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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BICEP Companies and Major U.S. Utilities Call on Senate for Leadership and Swift Action on Climate & Energy

With Copenhagen talks looming, key businesses encourage efforts by Kerry, Lieberman, Graham and offer support to Senate leadership

December 4, 2009 – As world leaders prepare to meet in Copenhagen to strike a global deal on climate change, member companies of Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), along with seven major power companies, expressed concern today about the delay in passing U.S. climate and energy legislation and applauded ongoing efforts by Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman to create a new bipartisan bill.
WASHINGTON DC Dec 04, 2009

As world leaders prepare to meet in Copenhagen to strike a global deal on climate change,  member companies of Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), along with seven major power companies, expressed concern today about the delay in passing U.S. climate and energy legislation and applauded ongoing efforts by Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman to create a new bipartisan bill. The letter, which included the statement below, was delivered this morning to Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell:

    “While we are pleased with the action the House of Representatives took earlier this year, we have concerns about the potential delay in moving legislation forward in the Senate.   We view the latest bipartisan discussions by Senators Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman as critical to action, and we write to offer our complete support.”

 

“The message from these respected businesses is clear: Put a price on carbon and get the rules right. The cost of policy inaction is too high.” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a leading coalition of investors and environmental groups and coordinator of BICEP. "I hope the Senate takes this letter seriously and appreciates their support and commitment to strong climate and energy action from Congress.”

Starbucks director of Environmental Impact Jim Hanna said, “Climate change poses a very real threat to businesses like Starbucks that rely on agricultural products. We’re pleased about recent bipartisan developments in the Senate, led by Senators Kerry and Graham, and urge leadership to advance comprehensive climate change legislation in the near term.”

The letter is a welcome sign to the Obama Administration and Senate members heading to Copenhagen next week, demonstrating continued U.S. business commitment to a comprehensive climate and energy bill despite the Senate’s delay in passing a bill.

“By focusing on fears of economic harm, Congress is losing sight of economic opportunities that will drive global commerce in the 21st century,” said Gary Hirshberg, President of Stonyfield Farm.  “Other countries will beat us to the punch in taking advantage of those opportunities, so the longer Congress delays, the greater the harm to U.S. business competitiveness.”

While most of the signatories are members of BICEP, a climate and energy policy coalition organized by Ceres, many others including Florida Power & Light, National Grid and Pacific Gas & Electric have been deeply engaged in the federal climate and energy debate from the start. The following companies are signatories to the letter.

Signatories:

  • Aspen Skiing Company
  • Austin Energy
  • Avista Corporation
  • Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc.
  • Clif Bar & Company
  • Eileen Fisher, Inc.
  • Exelon Corporation
  • Florida Power & Light Co.
  • Gap, Inc.
  • Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.
  • Levi Strauss & Co.
  • National Grid USA
  • Nike, Inc.
  • PG&E Corporation
  • PSEG, Inc.
  • Seventh Generation, Inc.
  • Starbucks Corporation
  • Stonyfield Farm, Inc.
  • Sun Microsystems, Inc.
  • Symantec Corporation
  • The Timberland Company

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