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U.S. Corporations Quit Climate-change Lobby
Three major U.S. corporations have withdrawn from a highly influential climate-change lobbying group, and political pundits say their departure sounds the death-knell for cap-and-trade legislation in the Senate.
Over the past two weeks, two oil companies, BP America and ConocoPhillips, and Caterpillar, Inc., a large equipment manufacturer, dropped out of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (US CAP), one of the strongest advocates of cap-and-trade legislation on Capitol Hill. Withdrawal of the three corporate giants reduces US CAP membership to 28.
ConocoPhillips chairman and CEO, Jim Mulva, explained his company's decision, stating, "House climate legislation and Senate proposals to date have disadvantaged the transportation sector and its consumers, left domestic refineries unfairly penalized versus international competition, and ignored the critical role that natural gas can play in reducing GHG [green-house gas] emissions." The company says it plans to focus its energies on expanding natural-gas production and ensuring legislation does not disadvantage domestic refineries or cost U.S. jobs.
A spokesman for BP America echoed Mulva's criticism. In an interview with the Washington Post, Ronnie Chappell said US CAP had accomplished its purpose of establishing a blueprint for climate-change legislation, and it was time for his company to move on. Cappell explained, "We don't think legislation pending in the House or Senate conforms with that blueprint. A disproportionate share of the cost burden falls on the transportation sector and consumers." He predicted current Senate proposals, if passed, will cause refineries to close, thereby increasing U.S. dependence on imports and driving up unemployment rates.
Read more: The New American