you and I are smart enough to know the IPCC isn’t proposing at $27,000/ton carbon tax in today’s dollars. I believe they are talking in terms of 2100 dollar and using a 5% annual inflator. If so, they are talking about a $520/ton tax in today’s dollars. In another post you called this $240/gallon tax on gasoline (gas is more tangible to me), which would be about $4.60/gallon in today’s dollars. That’s about 10X bigger than the typical carbon taxes that have been proposed.

            Why don’t learn bother to learn what the IPCC is really proposing (with citations directly from their report)? Then maybe we could have an intelligent conversation about the subject.

            “Mordor on the Potomac” is already spending essentially all revenue on mandatory SS, Medicaid, Medicare, and interest on the debt, so the money for all discretionary programs (including defense) is being borrowed from our children. One excuse for large deficits is that the Dims will always spend more than we take in from taxes, so that the only way to restrain spending is with large deficits. That may be true, but it means that our children’s financial future is doomed. I’d prefer another future; no matter how unrealistic it may be. You might remember a bipartisan program called Simpson-Bowles that could have put us on a path to fiscal sanity if the three House Republicans on the commission had supported it.

          • Frank
            1) did you read the article where David cited the $240/gallon. He specifically said in that article that it was in 2100 dollars. Why don’t you bother to learn and read the articles that David wrote and was referring to? Then maybe we could have an intelligent conversation about the subject.

            2) Perhaps I’ve misunderstood your math (could you show how you came up with your number?) but $4.60 in todays dollars at 5% annual inflation works out to be about $90 in 2100 not $240 as you claim (at least according to a quick and dirty excel spreadsheet I used to calculate it, the online calculator I found only went as far as 2068, though for 4.6 today it and my spreadsheet were in agreement that would be about $57 in 2068)

            Since the same report that results in $240/gal in 2100 also has carbon taxes needing to be as high as $5,500 in 2030 (IE the equivalent to a $49 per gallon gas tax) which is slightly over a decade from now (so less inflation between then and now). using an online inflation calculator, it takes about $28 dollars today to gets us to around $49 in 2030 dollars given your 5% annual inflation figure (my spreadsheet came in at about $36 in todays dollars. either way that is still many multiples of the $4.60/gallon number you claim.) Add In that historically inflation is closer to half your assumed figure of 5% and the numbers look even worse for today’s dollars. so no matter how you slice it the proposed “needed” carbon tax is inordinately expensive.

          • I see David has clarified the numbers and math in another article. all numbers are already in 2010 dollars so no need to try and calculate them to (a lower) present day number, so, Frank, your $4.60 calculation does not apply as $240 is already in 2010 dollars.

    • This sounds like the same “rocket surgeons” we have in Canada who thought the anti-pipeline people would just go away if they were ignored.

      In fact, the CEO’s and Boards of these companies were cowards who did not own a pair among the lot. By failing to fight the anti-pipeline thugs, these cowards cost Canada 120 billion dollars in lost revenues – they should be terminated for cause.

      When you acquiesce to bullies like the extreme left, once you start running they will keep you running – we all learned that in the playground. The only way to deal with bullies is to hit them harder than they hit you, and do so until they stop.

      If Exxon believes a carbon tax is inevitable, they are likely wrong there too. There is NO credible evidence to support the failed hypothesis of dangerous runaway manmade global warming or wilder weather due to increasing atmospheric CO2. The global warming / climate change fraud will run its course and die.

      • “The only way to deal with bullies is to hit them harder than they hit you, and do so until they stop. Sounds sort of like a Trumpism :<)

        • My parents and their friends were the Great Generation. They fought and won the War and then won the Peace and had bigger issues to deal with.

          They did not coddle us like more recent generations of children, so we had to solve problems by ourselves.

          When someone tried to bully you – you had a choice – be bullied or fight back. I fought back, typically with kids two years older than me, and I didn’t always win but I never lost. Hardly anyone ever tried to bully me more than once.

          I hate bullying in all its forms. I am pleased to see that bullying in schools is now taken seriously. Now if we could just get the Dems and other Marxists to behave themselves…

          • I’m afraid the only way we’ll ever get the Left-Wing Democrats and Marxists to behave is if enough people pay attention, get fed up with their antics and vote them all out of office. However, since they probably have very short attention spans (e.g., like most kids now coming out of school) it would have to take place during the next couple of elections.

