With two weeks to go to the kick-off of a global climate change conference in Paris, the American Petroleum Institute has ramped up its efforts against President Barack Obama’s climate initiatives. On Monday, API published a report claiming that Obama’s power plant regulations will steer the country down an unmanageable energy path, while highlighting the industry’s work to reduce its own methane and carbon emissions. “We believe the market driven forces are taking us where it appears the administration wants us to go,” API President Jack Gerard said in a call with reporters.
This report gives the oil industry something to point to when asked what they think should be done on pollution. You can sum up this strategy as the oil industry asking the government to leave it alone, and trust producers to decide for the rest of the world what level of carbon pollution is tolerated. A “market-based approach” is equivalent to saying that policymakers should stand back, and trust producers to decide for the rest of the world what level of carbon pollution is tolerated.
Market forces don’t move quickly enough to limit greenhouse gasses in the coming decade, but they can be steered away from fossil fuels with the right mix of regulations and taxes. A price on carbon would be one good place to start.