A longtime executive with Shell Upstream Americas and Royal Dutch Shell, David Lawrence supported a number of educational initiatives, including the Imperial Barrel Award and the Military Veterans Scholarship Program, sponsored by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Since leaving Shell, David Lawrence has established the Lawrence Energy Group LLC and serves as chairman of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute External Advisory Board. Mr. Lawrence writes frequently on energy and environmental issues at http://lawrence1energy.blogspot.com.
As one personal project, he set in place a simple “do-it-yourself” carbon tax. The purpose of this carbon tax is twofold: First, to reduce one’s personal carbon emissions and, second, to save money or tax one’s use to support environmental groups. This five-step project begins with using free online calculators to determine one’s personal CO2 footprint, in tons per year.
From there, an achievable carbon-reduction target is set; Mr. Lawrence selected 10 percent in the first year. There are numerous online resources for specific CO2-reduction strategies, ranging from carpooling to using more efficient home-heating methods.
The third step involves setting in place a carbon price; former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers suggested $25 per ton. As the U.S. average annual emission is 17 tons per capita, this might work out to $400-$500.
The last two steps have to do with how to use the money raised, both in reduced energy costs and from your self-tax. This can involve investing in sustainability-focused organizations and companies and in supporting institutions dedicated to ending energy poverty around the globe.
Utilizing decades of experience as a geologist and business leader, David Lawrence formerly held the position of executive vice president with Shell Upstream Americas in Houston with responsibilities including exploration.