Exxon chief backs carbon tax

Jan. 10, 2009 at 4:45 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- The head of ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company, has called for a carbon tax to help cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Exxon chief Rex Tillerson's comments represent a radical turn from the days when the oil giant denied the existence of man-made global warming, The Independent reported Saturday.

"A carbon tax is also the most efficient means of reflecting the cost of carbon in all economic decisions -- from investments made by companies to fuel their requirements, to the product choices made by consumers," Tillerson said in a speech to the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington.

"As a businessman, it is hard to speak favorably about any new tax. But a carbon tax strikes me as a more direct, a more transparent and a more effective approach," he was quoted by the English newspaper as saying.

Others backing a carbon tax include former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and Larry Summers, President-elect Barack Obama's designated head of the National Economic Council.

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