            We would probably have to replace the whole bunch at least twice, maybe three times in order to get a government “for the people”, not ‘for the legislator.’ K-Street spends around $2.4 billion a year, not counting campaign funds, to buy our current U.S. Congress. That’s hard to overcome.

  4. I have pointed out before that the oil companies are not on our side, perhaps more people will believe me now.

    • “I have pointed out before that the oil companies are not on our side…”

      Were I Exxon, I’d have to admit that I’d likely be on “my” side, that is, “me” as in Exxon. It’s not as though “you” or even a bunch of “you’s” are going to be willing to offer up via GoFundMe anything near what I’d need to continue to operate “me.”

      I’m not sure why that isn’t perfectly rational and moral given “you” are only going to help “me” by buying my products.

      • I never said there was anything wrong with them looking out for their shareholders. It is just that some people posting on this site think the oil companies are on the side of those rejecting the catastrophic man-made climate change con; they are not.

      • Exactly. That is the entire purpose of a corporation: to make as much profit for the investors as possible, for as long as possible. Playing games with the government is always going to be part of that strategy.

  5. … and probably (with other oil companies and the paint manufacturers) towards this gargantuan floating platform monument in the London’s Hyde park (made by the artist Christo, using more than 7000 oil barrels) celebrating the oil industry’s contribution in great progress brought by the industrial age, which without oil industry would have been pale shadow or the present.×1278.jpg
    I am not sure that CAGW warriors have understood irony of the setting.

  6. There is a little box on the bottom of their tax return…which would enable EXXON to begin paying additional taxes right now! Think the CEO and CFO should lead the way, personally!

  7. “But Mary Boeve, executive director of the activist…called for a “sweeping” transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy.”

    Sounds like an objective commentator.

    Where money is at stake, assume that everyone lies and where the biggest liars walk off with the largest reward.

    Also, I have no idea what goes on politically within this organization with nearly 70,000 employees, but it would seem an absolute certainty that among them, particularly in departments that are supposed to be politically active that there are some dedicated SJWs infiltrated at high levels with decision authority on new hires and where money is spent.

    • yeah- like a wasp nest is infiltrated by wasps
      like hollywood is infested with performers
      gothic doom entertainment is lucrative.
      thrills and chills and the frisson of porklips – in your very own safe space.

  8. Exxon is using the union model, publicly support while secretly lobbying to be exempted from it. That is how unions get around raised “minimum” wage, get government to exxempt them from it, that is how Exxxon will dodge carbon tax. NNicce little grift, bet they got the idea from Willie Jeff and Shrillary.

  9. Nobody should be surprised the oil companies like fear mongering on the climate. If you are filled with guilt as you fill the gas tank, you are less likely to complain over high gas prices and they laugh all the way to the bank.

  10. Trent Lott was no conservative, ever. He supported big government nanny state ideas and was constantly trying legislate morality into law.

  11. A carbon tax does not mean the world will not use fossil fuels. But it will make people have to adjust to be more efficient in that fuel use. This increases Exxon’s profit dollar per barrel of oil in the ground. This is a self serving position on Exxon’s part and has nothing to do with fighting the boogeyman of climate change imo.

    • I don’t follow your logic.

      If people are more efficient using Exxon’s product, it follows Exxon will sell less of it. Given the cost to retrieve the product from the ground remains the same, why then would Exxon’s profit per barrel increase in your scenario?

    • I don’t agree that carbon taxes will make people use less fossil fuels in the long run. In the short run, the cost of living will go up, so people will then demand higher wages, so they will ultimately be able to afford the same amount of fuel they were using before. All that really happens is inflation – the more a government sucks money out of the economy by taxation, the the less valuable that money becomes because it is not being put to productive use.

      Having said that, one possible way in which higher fuel prices would initially cause lower fuel use is that automobile manufacturers will make more fuel efficient vehicles. However, even that doesn’t work in the long term, because the more fuel-efficient your vehicle, the more likely you are to use it for trips that you would not otherwise have made.

