Story at a glance
- Outlets report that the API is poised to support a carbon tax on fossil fuel emissions.
- This is a departure from the lobbying firm’s anti-regulatory stance.
The biggest oil industry lobbying group in the U.S. may be mulling over the decision to endorse a price on carbon emissions, a move popular with environmentalists that is meant to decentivize the reliance on fossil fuels.
Sources tell Reuters that the American Petroleum Institute (API) is considering adding carbon pricing, “among other policy solutions to reduce emissions and reach the ambitions of the Paris Agreement.” The move was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
If API does endorse adding a carbon emissions tax, it marks a major shift in its previous stance on opposing regulatory efforts to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere so as to stop climate change.
The draft statement reportedly 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.”
Following the U.S.’s recent return to the Paris Climate Agreement, API supporting a carbon tax could help President Biden — who campaigned on a number of sustainable platforms — and a majority Democrat Congress enact substantial climate change legislation.
Multiple environmentalists and scientists have said that permanent changes in policy are needed to support sustainability goals. The International Energy Agency recently reported an uptick in greenhouse gas emissions as the COVID-19 pandemic slowly shows signs of alleviating, despite a record-low year for emissions in 2020.