Quantcast

Carbon Polluting Companies Prepare for Emissions Tax

Climate

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The writing is on the wall—and the financial books—for some of the nation's largest companies and carbon polluters.

Environmental data firm CDP's latest report shows that at least 29 companies anticipate the government forcing them to pay for carbon pollution. That list includes Walmart and Duke Energy.

“It’s climate change as a line item ... It drives internal decision-making," Tom Carnac, North American president of CDP, told the New York Times.

“Companies see that the trend is inevitable. What you see here is a hardening of that understanding.”

Examples in the report include ExxonMobil, which is assuming a cost of $60 per metric ton by 2030. BP already uses $40 per metric ton.

Companies that aren't in the utility or oil industries are also planning to pay, including companies like Google, which has been a leader in renewable energy investment in recent years. Google estimates using $14 per ton based upon an actual auction price in California’s cap-and-trade, which was upheld in court last month.

Companies can't be sure when a carbon tax might be legislated, but they're taking a better-safe-than-sorry approach, even if their financial and political backers deny climate change and oppose laws that fight global warming.

"Ultimately, we think the government will take action through a myriad of policies that will raise the prices and reduce demand [of fossil fuels]," ExxonMobil spokesman Alan Jeffers said. "We’re going to say and do what’s in the best interest of our shareholders,” he said. “We won’t always be on the same page.”

Walt Disney Co., General Electric Co (GE). and Delta Air Lines are among the others who told CDP they were budgeting for an emissions tax. GE is an example of a company that already pays for carbon pollution in the European Union.

“ExxonMobil and many other large companies understand that climate change poses a direct economic threat to their businesses,” said Dan Weiss, director for climate policy at the Center for American Progress.

“They need to convince their political allies to act before it’s too late.”

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Marlene Cimons

Scientist Aaswath Raman long has been keen on discovering new sources of clean energy by creating novel materials that can make use of heat and light.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

The aloe vera plant is a succulent that stores water in its leaves in the form of a gel.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Attendees seen at the Inaugural Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration at Los Angeles Grand Park on Oct. 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. Chelsea Guglielmino / Getty Images

By Malinda Maynor Lowery

Increasingly, Columbus Day is giving people pause.

Read More Show Less
Westend61 / Getty Images

By Brianna Elliott, RD

Hunger is your body's natural cue that it needs more food.

Read More Show Less
Young activists and their supporters rally for action on climate change on Sept. 20 in New York City. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

By Jeff Turrentine

More than 58 million people currently living in the U.S. — 17 percent of the population — are of Latin-American descent. By 2065 that percentage is expected to rise to nearly a quarter. Hardly a monolith, this diverse group includes people with roots in dozens of countries; they or their ancestors might have arrived here at any point between the 1500s and today. They differ culturally, linguistically and politically.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Thu Thai Thanh / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Commonly consumed vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce, peppers, carrots, and cabbage, provide abundant nutrients and flavors. It's no wonder that they're among the most popular varieties worldwide.

Read More Show Less
Petrochemical facilities in the Houston ship channel. Roy Luck / CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

Prigi Arisandi, who founded the environmental group Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation, picks through a heap of worn plastic packaging in Mojokerto, Indonesia. Reading the labels, he calls out where the trash originated: the United States, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada. The logos range from Nestlé to Bob's Red Mill, Starbucks to Dunkin Donuts.

The trash of rich nations has become the burden of poorer countries.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Lisa Wartenberg, MFA, RD, LD

Caffeine's popularity as a natural stimulant is unparalleled.

Read More Show Less