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Corporate Cowards Hang Separately

July 29, 2016

Exxon recently began to aggressively support a carbon tax.

Admittedly, Exxon has been the target of radical environmentalists, and even of state AGs who have subpoenaed Exxon while accusing it of fraud.

Exxon’s motive in promoting a carbon tax may be to appease radical environmentalists.

Or, Exxon may see a carbon tax as a way to improve its competitive position versus coal, since Exxon has huge shale holdings and major investments in natural gas that compete with coal for power generation.

Or, perhaps Exxon is being hypocritical, assuming that Congress will never pass a carbon tax, while possibly benefitting from an improved PR image.

Exxon Logo

Exxon Logo

But history is clear: Trying to play nice with the Devil, no matter what the motive, is a prescription for disaster.

And, history is also clear, it’s foolish to assume how a political organization, such as Congress, will act.

For example, the United States Senate ratified the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) assuming ratification would have no effect on the United States because actions under the treaty were voluntary.

Unfortunately, the United States, with only one vote among 195 countries at UNFCCC COP meetings, has been consistently outvoted and held up for ridicule around the world.

The US delegation was booed by the other 190 countries at the COP meeting in Bali because the US delegation didn’t want to approve the Bali Road Map for fighting climate change.

Assuming that your enemy will forget and forgive is even more dangerous.

Chesapeake Energy donated large sums of money to the Sierra Club hoping the Sierra Club would decrease its attacks on natural gas, but to no avail.

Exxon should take heed, because the Sierra Club, and nearly every other radical environmental group has declared war on fracking, and is determined to eliminate fracking.

The Democrat party’s platform calls for the end of fracking.

The experience of the coal industry is a good example of what happens when you try to appease your enemies.

The coal industry, rather than fighting the supporters of anthropogenic climate change, where CO2 is the cause, tried to placate its enemies by proposing “clean coal”, a process where the coal is cooked to create syngas, so the CO2 can be separated, removed and sequestered, while using the hydrogen from the syngas to power a gas turbine. The so called “clean coal” process would eliminate CO2 from the atmosphere and allow coal to be used for power generation.

But, the radical environmentalists would have no part of this peace offering, and worse yet, the “clean coal” Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plant has become exorbitantly expensive. See, Kemper is No Keeper 

To have any possibility of lowering CO2 emissions sufficiently to limit atmospheric CO2 levels to 450 ppm, one of the levels frequently mentioned as the tipping point, would require a carbon tax much higher than previously proposed, i.e., $15 per ton of CO2 (which is mentioned most frequently and used by the EIA), and would have to apply to much more than oil and power generation. It would, for example, have to apply to livestock production, and other agricultural processes.

Rather than fighting for their industry and opposing the bad science on which CO2 caused global warming is based, some in the fossil fuel industry are trying appeasement.

The end result has been the bankruptcy of major coal producing companies, such as Peabody Coal.

By appeasing its opponents, Exxon is joining the major European oil companies who are doing the same.

But some oil companies, including Chevron, are standing their ground, and fighting for a scientific resolution of the issue.

Crony capitalism (where companies, such as GE, with its wind energy business taking advantage of government subsidies) and the concept of a carbon tax to raise money for the government, with the money supposedly being redistributed to the needy, is not in the best interests of a free market … or a free society … or America.

Appeasing big government and radical environmentalists is a fools game, not worthy of Exxon.

* * * * * *

Nothing to Fear explains why CO2 isn’t to be feared. Chapter 15, An Alternative Hypothesis, describes Dr. Svensmark’s hypothesis on cosmic rays.

Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.

Link to Amazon:

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Don Shaw permalink
    July 29, 2016 10:22 am

    Donn, interesting post.
    I went to the movies the other night and watched Hillary’s America. Last movie I saw was 4 years ago. It has a lot of history going back and explaining how slavery was a Democratic party supported thing including actions in the aftermath of the Civil war, is well done considering it does not Hollywood dollars behind it.
    If we engineer and scientist type think we will win the battle with facts and data, go watch the movie to see the mountain we have to climb to expose the progressive agenda.

    • July 29, 2016 10:34 am

      Unfortunately you are correct. Facts and data don’t sway the average voter. Emotions do.

  2. donb permalink
    July 29, 2016 1:45 pm

    Exxon’s action is like throwing a piece of raw meat to a viscous dog to distract it from biting you. In paying a CO2 tax, Exxon can pass the cost on to consumers. But if restrictions are placed on the retrieval and use of oil and gas, Exxon loses.

    • July 29, 2016 1:58 pm

      Good analogy. But only a temporarily measure. Even after being distracted, the mad dog will return to his original victim.

  3. July 30, 2016 8:20 am

    Fortune just recently published an article on this subject. ExxonMobil is positioning itself to be able to negotiate a corporate tax cut if and when the carbon tax is implemented.

    • July 30, 2016 10:36 am

      Thanks. I missed that article. Unfortunately the main stream media, including Fortune magazine, promote the alarmists view of climate change.
      The article mentions the realities of climate change which are actually being misconstrued by the alarmists, including the author of the article in question. The alarmists fail to say outright that CO2 is the cause, because the science is demonstrating that CO2 is not the primary cause.
      The media, including Fortune, is perpetuating the climate change fraud. Fortune is owned by Time Inc.

      • July 30, 2016 11:09 am

        I agree with you on the media bias but what I got out of this article is that governments worldwide have unsustainable social programs of all sorts and the carbon tax is one way to bring in the money. The author sort of spilled the beans on that. ExxonMobil seems to know that too and they are preparing to brace themselves to get the best deal that they can before the ax drops.

  4. July 30, 2016 11:58 am

    I agree. The left is already promoting the idea that revenues from a carbon tax will be redistributed to the “poor”.
    Of course, this results in the government determining who should get the benefits of the carbon tax. More Big government control over the ives of Americans.


  1. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #234 | Watts Up With That?

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