Exxon Mobil showing its greener side

John Dimsdale Jan 18, 2007


LISA NAPOLI: Snow fell in the mountains of Malibu on Wednesday and closed a stretch of highway. I know, this isn’t the Weather Channel, but consider that this is not entirely a weather story. As climates change, certain companies are showing signs that they’re changing their attitudes about global warming. John Dimsdale has the story.

JOHN DIMSDALE: Here’s a clear sign: The Big Oil company Exxon Mobil, one of the loudest skeptics of global warming, has stopped contributing to some of the organizations that question the science.

Instead, Exxon is talking to Congress about how to set up government limits on carbon emissions.

University of California professor Daniel Kammen says oil and coal companies see regulations are inevitable, and they’re finding that going green doesn’t hurt their bottom line.

DANIEL KAMMEN: If these big companies make a serious push into these areas, there’s going to be job growth. And every politician and every big company likes to see that kind of job growth because it expands their poll and expands the local economic base.

Kammen says the companies now realize that by being in on the lawmaking, rather than stonewalling, they can promote regulations that put the financial burden on energy consumers, rather than producers.

Things like, perhaps, a tax at the fuel pump and not at the oil pump.

In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

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