The flurry of companies quitting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is highlighting how the climate-change issue is straining traditional alliances in Washington, as some businesses seek to profit from overhauling the energy market and others try to cut deals to head off tougher regulation.
Some companies and industry groups that have in the past worked with Republicans to fight efforts to curb the use of fossil fuels -- such as Detroit's auto makers -- are now expressing support for action on climate change. Some support legislation to put a price on the carbon-dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming, while others support preserving the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate such greenhouse gases.
The Chamber of Commerce says it supports efforts to fight climate change through federal investments and incentives for power that can be produced without emitting carbon dioxide. But the group has opposed proposals to require companies to pay for the right to emit carbon.
The Chamber, which says it represents three million businesses, says its positions are "mainstream, common-sense views" approved by a majority of more than 100 business leaders who sit on its board of directors.
Some companies -- such as Peabody Energy and ConocoPhillips -- have spoken out against climate legislation passed by the House of Representatives. Others -- such as General Electric Co. and Duke Energy Corp. -- have expressed support for it.
Many companies backing action on climate change stand to gain if the U.S. requires corporations to pay for the right to emit carbon dioxide.
Time to dust off our new favorite phrase: “If you are not at the table then you are on the menu”.
We look forward, though, to seeing how greenies and libs deal with the 800 lb. gorilla in the room.
Exelon, the nation's biggest nuclear-plant operator by output, says it sees an annual upside to its revenue of about $1.1 billion if climate legislation approved by the House in June is enacted. Because nuclear plants don't spew carbon dioxide, their operators wouldn't have to pay for the right to emit such gases, giving them an edge over competitors that burn fossil fuels.
Exelon notes that it has spent billions of dollars over the years to reduce its carbon footprint, by investing in nuclear power, and that it decided years ago to sell most of its coal-powered plants.
Because nothing says alternative and carbon dioxide-less like nuclear power, right, guys? Guys?