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Giving Congress the Business - Corporate Bigwigs Take Clean Energy Case to DC

October 9, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representatives of more than 150 companies, including heavy-hitters from Nevada, are visiting lawmakers on Capitol Hill about clean energy and climate change legislation pending in the U.S. Senate. The We Can Lead coalition of energy companies, consumer businesses and manufacturers is assuring senators that they consider the legislation as important for the economy, as well as the environment.

Peter Molinaro, is government affairs vice president for Dow Chemical Company, the nation's largest chemical company and provider of heat transfer fluid for the world's third largest solar power plant - Nevada Solar One. He says comprehensive energy and climate legislation offers a game plan for businesses, whether they are electric utilities, coal companies, consumer businesses or clean energy product manufacturers.

"It's kind of a strange-bedfellows story. Large companies, small companies, environmental groups are all recognizing the problem and trying to work together to solve it."

The We Can Lead coalition of business leaders says the climate measure pending in the Senate could create 1.7 million new jobs, with 11,000 jobs for Nevada. Science-based companies such as Dow are convinced climate change is an urgent issue, says Molinaro.

"We look at the science of climate change and we say that there is a preponderance of the evidence this problem is real. And, when you see a problem that has a weight of evidence like this, we want to try to solve it."

While some critics of climate and energy legislation say it would raise prices on anything that uses energy, Molinaro argues to the contrary, referring to research that estimates New York households could save approximately $250 a year by 2020.

"We believe there are a lot of cost-effective opportunities out there for people to reduce the cost of energy and reduce their carbon footprint."

Opponents of the proposed new regulations say they would balloon the deficit, send jobs overseas to countries that do not enact carbon rules, and put the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage.

The Senate is considering the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, while the U.S. House already has passed its version of the bill.




Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV