Big Business Gets Behind the Climate Bill
Photo via Los Angeles
Looks like big business has finally got the memo that climate and energy reform is rife with opportunity. Two separate groups of some of the nation's largest companies are heading to Capitol Hill with a pro-climate bill message--and seven figure advertising budgets to help spread that message. The coalitions include companies like GE, Johnson & Johnson, HP, eBay, the Gap, and many others--and they're pushing for speedy action on climate legislation? Could environmentalists have found a powerful ally in a group of Fortune 500 companies?Seems so. According to Politico,
in a new open letter to President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate, two dozen major brands -- ranging from eBay to HP to Gap to PG&E; -- declare: "We are business leaders from companies of all sizes and many sectors calling for your leadership. We call on you to enact comprehensive legislation. ... Now it's time for the United States Senate to act."In order to help the coalition put their money where their mouth is, the umbrella business group We Can Lead is "swarming" Capitol Hill with 150 business leaders from utility companies and the clean energy industry this week. They've booked 35 lobbying meetings, are dining with Energy Secretary Stephen Chu and Agriculture Secretary Ken Salazar, and the CEOs will hold a press conference trumpeting their message: that a climate bill is good for the earth, and good for business. And that the Senate should act to pass the climate bill just introduced there.
28 companies and labor and green groups -- including United Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, GE, Weyerhauser, the Nature Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Action Fund -- are launching a seven-figure advertising campaign "in support of comprehensive clean energy and climate change legislation.Hopefully, this will help change the preconception that businesses are against climate legislation because of the costs (which, indeed, are minimal). These are some pretty powerful groups making a very public proclamation--and perhaps those individuals still worried about a climate bill for financial reasons will have some of their fears allayed in seeing some of the most recognizable faces in business support the findings that say energy reform will be good for the economy.
Maybe they'll listen to Nike's CEO, who just removed her company from the board of directors of the US Chamber of Commerce because of their opposition to climate action, when she says: "Clearly, there are going to be winners and losers, as there are in all these things. But I think, ultimately, it's going to be good for the majority of businesses. And it can only be a good thing to get engaged on energy efficiency. I think it's going to be good for consumers, too."
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