New Exxon CEO endorses carbon tax

( Mayra Beltran / Houston Chronicle )

Two months after taking over the CEO suite at Exxon Mobil, Darren Woods confirmed the company would continue to support a tax on carbon dioxide.

In a blog post on the company’s website, Woods writes, “A uniform price of carbon applied consistently across the economy is a sensible approach to emissions reduction.”

“One option being discussed by policymakers is a national revenue-neutral carbon tax. This would promote greater energy efficiency and the use of today’s lower-carbon options, avoid further burdening the economy, and also provide incentives for markets to develop additional low-carbon energy solutions for the future.”

That echoes language by Woods’ predecessor, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who for years argued that if governments were to regulate greenhouse gas emissions a uniform tax made the most sense. But with former Secretary of State Jim Baker and former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson now endorsing such a tax, the idea that Congress might approve the proposal does not appear so completely outside the realm of possibility as it might have just last year.

Woods makes the case that Exxon has a large role to play in a low carbon future, through its research into carbon capture technology and biofuels made from algae.

“All told, we’ve invested $7 billion to develop lower-emission energy solutions during the past decade and a half,” he wrote.