In America, the victory of environmental regulation seems to be a foregone conclusion for many of the nation's largest companies. Companies like ExxonMobil and Wal-Mart, which have typically had very strong ties to Republicans, are among those incorporating an internal form of a carbon tax into their long-term financial plans.
The report is the latest from CDP, an international environmental information nonprofit.
All agree that the implications are enormous as traditional opponents of climate change regulation like Koch Industries and reliable Big Business donors compete for influence in the GOP. The New York Times reports (emphasis mine):
Both supporters and opponents of action to fight global warming say the development is significant because businesses that chart a financial course to make money in a carbon-constrained future could be more inclined to support policies that address climate change.
But unlike the five big oil companies — ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, BP and Shell, all major contributors to the Republican party — Koch Industries, a conglomerate that has played a major role in pushing Republicans away from action on climate change, is ramping up an already-aggressive campaign against climate policy — specifically against any tax or price on carbon. Owned by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, the company includes oil refiners and the paper-goods company Georgia-Pacific.
The divide, between conservative groups that are fighting against government regulation and oil companies that are planning for it as a practical business decision, echoes a deeper rift in the party, as business-friendly establishment Republicans clash with the Tea Party.
Tom Carnac, North American president of CDP, said that the five big oil companies seemed to have determined that a carbon price was an inevitable part of their financial future.
Environment-conscious energy reform legislation has been dead for years, but supporters are pushing for a comeback. It remains to be seen which side will win out, but now it is clear that Big Business will be betting on the carbon tax.
The 29 companies are:
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