U.S. Chamber's Donohue Comments on Climate Change

Monday, September 28, 2009 - 8:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement today in response to questions regarding the U.S. Chamber's position on climate change:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce continues to support strong federal legislation and a binding international agreement to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change.

We believe that in order to succeed, any climate change response must include all major CO2 emitting economies, promote new technologies, emphasize efficiency, ensure affordable energy for families and businesses, and help create American jobs and return our economy to prosperity. The Congress should carefully deliberate on and enact legislation that meets these goals.

We also have called upon the United States to join with other nations to negotiate a new international agreement that sets binding CO2 reduction commitments for each nation, while allowing each to devise its own best path to meeting its target.

These are mainstream, commonsense views that are shared by a broad majority of the American people, the business community, and a growing number of Democrat and Republican legislators.

Furthermore, we believe that Congress should set climate change policy through legislation, rather than having the EPA apply existing environmental statutes that were not created to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. This is also the stated position of the President and Congressional leaders. If determined to proceed on its own, EPA should publicly present its finding and answer questions on the limited studies it cited, in keeping with the President's pledge of transparency.

We oppose the Waxman-Markey bill because it is neither comprehensive nor international, and it falls short on moving renewable and alternative technologies into the marketplace and enabling our transition to a lower carbon future. It would also impose carbon tariffs on goods imported into the United States, a move that would almost certainly spur retaliation from global trading partners.

Some in the environmental movement claim that, because of our opposition to a specific bill or approach, we must be opposed to all efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, or that we deny the existence of any problem. They are dead wrong. The Chamber has in its public documents, Hill letters and testimony, as well as dozens of concrete policy recommendations, supported efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere while keeping our economy healthy.

We have vigorously supported the production and use of renewable and alternative energy. We have repeatedly supported tax incentives and credits, appropriations, and stimulus funding to promote the accelerated development of new technologies. We are leading the fight to clear the regulatory, legal and Not-In-My-Backyard roadblocks that are currently delaying promising wind, solar, nuclear, and other renewable or emissions-free energy projects across the nation.

The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

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