August 14, 2009

Climate-change protests split oil industry

Key players in the U.S. oil industry disagree over a plan to send workers to rallies to protest proposed climate-change legislation, industry groups said.

The American Petroleum Institute wrote to member companies asking them to stage up to 22 rallies protesting legislation that the API said would increase taxes on the oil industry and create a carbon-trading scheme, the Financial Times reported.

The API represents the entire oil industry. But some of its members, which also are part of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, favor many of President Obama's environmental policies and oppose the plan to send workers to rallies.

Shell, General Electric, Siemens, BP America and ConocoPhillips also belong to the partnership, and Shell calls responding to climate change the pro-growth strategy.

Exxon is a leader of the faction of API supporting the rallies and claims the legislation would put oil companies at a disadvantage against global competitors.

The API memo was leaked to the environmental group Greenpeace, the Times reported.