Press Release: USCAP Testifies on Waxman-Markey Discussion Draft

USCAP

For Immediate Release
Contact: Tad Segal (202) 667-0901, Tad.Segal@widmeyer.com
April 22, 2009

 


USCAP to Congressional Panel: Clarity on Climate Policy Will Spur Economic Investment

Washington, D.C. (April 22, 2009) – American businesses stand ready to invest billions of dollars in critical infrastructure and next-generation clean energy technologies but first need clarity on future regulation of greenhouse gases, members of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee during a hearing on pending climate legislation today.

Backing an economy-wide cap-and-trade approach to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the members of USCAP urged the Committee to produce well-crafted and balanced national climate legislation that establishes clear rules of the road. Companies in many industries today cannot make prudent large-scale, long-term investment decisions without first understanding how climate protection efforts will be structured and implemented going forward, the USCAP members said. Resolving this uncertainty will free companies to begin deploying capital and spending more on badly needed research and development.

“Long-lasting climate change legislation must be based on three equal tenets – protecting the environment, the economy and consumers,” said Jim Rogers, President and CEO of Duke Energy. “The sooner Congress acts on climate change to provide the regulatory clarity business and industry needs to move ahead with major capital projects, the more rapid our economic recovery will be.”

This is the second time in the past three months that USCAP has testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the subject of climate protection legislation. On January 15th, USCAP members presented the Committee with their Blueprint for Legislative Action, which lays out a comprehensive and integrated set of policy recommendations.

The Blueprint calls for reductions of GHG emissions of 80 percent by 2050, compared to 2005 levels. In addition, USCAP has called for domestic and international offset provisions that will help lower GHG emissions from non-capped entities, cost containment measures to protect consumers and industries, and other complementary measures that enhance the effectiveness of any emissions reduction program and increase investment in new technologies.

"With leadership and foresight, we can strengthen our economy by reducing pollution. Inaction is simply not an option," said Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "By increasing energy efficiency and moving to clean, renewable energy, we can create millions of jobs, save consumers billions of dollars, and increase our energy security. We have an opportunity to be the global leader in low-carbon technology if we act wisely and swiftly."

USCAP said that any legislation must also protect consumers, vulnerable communities and businesses while ensuring economic sustainability and environmental effectiveness.

“Swift enactment of a well-crafted cap-and-trade program will encourage the critical private
sector investment in low-carbon technologies required to protect our environment, while at the same time protecting consumers and our domestic industries,” said David Crane, President and CEO of NRG Energy.

Last month, USCAP hailed the introduction of the Waxman-Markey discussion draft as a strong starting point for national climate protection legislation. Commenting on the draft, USCAP members said it addresses many of the core issues and policy recommendations identified by USCAP in its Blueprint, which were agreed upon only after significant discussion and debate within the group.

"I believe that this may be the single greatest opportunity to reinvent American industry, putting us on a more sustainable path forward,” said Charles Holliday, Jr. Chairman of DuPont. “A federal climate program has the potential to create real economic growth through innovation."

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United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) is a group of businesses and leading environmental organizations that have come together to call on the federal government to quickly enact strong national legislation to require significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

USCAP Members:
 Alcoa  Boston Scientific  BP America  Caterpillar  Chrysler  ConocoPhillips  John Deere  Dow  Duke Energy  DuPont  Environmental Defense Fund  Exelon  Ford  FPL Group  GE  GM  Johnson & Johnson  Marsh  Natural Resources Defense Council  The Nature Conservancy  NRG Energy  PepsiCo  Pew Center On Global Climate Change  PG&E  PNM Resources  Rio Tinto  Shell  Siemens  World Resources Institute  Xerox