Duke Energy CEO has climate-change conversion, proposes carbon tax

In a letter to shareholders last week, Duke Energy Corp. CEO Paul Anderson announced his company’s decision to lobby for a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions — a move that shocked shareholders and has some greens scratching their heads. Anderson said in a speech yesterday that he realized the tax would mean bigger bills and higher gas prices, but argued that it’s important for industry to take the lead on reducing fossil-fuel consumption. “By helping shape public policy, we can advance the interests of our investors and customers,” he wrote in a letter accompanying the company’s annual report. He said he would prefer a single federal policy to a patchwork of state initiatives. “Personally, I feel the time has come to act — to take steps as a nation to reduce the carbon intensity of our economy,” he said in his speech. “And it’s going to take all of us to do it.”