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Oil Companies and Lobbyists Say They’re Ready To Solve Climate Change. Check The Fine Print.

Oil Companies and Lobbyists Say They’re Ready To Solve Climate Change. Check The Fine Print.

On Wednesday, former senators Trent Lott (R-MS) and John Breaux (D-LA) announced, with a big public relations blitz, a new campaign, Americans for Carbon Dividends, to address the threat of climate change. The effort is being heralded as a breakthrough by some because it is endorsed by big oil and gas companies Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, and Total, and it calls for a $40-a-ton carbon tax, incurred at the source of emissions, with revenues to be returned to citizens as dividends, perhaps $2000 a year for each American family of four.

A Lott-Breaux op-ed in the New York Times presents the deal as a compelling bipartisan solution and touts the support not only of oil companies but also the non-profit Nature Conservancy. The campaign website lists a bunch of newspaper and environmental group endorsements for the underlying $40 carbon tax concept, which was proposed last year under the banner of a group called the Climate Leadership Council, launched by Republican former secretaries of state James Baker and George Shultz and other conservatives, and now including oil companies and various establishment Democrats and Republicans.

The website of the new, affiliated Americans for Carbon Dividends shows its own campaign leadership roster that includes not only Republican Lott and Democrat Breaux, but also former George W. Bush adviser Karen Hughes and Mark McKinnon, plus Bill Clinton White House press secretary Joe Lockhart.

So it sounds like Democrats and Republicans alike, and even some environmental groups, are supportive, the oil companies are at last willing to pay for their dangerous carbon emissions, citizens will get a dividend, and everyone will be happy.

But when one examines the fine print of the deal — and the financial benefits flowing to some of the people touting it — the effort looks much less utopian.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Energy Lobbyists Gather, Blame Obama and the Pope

USEACEOs

The remarks of these lobbyists suggested that many of them live on a different planet, where climate change is not an urgent challenge but rather is the obsession of ideological malcontents.

The meeting, held annually, is sponsored by the United States Energy Association, whose chieftains are not the CEOs of America’s oil, coal, and gas companies. Rather, they are the heads of the Washington-based trade associations that lobby against regulation of greenhouse gases and toxic pollution. They mostly are former corporate lawyers or Capital Hill functionaries who worked their way up and now receive enormous-for-DC salaries to serve at the beck and call of actual energy executives.

I think most of us are grateful to the men and women of America’s energy companies for providing the power that fuels so much of our lives. The question is, now that the evidence of human-made global warming is overwhelming, what do these companies want to do about it? Will they continue to deny the dangers of climate change and vilify those who seek to slow it? Or can they instead change course and devote more of their skills and resources to innovations for cleaner energy, innovations that could make their companies, not to mention the Earth, more sustainable in the long term?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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