US oil and gas corporation Exxon Mobil Corp has donated $1m over two years to climate group Americans for Carbon Dividends, the political action committee of the Climate Leadership Council (CLC) which is fighting for the introduction of a US carbon tax.
CLC previously announced plans to funnel $5m into an initial lobbying campaign to gain legislative support for the tax, proposing a primary levy of $40 per tonne of carbon dioxide. This amount would then increase over the years, with money raised to be given back to customers. The group estimates that these rebates will start at around $2,000 per year for a family of four.
The policy would also offer a repayment on US imports going to nations that do not tax carbon emissions and would put a fee on imports coming in from these countries to the US.
The council’s carbon tax proposal was developed by former Secretaries of State James Baker and George Schultz.
Exxon is the first oil company to fund Americans for Carbon Dividends. The group has already received donations from Exelon, First Solar and the American Wind Energy Association, each of which has donated funds of $1m.
Support from these groups comes at a time of instability in US climate change plans, with many Republicans opposing a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system and lawmakers at a current stalemate over putting a price on greenhouse gases.
Exxon’s latest donation comes less than a month after the corporation pledged $100m to assist oil companies’ efforts to develop technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Exxon spokesperson Scott Silvestri told Reuters: “Applying a uniform cost across the economy is consistent with our principles on how to manage the risk of climate change…We’ve been supportive of a revenue-neutral price on carbon for a decade.”
The group has also been working to reduce its own emissions, setting its first company-wide targets for cutting carbon from its operations in May this year.
The company said it would seek to reduce methane leaks by 15% and flaring of unwanted gas by 25% by 2020 and will be introducing new equipment at its facilities to achieve those goals.