Thursday, January 11, 2007

Exxon is coming to the table to negotiate on climate change

Exxon is signaling it's ready to negotiate on climate change and probably for its shareholders not a moment too soon. With Democrats trying to run Capitol Hill and California making significant strides toward reducing carbon emissions there and setting an example nationally, this could be the last big hurdle preventing a practical and market-driven policy to start reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

Today's Wall Street Journal calls it a "subtle softening" but after funding dozens of skeptics to undermine climate change science, the move to the negotiating table is huge. Among the skeptics it has stopped funding is the Competitive Enterprise Insitute which last year ran TV ads saying carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, is helpful to our environment. Exxon's pulled the plug on similar funding for at least five other skeptics this year.

Now comes the question of what type of carbon cap makes sense and what sectors of the economy and what types of companies should the cap apply to. Former Congressman Philip Sharp, now president of Resources for the Future, is quoted in the Journal piece saying Exxon now is "taking this debate very seriously."

climate change, global warming, Exxon, Congress, Resources for the Future, Philip Sharp, greenhouse gas emissions

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