NY Times: Major oil companies planning for carbon constraints

ExxonMobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and BP are among at least 29 major U.S. corporations whose long-term financial plans include a price for carbon pollution, according to an article in The New York Times.

The article describes the development as “a striking departure from conservative orthodoxy and a reflection of growing divisions between the Republican Party and its business supporters.

A report by environmental data company CDP shows those firms, several with close ties to Republicans, incorporate a price on carbon into their financial plans. The strategy is significant. Businesses whose forecasts include a carbon-constrained future could be more inclined to support policies that address climate change.

“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,” the story says.

Tom Carnac, North American president of CDP, said that the five big oil companies have apparently determined that a carbon cost is inevitable.

“It’s climate change as a line item,” Carnac said. “They’re looking at it from a rational perspective, making a profit. It drives internal decision-making.”

Read the New York Times story here.