When it comes to the climate, corporate talk is very cheap, as Business Week reminds us. Who in the climate community wasn’t excited with the announcement a year ago by a bunch of big companies launching the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP):
A diverse group of U.S.-based businesses and leading environmental organizations today called on the federal government to quickly enact strong national legislation to achieve significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. The group said any delay in action to control emissions increases the risk of unavoidable consequences that could necessitate even steeper reductions in the future.
OK, we were a bit suspicious when they let General “total crock of shit” Motors in.
But still they embraced stabilization at “at a carbon dioxide equivalent level between 450-550 parts per million” and a cut of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions of 10% to 30% within 15 years of enactment and 60% to 80% by 2050!
Now we learn from Business Week that “Despite their eco-rhetoric, some USCAP members are supporting efforts to undermine restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions.” Every silver lining has a cloud of pollution:
Three high-profile USCAP members–General Electric, Caterpillar, and Alcoa–also sit on the board of the Center for Energy & Economic Development (CEED), an Alexandria (Va.) group formed in 1992 that opposes regulations on greenhouse-gas emissions. In April, 2007, CEED’s board unanimously signed a position paper that, in part, described as “draconian” one federal climate bill that would require a 65% reduction in emissions by 2050….
And seven months after the launch of USCAP, seven months after Duke CEO James E. Rogers endorsed the USCAP’s efforts saying, “The science of climate warming is clear. We must act now.”
Duke joined Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC), a group hatched by CEED in 2000 that advocates expanded coal use. ABEC has tripled its budget this year, to $35 million, and is mounting campaigns to support construction of coal plants in several states
Duke itself is building two coal plants, even though, as Businessweek itself points out, “More coal-fired power plants would make USCAP’s proposals almost impossible to achieve.”
Time for the environmental groups who are part of USCAP — this means you NRDC and ED — to tell the member companies to practice what they preach or get out. To paraphrase Harry Truman, if you can’t stand the heat, stop warming the damn planet!