ConocoPhillips backs carbon tax plan

Oil and natural gas giant ConocoPhillips Co. is backing an effort to impose a tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

The company is pledging $2 million over the next two years to Americans for Carbon Dividends, an advocacy group that pushes a carbon tax, starting at $40 and rising thereafter, as part of a plan developed by the Climate Leadership Council (CLC) and its leaders, former Republican secretaries of State James Baker III and George Shultz.

ConocoPhillips, the nation’s second largest oil producer, is also joining the Climate Leadership Council. Exxon Mobil Corp., the country’s largest oil company, joined the effort in October, and BP and Royal Dutch Shell were already onboard.

Under the Baker-Shultz plan, all of the money brought in from the carbon tax would be distributed back to taxpayers as “dividends.” Axios first reported on ConocoPhillips joining.

“We are pleased to now join the CLC to continue the dialogue around carbon price policy development in the United States,” ConocoPhillips chief Ryan Lance said in a statement.

“We are delighted to welcome ConocoPhillips into Americans for Carbon Dividends and commend their leadership in supporting this important initiative,” said Trent Lott (R-Miss.), former Senate majority leader and a co-chairman of Americans for Carbon Dividends.

“The mounting financial support from companies most impacted by carbon policies sends a clear message to members of Congress that corporate America is serious about addressing this issue.”