Tuesday, March 18, 2008

American Manufacturing Speaks Out For Climate Change Action

Mar 17: Chief executives from top American manufacturing companies are taking to the airwaves in an unprecedented national advertising campaign that calls on Congress to drive economic growth with a cap on global warming pollution. The ad, sponsored by Environmental Defense Action Fund (EDF), features the CEOs of two respected American brands -- Robert Lane of Deere & Co. and Alexander M. “Sandy” Cutler of Eaton Corp. -- along with Frank Knapp, president of the 5,000-member South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.

Together they say solving climate change is an opportunity to jumpstart the U.S. economy, and that America can own the energy technologies that will power the 21st Century if Congress acts quickly. Amid a heated national debate over job losses, the business leaders point to the job-creating power of a national cap on global warming pollution.

Sandy Cutler, chairman and chief executive officer of Eaton, a Cleveland, Ohio-based diversified industrial manufacturer with 70,000 employees worldwide said, "We joined this effort because green is not only good for the environment, it's also good business. This ad tells the real story about climate change: American companies can lead the way and win the race for new technologies and the jobs that come with them if Congress acts now."

Frank Knapp Jr., of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce said, "Small business entrepreneurs are ready to be turned loose on developing new energy technologies and conservation efforts. We're just waiting for the federal government to open the gate. It's not just about creating a new industry and jobs, it's also about protecting our existing businesses and employees from the negative impact of global warming."

The ad campaign launches as Congress approaches a critical juncture in the climate change debate: the Senate is expected to vote on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act (S. 2191), which would substantially reduce U.S. emissions through an emissions cap and trade system. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee favorably reported the bill on December 5, 2007 [See WIMS 12/6/08]. On March 14, 2008, U.S. EPA released a preliminary analysis of the Climate Security Act which Senator Lieberman said, ". . . indicates that the U.S. can curb global warming without sacrificing economic prosperity." The House is expected to begin debating a similar plan next month, increasing the odds that Congress will enact a cap this year [See WIMS 2/26/08].

David Yarnold, president of Environmental Defense Action Fund said, “When corporate leaders openly ask Congress to pass a major environmental law, you know it’s critical to our economic future. These companies want Congress to act now for the economy’s sake. The environmental imperative is clear, and the CEOs in this ad know the economic reality better than anyone. Congress has a common-sense plan that works for both, and an opportunity to get it done in 2008. There is no time for delay.” The ad begins running today in dozens of key congressional districts across the country and in Washington, DC.

Access a release from EDF (
click here). Access the ad spot online (click here). [*Climate]