I was surprised but pleased to learn that Big Oil has joined the climate change battle by endorsing a price on carbon dioxide.

On March 25, the Associated Press reported in the Press Herald that the American Petroleum Institute, the top lobbying group for oil and gas companies, favors putting a price on CO2 emissions (“In shift, oil industry backs federal price on carbon dioxide emissions”). This is a key strategy in combating climate change, and this support is a reversal of the lobby’s long-standing opposition to such an approach.

The lobby favors carbon pricing, a market-based approach to cutting CO2 emissions rather than more government regulations. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act supports such a market-driven solution by placing a fee on carbon emissions. The proceeds would then be distributed among all Americans to offset any potential increase in the cost of fossil fuels. Moreover, the congressional bill would empower the fossil fuel industry to innovate and fast-track technology to capture and store carbon.

Even better, this approach will do more than any other single measure to lower future temperatures.

It’s encouraging to see the oil and gas lobby recognize the value of a carbon fee. Given the critical need to act on climate change, I thank Rep. Chellie Pingree for her past sponsorship of such a bill. I urge Rep. Jared Golden, Sen. Angus King and Sen. Susan Collins to also recognize the benefits of carbon fee and dividend and support the Energy Innovation Act.

Erica Bartlett

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: