Top oil and gas lobbying group close to backing a carbon tax

(The Washington Post, 4 Mar 2021) API draft paper calls a tax on greenhouse gases a “primary” tool and an alternative to federal regulation.

The American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas industry’s top lobbying arm, is edging closer to endorsing a carbon tax, a tool that would make fossil fuels more expensive, boost prospects for renewable and nuclear energy, and curb pollution that is driving climate change.

But a paper being weighed by an API policy committee would back a carbon tax as an alternative to federal regulation and policies aimed at slowing climate change. And many analysts and lawmakers doubted the sincerity of any such API move because it is highly unlikely Congress would adopt a carbon tax — allowing the trade group to appear to support climate action while risking little.

The draft statement, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, says that “API supports economy-wide carbon pricing as the primary government climate policy instrument to reduce CO2 emissions while helping keep energy affordable, instead of mandates or prescriptive regulatory action.”