Occidental Petroleum Corp’s CEO Vicki Hollub takes a negative stance towards the carbon tax potential US. She says the company prefers the existing system of tax credits instead, designed to encourage oil companies to store carbon dioxide and reduce emissions.
“A carbon tax would be bad for a lot of the industry, a carbon tax would be bad for the consumers and especially for those consumers who are more disadvantaged from an economic standpoint,” said Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub at a conference on Tuesday. “A carbon tax is not what we’re pushing at all,” she added.
According to Mrs Hollub, the 45Q tax structure works better than the carbon tax as it gives companies money for capturing the CO2 and storing it underground. She also claimed the California low-carbon fuel standards function better than Europe’s policy of trading allowances for limiting emissions. According to her, California is “incentivizing the use of technology and rewarding the use of technology.”
Another concern she expresses is that the Biden administration might force “extreme measures” upon oil producers if they don’t offer palatable options in front of it.
“In the absence of a good plan on how to continue to lower emissions from the existing production that we have in the US, President Biden and his administration are going to feel forced to do something on their own,” she said. Mrs Hollub also added: “And I think that something would be to further limit leasing on federal lands. There could be a production impact.”
Other Oil Producers Disagree With Occidental CEO
Other large oil producers like ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute industry group seem to take a different stance. They voted last month to endorse putting a tax or other price on CO2 emissions.
Occidental is famous for one of America’s more climate-forward oil producers. It was the first big US oil company to announce a net- zero carbon emissions goal by 2050. It also made a choice during the Texas freeze in February to shut down production at the Permian Basin to avoid flaring as the company didn’t want to incur emissions.
The CEO’s position on the carbon tax is an indication of the financial difficulties some oil producers might experience in order to adapt to the tightening climate change policies of the new US administration.