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Over 80 U.S. Companies Call on President Obama & Congress to Enact Comprehensive Climate and Energy Legislation
January 21, 2009 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - More than 80 leading CEOs from U.S. businesses, including Exelon, Virgin America, NRG Energy, eBay and PG&E, sent a letter to President Obama and members of Congress today calling on them to move quickly to enact comprehensive climate and energy legislation that will create jobs and enhance U.S. competitiveness.
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Saying that the U.S. is "falling behind" in the global clean energy race, the letter calls for forceful leadership to achieve legislation that will unleash innovation, drive economic growth, boost energy independence and decrease our carbon emissions. The letter comes just one week before President Obama delivers his State of the Union address on January 27th.
"American businesses recognize this challenge and have already begun to respond and innovate. However, today's uncertainty surrounding energy and climate regulation is hindering the large-scale actions that American businesses are poised to make," the letter states. "We need strong policies and clear market signals that support the transition to a low-carbon economy and reward companies that innovate. It is time for the Administration and Congress to embrace this policy as the promising economic opportunity that will empower American workers to compete and American entrepreneurship to lead the way."
The letter was signed by 83 CEOs from some of the nation's largest electric power, manufacturing, clean tech, technology and consumer facing companies. To view the full text and the list of signatories please go to: http://www.wecanlead.org
"The United States can't afford to fall behind in the global race to lead the new energy economy," said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO of Solazyme, a leading renewable oil and bioproducts company. "American businesses have a history of leadership and innovation and are poised to do that in a new clean energy economy."
"Power companies need and want to be part of America's clean energy transition," said David Crane, president and CEO of NRG Energy Inc., which owns and operates more than 24,000 megawatts of electricity generation capacity in the U.S. "But we need the certainty of clear rules and strong policies that will help us invest in that transition while also addressing climate change and keeping power affordable."
"The same inventive solutions that will help the environment will also help move the airline industry forward," said David Cush, president and CEO of Virgin America, a U.S. commercial passenger airline. "Big challenges have historically propelled more innovation and greater efficiencies. Strong climate and energy policies can be that challenge - one from which we will all emerge stronger."
"Smart businesses can only do so much on their own to address climate change," said Stonyfield Farm CEO Gary Hirshberg. "At this point, the rules need to change: there needs to be a price or tax on carbon. This incentive for genuine innovation needs to be firmly in place in order for the US to compete effectively in the global race to a clean energy economy."
Peter A. Darbee, Chairman, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation said, "As the country looks to ways to support job creation, promote economic growth, and improve energy and national security, it's clear to leading businesses that smart, sensible energy and climate policies can and should be part of the solution. We are asking leaders to recognize this opportunity and make it a reality."
About We Can Lead
Business leaders from 150 companies from 30 states across the country joined the We Can Lead effort and traveled to Washington in early October 2009 to meet with Administration officials and more than 50 members of Congress to urge passage of comprehensive energy and climate legislation. We Can Lead advocates for passage of strong energy and climate legislation that includes a price on carbon to spur American innovation, unleash U.S. investment, create millions of new jobs, restore America's competitiveness and provide for economic and national security.
We Can Lead is a partnership of the Clean Economy Network, Inc. and Ceres' Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP). For more on We Can Lead, visit www.wecanlead.org