Washington Post. Top executives at many of the US’ largest energy companies have accepted the scientific consensus about climate change and see federal regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions as inevitable.
The companies have been hiring new lobbyists who they hope can help fashion a national approach that would avert a patchwork of state plans now in the works. They are also working to change some company practices in anticipation of the regulation.
...It’s Shell’s belief that we have to deal with greenhouse gases. From a Shell point of view, the debate is over. When 90-plus percent of the world’s leading figures believe that greenhouse gases have impacted the climate of the Earth, who is Shell to say to say, let’s debate the science?
...We can’t have 50 state policies on greenhouse gas emissions. We believe, Shell believes, we need a national approach to greenhouse gas management and how that would work across our industries, not only the gas and oil industry.—John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Co.
Hofmeister and other top energy company leaders back a proposal that would cap greenhouse gas emissions and allow firms to trade their quotas. Paul M. Anderson, Duke Energy’s chairman and a member of the president’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, favors a tax on emissions of carbon dioxide.
Exxon Mobil Corp., the highest-profile corporate skeptic about global warming, said in September that it was considering ending its funding of a think tank that has sought to cast doubts on climate change. And on Nov. 2, the company announced that it will contribute more than $1.25 million to a European Union study on how to store carbon dioxide in natural gas fields in the Norwegian North Sea, Algeria and Germany.
“If we had our druthers, we’d already have carbon legislation passed,” said John L. Stowell, Duke Energy’s vice president for environmental policy. “Our viewpoint is that it’s going to happen. There’s scientific evidence of climate change. We’d like to know what legislation will be put together so that, when we figure out how to increase our load, we know exactly what to expect.”
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether the federal government is obligated to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant; its decision could force the government to come up with guidelines.
(A hat-tip to Rafael!)