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Contact: Angela Bonarrigo, [email protected] or 617-816-9102

Business Leaders Applaud President Obama's Decision to Attend Copenhagen Climate Talks
CEOs from nation's leading electric utilities, consumer giants, manufacturers and clean energy companies applaud administration's announcement and commitment to a new clean energy future

WASHINGTON, D.C.; November 25, 2009 - Business leaders representing a network of over 150 companies from more than 30 states today applauded President Obama's decision to travel to Copenhagen on Dec. 9 to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference and to work with the international community to drive progress toward a comprehensive and operational accord to combat climate change.

An international agreement on climate is essential for creating a level playing field for American businesses and to increase our competitiveness. We are thrilled at President Obama's announcement today that he will travel to Copenhagen to help drive these issues forward," said John Doerr, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. "President Obama's leadership in Copenhagen will send a strong message to the world that America is committed to lead in clean energy."

"I applaud President Obama's travel to Copenhagen, demonstrating the United States' commitment to action on climate change," said Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy. "His presence will help ensure a successful outcome at the global climate talks, driving new investment, strengthening our global economic recovery, and moving us forward in building a productive, competitive economy here at home. The rules that Congress is developing will complement Copenhagen's global road map, supporting our business objectives to provide clean, efficient, affordable and reliable energy to our customers."

"To compete in the global marketplace, US companies need a level playing field when it comes to worldwide energy policy. President Obama's participation in the Copenhagen discussions will take us one step closer to that goal," said David Vieau, President and CEO of A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced lithium ion batteries and battery systems.

"Nothing is more important at the present time than President Obama's attendance and active participation at Copenhagen. His personal vision and steadfast commitment to answer the world wide call for U.S. leadership is essential to reaching a cooperative agreement on the necessary actions to achieve a sustainable environment for all nation and all generations to come,"" said Wayne Leonard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Entergy, a Louisiana-based utility with 2.7 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

"We commend the president for his efforts and leadership as the world strives for agreement on reducing greenhouse gases. Here at home, its critical that Congress act to cap and price carbon emissions while providing financial protection to energy consumers," said Lew Hay, Chairman and CEO of FPL Group. "The U.S. energy sector is ready to lead the world into a low-carbon future, but we need the right price signals to point the way."

"As a global company we enthusiastically support President Obama's presence in Copenhagen with other world leaders," said Tom King, President of National Grid US. "We believe his leadership will positively impact the future of our planet and look forward to Congress acting on comprehensive climate and energy policy in the next few months."

"For companies like SynGest to accelerate the deployment of our clean energy process for making nitrogen fertilizer from biomass will require the establishment of global agreements and commitments on climate change initiatives," said Jack Oswald, CEO of SynGest Inc. "President Obama's leadership is critical to our success."

"The world is watching the U.S. and our actions in the lead-up to Copenhagen. President Obama's decision to travel to Copenhagen sends exactly the right message," said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO of Solazyme, Inc. "In order to speed adoption of new carbon-reducing alternative energy technologies like ours, we need long-term market and regulatory signals that greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced and regulated. The president's attendance and participation in Copenhagen is a strong step in that direction."

Solazyme is a renewable oil production company that uses algal biotechnology to produce low carbon fuels and materials.

"President Obama's decision to participate in Copenhagen will send a strong message that the United States is committed to action on climate change," said Hillary Krane, General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Levi Strauss & Co. "As a US business with operations around the world that will be strongly impacted by climate change, we're grateful for President Obama's leadership on this issue, including working with the US Congress to pass comprehensive climate and energy legislation."

Business leaders from 150 companies from 30 states across the country joined the We Can Lead effort and traveled to Washington in early October to meet with Administration officials and more than 50 members of Congress to urge passage of comprehensive energy and climate legislation. We Can Lead continues to advocate for passage of comprehensive legislation that includes a price on carbon to spur American innovation, unleash U.S. investment, create millions of new jobs in the next energy economy, restore Americas competitiveness and provide for economic and national security.

About We Can Lead

We Can Lead is sponsored by 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

The Clean Economy Network, Inc. (CEN) is the national non-partisan advocacy organization for individuals who support the development of a clean economy. It develops public positions on, and actively engages with policymakers and elected officials to lobby for specific legislative proposals critical to the development and growth of a new 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, 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.