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May 12, 2010

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


Business Leaders Urge Senators to Pass Comprehensive Energy and Climate Legislation


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representatives of We Can Lead, a coalition of more than 150 major U.S. businesses, including NRG Energy, Virgin America, PSEG, Target, eBay and Exelon, today welcomed the introduction of a proposed framework for comprehensive energy and climate legislation, introduced by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT). The framework, titled "The American Power Act", reflects months of bipartisan effort and sets the stage for a national dialogue on America's energy future.

"Passage of comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation will allow the U.S. to be a worldwide leader in the next great global industry, green technologies," said John Doerr, Partner at venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. "This pragmatic framework is crucial to the success of American entrepreneurship and will ensure a cleaner, stronger and more secure future for us all."

"In order for the U.S. to compete in this global economy, there needs to be a price on carbon," said Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President and CEO of PSEG, one of the nation's 10 largest electric companies based in New Jersey. "A price on carbon will level the playing field and give businesses the certainty they need to invest in the new energy economy."

"This framework puts America on a clear pathway to create a vibrant, innovative clean energy economy to lead the next great global industrial revolution," said David Crane, President and CEO of NRG Energy, Inc. which owns and operates over 23,000 megawatts of generation capacity nationwide. "NRG's planned construction of new nuclear generation would employ 6,000 workers and drive billions of dollars in additional American business spend. When this bill becomes law, it will call forth thousands more clean energy projects, right here at home."

"The catastrophic event in the Gulf Coast is a tragedy that serves as a reminder that we need to accelerate our transition to a clean energy economy," said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO and co-founder of Solazyme, Inc., a leading renewable oil and bioproducts company. "This framework will allow companies to continue to develop and bring to scale innovative, low carbon technologies to ensure our country's energy security."

"Senators Kerry and Lieberman are to be commended for their leadership in introducing meaningful climate change legislation, and, in doing so, helping the United States take a major step forward in solving the biggest challenge of our time," said Wayne Leonard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Entergy, a Louisiana-based utility with 2.7 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. "With vital assistance from Senator Graham, Senators Kerry and Lieberman have provided the Senate with an excellent proposal for a comprehensive legislative package that will reduce our country's greenhouse gas emissions."

"Comprehensive energy and climate policy that includes a clear market based price signal for carbon that rewards innovation is key for companies across the country to accelerate our transition to a sustainable clean energy infrastructure and market," said Martin Lagod, Managing Director and co-Founder of Firelake Capital Management LLC. "The leadership of these Senators is critical to our success in bringing to bear investments in new technologies that will create new American jobs."

"The substantive structure provided by Senators Kerry and Lieberman will allow the US Senate to begin the discussion around a long term energy policy - one that strengthens our country by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, creating new American jobs, and supporting energy intensive industries in a smooth transition to the clean energy economy of the future," said Jack Oswald, CEO of SynGest Inc., a clean energy company that makes nitrogen fertilizer from biomass.

We Can Lead is a coalition of more than 150 business leaders - innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, manufacturers and energy providers - from 30 states across the country who support comprehensive, forward-looking energy and climate policies in the United States. Sound energy policies are our best hope towards reclaiming America's competitive mantle as leaders in this next wave of economic growth - while working on climate stability and energy security. Now is the time for action.

About We Can Lead

The We Can Lead campaign is sponsored by the Clean Economy Network and Ceres' Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP). For more on We Can Lead, visit www.wecanlead.org

The Clean Economy Network, Inc. (CEN) is the largest national membership-based networking, educational, and advocacy organization shaping a new economy based on clean technology and innovation. Our members are professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, and researchers who connect to each other, learn information relevant to business and professional growth, and influence public policies that impact the clean economy.

Ceres is the largest coalition of investors, environmental and public interest organizations in North America. Ceres launched the BICEP coalition, whose members include Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, Starbucks, Best Buy Co., Inc., Target Corp., Sun Microsystems, The Timberland Company, Aspen Skiing Company, Clif Bar & Company, eBay, Gap Inc., Jones Lang LaSalle, The North Face, Seventh Generation, Ben and Jerry's, Eileen Fisher, Stonyfield Farm Inc., and Symantec.
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