Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Senate Hearing On U.S. Climate Action Partnership

Feb 13: The Senate Environment and Pubic Works Committee, Chaired by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) held a hearing on the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (US-CAP) Report. On January 22, the new alliance was launched [See WIMS 1/22/07] and includes the well-known corporations: Alcoa, BP America, Caterpillar, Duke Energy, DuPont, Florida Power & Light, General Electric, Lehman Brothers, Pacific Gas & Electric, and PNM Resources; and environmental organizations: Environmental Defense, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Natural Resources Defense Council and the World Resources Institute. The group is calling for a cap-and-trade system to combat climate change and says its "historic proposal" is "A Call to Action," that urges the Federal government to set limits for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and create market-based incentives.

Witnesses testifying at the hearing included representatives from: Dupont; Competitive Enterprise Institute; World Resources Institute; Friedman Billings Ramsey & Company, Inc; PG&E Corporation; Continental Resources, Inc.; and BP America.

Senator Boxer said, “I want to thank these companies for agreeing to a roadmap to address the global warming challenge. This is one of those moments in history when all sides are coming together for the common good. Now the political will needs to coalesce as well. These leading corporations have said that dealing with climate change will create economic opportunities, new markets and new technologies. As business leaders that successfully compete in national and worldwide markets, they should know. I continue to believe we should approach this problem with hope and not fear. I am an optimist, and I believe we can solve this problem, and that in doing so, we will be better for it in every way.”

Ranking Member, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) issued a statement saying, "...the subject of the day is mandatory carbon cap and trade. More and more, companies that wish to profit on the backs of consumers are coming out of the woodwork to endorse climate proposals in the hope of forcing customers to buy their unnecessary products or to penalize their competitors. Some companies are coming together in an attempt to profit from government intervention where they have failed in the marketplace... These companies will gain market-share against their competitors while the economy flattens and jobs are sent to China... These proposals [cap and trade] will do little and cost much. Moreover, as White House spokesman Tony Snow stated last week, 'there is a carbon cap system in place in Europe, we are doing a better job of reducing emissions here.'"

Access the hearing website for links to the testimony and a webcast (
click here). Access a release from Senator Boxer (click here). Access a release from Senator Inhofe (click here). [*Climate]