Wednesday, August 10, 2016

ExxonMobil’s Latest Campaign to Stymie Federal Climate Action - by Elliott Negin, Senior Writer, Union of Concerned Scienti

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson acknowledges climate change is a “serious issue,” but he is still trying to undermine government efforts to curb carbon emissions. (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
As I reported earlier this year, ExxonMobil has paid lip service to the idea of a carbon tax since 2009 but, all the while, has continued to fund federal lawmakers who resolutely oppose it.  In March 2015, for example, the Senate voted 58 to 42 to pass a budget amendment prohibiting a carbon tax.  Thirty of the 40 senators who had received ExxonMobil campaign contributions since 2010 voted in favor of the prohibition.  Meanwhile, in March 2013, 156 House members cosponsored a nonbinding resolution stating that “a carbon tax would be detrimental to American families and businesses and is not in the best interest of the United States.”  Ninety-three percent of the cosponsors were funded by — you guessed it — ExxonMobil.

OK, but that was then, and things can change, right?  After all, last December, Ken Cohen, the company’s outgoing vice president of public and government affairs, blogged about ExxonMobil’s strong support for a carbon tax, noting that the company has been holding “countless private briefings with members of Congress on carbon tax policy options.”

So how have the company’s friends on Capitol Hill responded?

In June, the House passed a resolution stating “a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy” on a 237 to 163 vote.  Eighty-five percent of the House members who voted for the resolution received ExxonMobil political donations since 2013; 82 of them are documented climate science deniers.

The numbers are unambiguous:  When it comes to a carbon tax, there’s no escaping the fact that ExxonMobil still funds legislators who don’t favor it and, by the same token, doesn’t support many who do.

Read more at ExxonMobil’s Latest Campaign to Stymie Federal Climate Action

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