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April 13, 2010

Contact: Angela Bonarrigo, 617-816-9102 or [email protected]
or Michael Meehan, 202-280-6770 or [email protected]

Business Leaders Put Pressure on Senators to Enact Comprehensive Climate and Clean Energy Legislation Upon Return to Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In coordination with the We Can Lead campaign, a project of Clean Economy Network (CEN) and CERES, over 200 businesses in targeted states around the country called on key Senators including Bayh, Brown, Lugar, Warner, Alexander, and Webb to pass clean energy and climate legislation upon return to Washington D.C. In the letters to Senators the business leaders highlighted the economic and job creation benefits of national climate and energy legislation.

"Today, the United States is falling behind in the global race to lead the new clean energy economy," they said in the letter. "In order for American business to unleash a new industrial revolution in energy, we need cooperative and coordinated action in the public policy and business arenas. We are ready to compete in the global marketplace, and we urge you to act so that we can win the race for a new clean energy economy. We stand ready to work with you to build this vital and growing economic sector."

Over the past two weeks while Members of Congress have been in their home states, business leaders kept the pressure on targeted Senators through local business summits, Editorial Board meetings with local and regional papers and tours of clean energy facilities in Senator's home states. Local businesses called on their Senators to give "thoughtful consideration" to the pragmatic, bipartisan proposal put together by Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) on comprehensive energy and climate legislation that is set to be rolled out in the coming weeks.

"It is critical that Senators take back to Washington what they are hearing from business leaders while at home during the spring recess - give thoughtful consideration to the bipartisan proposal put together by Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman and work together to pass a comprehensive climate and energy bill," said Jeff Anderson, Executive Director of the Clean Economy Network. "We urge the Senate to work in a bipartisan fashion to realize the positive impact that this legislation will have in cutting our dependence on foreign oil spending, driving investment to energy that is made in America and creating much needed jobs here at home."

"Business leaders have made it clear to our representatives in Congress that we need strong energy legislation quickly in order to create jobs and accelerate the economic recovery as well as to establish a long-term commitment to energy security and global competitiveness in the emerging green economy," said Herman Bulls, CEO of Public Institutions at Jones Lang LaSalle, a global real estate services firm. "It is our hope that Senators across the political spectrum understand the urgency of this need and will work together on the passage of a bill to reduce carbon emissions, enhance our domestic energy independence, and put the American people to work at developing new technologies and energy efficiency strategies."

"Energy is the largest industry, by revenue, in the world. It represents the next breakout technology sector," said Rose Lige, chief financial officer for Garyƕs Wynter Power Services, LLC, a full-service energy management company located in Indiana. "Clean energy technology will do for energy what IT has done for information and communications - grow jobs and spur innovation." To see all the letters and the 209 businesses that are pushing for comprehensive energy and climate legislation please visit: http://wecanlead.org/newsroom/april_letters/

About We Can Lead

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 wecanlead.org

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