Why BP and Amazon want to save Washington state’s carbon market

By Anne C. Mulkern | 04/18/2024 06:20 AM EDT

The companies prefer market trading to emission regulations, experts say.

A man walks past a BP gas station in London.

A man walks past a BP gas station in London on Nov. 1, 2022. Kin Cheung/AP

Some of the biggest names in business — including a major oil company — lined up Wednesday to support Washington state’s new carbon market.

The backing from BP America, Amazon and Microsoft may seem surprising, but experts say the reasoning is simple: They prefer a carbon market to more direct regulations.

The three companies joined environmental and community groups in donating campaign money to fight Initiative 2117 on Washington state’s November’s ballot.


That measure asks state residents whether they want to void the climate law that authorized the state’s new cap-and-invest market. It came in response to record high gas prices, which critics connected to the carbon market.