By Myles McCormick, Justin Jacobs, Amanda Chu and Derek Brower
One thing to start: Oil prices continued their march higher, with West Texas Intermediate yesterday topping $85 a barrel for the first time in seven years.
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The United Nations’ COP26 climate talks in Glasgow kick off in just five days. As emissions soar, it may be one of the last opportunities for genuine, concerted action to avert damaging climate change. And the tidal wave of pledges, platitudes and PR stunts is mounting.
Saudi Arabia joined the global fray of countries making net zero commitments, vowing to reach the milestone by 2060 with the help of carbon capture technology. Notably, however, the world’s biggest exporter of oil has no plans to cut those lucrative crude sales.
In the US, Democrats are engaged in a last ditch scramble to push pared down climate legislation over the line before the conference begins — so that President Joe Biden does not arrive in Glasgow empty handed.
As Democratic infighting continues over what climate provisions are included in the president’s “Build Back Better” bill, new polling data suggest most Americans are willing to pay a little to cut emissions — but balk if policies get too expensive.
More than half of Americans are willing to pay $1 for a monthly carbon fee, according to a new survey by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (Epic) and AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Yet support dwindles as the sum increases: a fee of $100 a month garners support from about a third of Americans (still double the support recorded in a 2018 poll).
“There is meaningful support for carbon pricing among Americans, yet to date we remain the only holdout among the G7 countries,” said Epic director Michael Greenstone. Some states in the US have already enacted carbon-pricing systems. California, for example, has had a cap-and-trade system since 2013.