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

  • Renaud Coulomb

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

  • Fanny Henriet

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)

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.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number hal-00818350.

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Date of creation: May 2014
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:hal-00818350
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  1. Griffin, James M, 1985. "OPEC Behavior: A Test of Alternative Hypotheses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 954-63, December.
  2. Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Moreaux, Michel & Tidball, Mabel, 2006. "Ordering the Extraction of Polluting Nonrenewable Resources," IDEI Working Papers 415, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2008. "Public policies against global warming: A supply side approach," Munich Reprints in Economics 19638, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Strand, Jon, 2010. "Optimal fossil-fuel taxation with backstop technologies and tenure risk," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 418-422, March.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Weitzman, Martin L, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 477-91, October.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  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 177-82, May.
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