November 26, 2012
We know President Obama is going to tax the rich, but I bet many didn’t think he would weasel in the carbon tax as quickly as he is going to now. A Romney win would have been bullish for coal producers in the US – but Romney lost, and now so has coal, at least in the near term. The biggest winner from Obama? Natural gas.
Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM) is now supporting Obama in bringing a carbon tax to the US. Why would Exxon – and other big energy companies – join forces to bring on the carbon tax? The answer is simple: profits.
Exxon has made significant purchases, buying unconventional North American gas companies. For example, it recently bought Canadian firm Celtic Exploration for over C$2.5 billion. Let’s not forget that a couple of years back, Exxon bought out XTO Energy for over US$30 billion.
How does a carbon tax benefit Exxon? Natural gas and coal race neck-and-neck when it comes to electricity generation in the United States. By increasing the cost to produce coal, natural gas becomes more attractive for utilities. This means a better bottom line for Exxon… and a fatter paycheck for its executives.