      • The only source of inflation is government printing too much money.
        Resource inflation just causes more money to be spent in some areas, and less in others. Some products go up in price, causing other products to go down in price.

        People may demand more in wages, but businesses will never pay more than a job is worth to them.

  12. I doubt this will be revenue neutral; but to the extent it is the tax credits, or refunds, will be distributed largely to people who didn’t use the product and pay the tax. There are likely to be many other games played with the revenues to allow the proponents to argue that the tax is revenue neutral.

    The history of the Western democracies in the past 60 years is that each new dollar of revenue leads to an additional dime or so of borrowing. Thus revenues and indebtedness rise together. This will probably lead to more indebtedness.

  13. Naa, let’s just tax intellect, ambition, and effort instead. That would be a more direct way at stifling the economy.

  14. Eh. Allow me to remind you that in 2008 a stiff carbon tax was part of Obama’s agenda, as much to pay for Obamacare as to reverse the rise of the Oceans. It squeaked through the House and died an ugly death in the Senate despite the Dems having 60 senators before Teddy Chappaquiddick died.

  15. Welcome to the new paying penance for an imaginary sin, that doesn’t even reinvest the proceeds back into a solution that is supposedly the problem. Just another general revenue tax to spend, including a great slush fund for reelection purposes. Once a Gov’t of any stripe gets a taste of carbon taxes, there is likely no going back. It is just too much temptation to keep that cash revenue stream going and too good to be true, if you are getting free money for nothing.

    Taxing all fossil fuel derivatives is a perpetual cash cow because that will not end for a very long time because so many basic items rely on it. So then to justify the cash grab for a carbon tax, you have to (wink-wink) buy into the whole climate charade we hear about every day, with the world ending because of 1.5 degrees of warming since 1850 by 2050. It winds up being mainly a tax on the poor, because contrary to it being revenue neutral, the poor pay proportionally more of their fair share of disposable income for basic living, which most of is primarily fed with fossil fuels, literally, as in the fertilizer Nitrogen being made from fossil gas that feeds everybody. Not to mention the rest of the agricultural chain. Or heat your house, or drive to work. The middle class working people that just barely get by paying their bills rely on basic ‘carbon’ services for a majority of their lives and any cash refund or climate dividend refund of any type is just tokenism and political bribery.

    Once your jurisdiction accepts these carbon taxes, then their only justification is to get on the climate bandwagon. Academia figured this out a long time ago, and certain media interests found it appealing because they either were funded by their patrons as the ideology that sold copy, was a state/political religion or were wealthy enough to just straight up fund their ideology directly. And as is apparent, once the taxing authority of any gov’t level gets their paws on this free perpetual cash flow, they will say anything and pass any law to keep the money rolling in. It will probably be impossible to stop this carbon tax steam roller directly, and then the resulting propaganda of CAGW ideology to back up the absconding of wealth through ‘carbon’ taxes. It will take maverick leaders (President) that are beholden to no one to ward this temptation off.

  16. Very clever! For a mere million dollars Exon blows away the argument that it only funds skeptical groups.

    The logic of a refunded carbon tax is suspect. It drives up the cost of fossil fuels but gives the money back to the people, so they can afford … the high costs of fossil fuels. Of course, there is also the cost of collecting the tax, and paying the refunds. A cost that will be borne by tax payers.

    There are always unintended consequences for social engineering schemes like this. Calling those consequences “unintended” is really just misdirection. Unevaluated consequences? Maybe. Unintended? No.

  17. Do the facts ever get a word in edgewise here? How many of these former political leaders even know what the AMO is?

  18. We need a Carbon BS-free zone featuring real science, real facts, real policy leadership, real reporting, and real adjustment to facts and science updates.

  19. Reasons –
    1. Pay off those who would hurt you.This payment is insignificant to the oil company, they give many times more than that to charities
    2. Drive the competitor coal out of the market, thus increasing their market share and revenues by a very large amount – allowing them to increase profit margins at least some
    3. Force a switch from extremely low profit margin oil and natural gas to high profit margin alternatives
    4.Get subsidies for alternatives, pushing out competitors, reducing risk and increasing profits further

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