Why do some oil and gas companies want to stay in the Paris climate agreement?

Fuel Fix:
Ahead of a high-level meeting at the White House today on the Paris climate accord, some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies are pressing President Donald Trump to stay in the agreement.

On Monday Cheniere Energy Executive Vice President Anatol Feygin sent a letter to the White House saying, “domestic energy companies are better positioned to compete globally if the United States remains a party to the Paris Agreement.”

“There is a global shift to use natural gas in power generation to reduce carbon emissions and traditional air pollution. Cheniere believes the 2015 Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is a useful instrument for fostering demand for America’s energy resources and supporting the continued growth of American industry.”

The letter comes ahead of a high-stakes meeting, in which Trump’s Cabinet and adviser are reportedly at odds over whether or not the country should stay in the Paris agreement, which the leaders of close to 200 countries agreed to in 2015.

A final decision is not expected until May, ahead of G7 summit in Italy, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said late last month.

Secretary of States Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, is believed to be among the officials lobbying for remaining in the pact, arguing it gives the country a “seat at the table” in international talks, as he told Congress during his confirmation hearing earlier this year. On the other side is Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who in a television interview last week called the accord “a bad deal for America.”
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There may be some genuine concern about the environment by some of these people, but the backbone of the Paris deal is an attempt to manipulate the market for energy that will drive up cost to consumers.  While they would be free to choose whether to go along with some of these changes, it would be harder to collude on the price of energy which would be at the heart of the changes they are looking at.

Those who oppose the deal would take a more free market approach.  In the long run, this would probably be best for alternative energy too, as it would force those pushing it to become more efficient rather than living off subsidies and producing an inferior product.

I do not think that you would need to be in the deal to sell natural gas at market prices.  It is a far more dependable resource than current wind and solar technology which lacks the ability to modulate its power production.

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