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The oil industry takes on climate change despite Trump's rollback

A fin of a whale sticks out from the ocean with two oil rigs in the far distance.
A fin whale surfaces near offshore oil rigs. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

A tangible shift over the last two years is sharpening among the world’s biggest oil companies, including in America, to more readily acknowledge and address climate change.

The bottom line: The trend, fueled by investor and lawsuit pressure, is underway regardless of, and partly in response to, President Trump’s retreat on the matter.

Driving the news:

  • Via E&E News: Chevron now says it backs a carbon tax, under certain terms. “It would have to be a ‘well-designed policy,'" spokesman Sean Comey said by email to the publication. That appears to be a shift from last year, when a Chevron spokeswoman told the same publication “that the company ‘does not support general calls for implementing a price on carbon.’”
  • Via Alaska Public Radio: “‘There’s been a real sea change in the last 18 months or so in how the oil industry approaches climate change as a financial issue,’ said Andrew Logan of Ceres, a Boston-based nonprofit that works with investors and companies to make the business case for environmentally friendly practices.”
  • Via Bloomberg: Goldman Sachs’ co-head of global natural resources, Gonzalo Garcia, said in a presentation at a conference in Norway Wednesday that “he’s probably spent more time talking with oil company executives about the energy shift and renewables in the last two years than the previous 23 put together.” Garcia says he predicts U.S. companies like Exxon and Chevron will invest in renewables like their counterparts in Europe.

Go deeper: Exxon, Chevron join global industry group on climate

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