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The Grey Paradox: How Oil Owners Can Benefit From Carbon Regulation

Author

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  • Renaud Coulomb

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Fanny Henriet

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris, PSE - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Abstract

This paper studies how oil owners can benefit from carbon taxation. We build a Hotelling-like model with three energy resources: oil (exhaustible, polluting), coal (non exhaustible, very polluting) and solar energy (non exhaustible, non polluting). The CO2 concentration must be kept under a carbon ceiling. The optimal extraction path is decentralized by a tax on emissions, and tax revenues are not redistributed. We characterize the different extraction paths. We focus on the case where both oil and coal are extracted and oil gets exhausted. When oil is cheaper to extract than coal, if oil is sufficiently scarce, or if the extraction cost of oil is close enough to the extraction cost of coal or if its pollution content is low enough, or if the demand elasticity is low enough, the profits of oil owners will increase when the carbon regulation is tightened. When oil is more expensive to extract than coal, and both resources are used and oil exhausted, tightening the carbon regulation increases the oil profits.

Suggested Citation

  • Renaud Coulomb & Fanny Henriet, 2014. "The Grey Paradox: How Oil Owners Can Benefit From Carbon Regulation," PSE Working Papers hal-00818350, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:hal-00818350
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-pjse.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00818350v2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin L. Weitzman, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 477-491.
    2. Strand, Jon, 2010. "Optimal fossil-fuel taxation with backstop technologies and tenure risk," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 418-422, March.
    3. Frederick Van der Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 2011. "Optimal Carbon Tax with a Dirty Backstop - Oil, Coal, or Renewables?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3334, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Ujjayant Chakravorty & Michel Moreaux & Mabel Tidball, 2008. "Ordering the Extraction of Polluting Nonrenewable Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1128-1144, June.
    5. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2008. "Public policies against global warming: a supply side approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(4), pages 360-394, August.
    6. Carol Dahl & Mine Yucel, 1991. "Testing Alternative Hypotheses of Oil Producer Behavior," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 117-138.
    7. Daniel J.A. Johansson & Christian Azar & Kristian Lindgren & Tobias A. Persson, 2009. "OPEC Strategies and Oil Rent in a Climate Conscious World," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 23-50.
    8. Griffin, James M, 1985. "OPEC Behavior: A Test of Alternative Hypotheses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 954-963, December.
    9. Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Magne, Bertrand & Moreaux, Michel, 2006. "A Hotelling model with a ceiling on the stock of pollution," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2875-2904, December.
    10. Bergstrom, Theodore C, 1982. "On Capturing Oil Rents with a National Excise Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 194-201, March.
    11. Liski, Matti & Tahvonen, Olli, 2004. "Can carbon tax eat OPEC's rents?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-12, January.
    12. Clifton T. Jones, 1990. "OPEC Behaviour Under Falling Prices: Implications For Cartel Stability," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 117-130.
    13. Verleger, Philip K, Jr, 1982. "The Determinants of Official OPEC Crude Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(2), pages 177-182, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Oskar Lecuyer & Adrien Vogt-Schilb, 2013. "Assessing and ordering investments in polluting fossil-fueled and zero-carbon capital," CIRED Working Papers hal-00850680, HAL.
    2. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2016. "Second-best carbon taxation in the global economy: The Green Paradox and carbon leakage revisited," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 85-105.
    3. Oskar Lecuyer & Adrien Vogt-Schilb, 2013. "Assessing and ordering investments in polluting fossil-fueled and zero-carbon capital," Working Papers hal-00850680, HAL.
    4. Fanny Henriet & Katheline Schubert, 2015. "Should we extract the European shale gas? The effect of climate and financial constraints," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 15050, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    5. Oskar Lecuyer & Adrien Vogt-Schilb, 2013. "Assessing and ordering investments in polluting fossil-fueled and zero-carbon capital," Working Papers hal-00866442, HAL.
    6. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2015. "Unilateral Carbon Taxation in the Global Economy: The Green Paradox and carbon leakage revisted," OxCarre Working Papers 157, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    7. repec:hal:journl:hal-00850680 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal Taxation; Carbon Regulation; Global Warming; Nonrenewable Resources; OPEC; Fossil Fuels; Energy Markets;

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