"He's a snake in the grass, I tell ya guys; he may look dumb but that's just a disguise; he's a mastermind in the ways of espionage." Charlie Daniels, "Uneasy Rider" A note to Joe Romm about big, bad, carbon-tax-supporting Exxon and the API - TT's Lost in Tokyo

A note to Joe Romm about big, bad, carbon-tax-supporting Exxon and the API

Joe Romm has a post up at Climate Progress that is highly critical of the U.S. oil industry, his ire no doubt triggered by the news that the American Petroleum Institute (API) is coordinating a series of "Energy Citizen" rallies by oil industry employees that target U.S. Senators in 21 states.

Romm`s post largely focuses on past efforts by Exxon to influence the debate by emphasizing Exxon`s PAST role in funding others to cast doubt on the science of climate change - a campaign that Exxon appears to have abandoned - and the greater part of the post consists of a requote of a recent commentary by Bloomberg reporter Eric Pooley, “Exxon Works Up New Recipe for Frying the Planet“.  It seems to me that neither Romm nor Pooley has done a good job of establishing a case for laying their current ire at the foot of "carbon-tax" Exxon.

I left the following comment at Romm`s blog, and look forward to his response after it slips through moderation:

Joe, I understand your suspicions of Exxon, but even as they are convenient whipping boy, they are not coal firms, which I`m sure you understand are a much greater climate threat and which are treated so favorably under Waxman-Markey.

Moreover, you and Pooley paint over your lack of substantiation with very broad brush strokes that are more fairly directed to other members of the API. Granted Exxon is a bit late, but:

- they have expressly agreed that climate risks merit mitigation policies,

- CEO Rex Tillerson has specifically advocated carbon taxes (for which he is good company with Jim Hansen, most economists - and now even Margo Thorning of the ACCF!),

- they are making substantial investments in climate research and biofuels; and

- they are not supporting the API`s fake "citizens" meetings.

Why is Exxon still Public Enemy #1 for you, and not Peabody and other coals firms - and the states and US government, who are hooked on royalties?

I agree with the many economists who strongly prefer a rebated carbon tax. I would love to hear your scientific and political calculation that leads you to favor cap and trade.

Published Fri, Aug 28 2009 10:58 PM by TokyoTom


# WSJ: In DC at the Economic Club, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson again proposes a straight, rebated tax on carbon emissions (OR, climate policy gamesmanship & the importance of being earnest)

Monday, October 5, 2009 3:18 AM by TT`s Lost in Tokyo

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson has done it again*, by proposing in a speech on October 1 in Washington, D.C