Listening to opponents of clean energy and climate legislation and their predictions of American economic ruin if we try to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, you could scarcely imagine that even one business would be crazy enough to support energy and climate policy. Yet today, a group of 60 leading organizations and businesses representing over $1.2 trillion in revenue and over 1 million American employees sent a letter  to the President and the Senate proving that idea wrong. These groups collectively said:
“The time to act is now. The U.S. needs a comprehensive energy and climate policy that will get us back on track by creating American jobs in the new, low-carbon economy…We face a critical moment that will determine whether we will be able to unleash homegrown American innovation or remain stuck in the economic status quo. Much as the transcontinental railroad ushered in an unprecedented era of expansion, innovation and economic growth, the transition to a diversified clean energy economy offers extraordinary opportunities for environmental and economic rewards. Americans need and deserve a comprehensive energy and climate policy and we urge you to take action without delay…It’s time for Democrats and Republicans to unite behind bipartisan, national energy and climate legislation that increases our security, limits emissions, and protects our environment while preserving and creating American jobs.”
And these are not all small companies with no skin in the game—American Electric Power and Duke Energy are the first and third largest GHG emitters in the United States, Holcim is one of the country's largest cement producers, and some of you may have heard of Google, General Electric and United Technologies, the latter of which makes everything from Carrier air conditioners to Otis elevators and Sikorsky helicopters. There are also companies like AREVA, which has stepped out to strongly support policy for the first time in the last few months, and other manufacturers such as Daimler, Ingersoll Rand, John Deere and Johnson Controls.
In fact, American Business for Clean Energy tracks nearly 6,000 businesses , both large and small, that support energy and climate legislation. Maybe it’s not such a crazy idea after all.
Tim Juliani is Director of Corporate Engagement