Opinion: We used to force oil companies to clean up their messes. Why is climate change different?

Hugh Helferty published an opinion article in The Hill in response to the Senate passing the Inflation Reduction Act. While a landmark step in the right direction, the bill still fails to hold fossil fuel producers accountable for their carbon emissions. While the bill provides incentives and tax credits supporting clean energy investments and makes available additional funds to support Carbon Capture and Storage, nowhere is there a requirement for oil companies to do anything to address climate change.

From the article:

What changed? Why were oil companies required to address their pollution issues in the past, but not today? Unfortunately, the cynical answer is also the most reasonable explanation: The oil industry has carefully grown its influence over enough politicians, regulators and think tanks to remove responsibility for emissions from the political conversation. Instead, the only question being discussed is how large a tax credit the industry needs to encourage it to consider joining the fight against climate change.

It’s past time for our government, at all levels, to commit to protecting people, not oil companies. Companies need to be held accountable for the adverse effects of their products — and the taxpayer shouldn’t be stuck with the bill. There is an old saying that you get the government you deserve. We deserve better. Let’s make sure that we get it.

Read the full article here.

Leave a Reply