Eight companies in the BICEP coalition, including Aspen Skiing Company have joined with other major firms as signatories to a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal advocating Congressional action now on strong climate and energy legislation.
The ad, slated for the June 10 edition of the Journal, says businesses support both capping and putting a price for the first time ever on the pollution that causes global warming. It says that doing so will drive investment in clean-energy technologies and increase business productivity, while also providing the predictability businesses need to plan. Those benefits would come in addition to the more obvious ones – cleaning up the environment and heading off the worst predicted health and social impacts of pollution-induced climate change.
The ad is the latest evidence of large and growing support across the business community for American action on climate and energy policy this year. Signatories from BICEP – Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy – include Aspen Skiing Company, Clif Bar & Company, eBay, Levi Strauss and Co., Nike, Seventh Generation, Starbucks and Symantec. Three major electric utilities – National Grid in the Northeast, New Jersey's PSEG and California's Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) – also signed. Power companies have some of the biggest direct stakes in climate and energy legislation among businesses since they are major energy suppliers and emitters of carbon pollution, so support from these firms is highly significant.
The climate and energy bill currently making its way through Congress, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, has cleared a House committee but several steps remain.
The legislation addresses not only carbon pollution but energy efficiency and increasing America's renewable energy sources.
Businesses signing the ad say they're worried the U.S. is falling behind the curve in creating the clean energy technologies that will power tomorrow's economy. The ad states that China is currently doubling America's investment in the field; that Germany, Japan and China have taken the lead in the international solar energy market; and that 25 of the top 30 solar, wind and advanced battery manufacturers are now located outside the United States.
Written as a letter to President Obama and Congress, the ad states: "Climate and energy legislation that caps carbon and supports clean energy will keep the inventions here, the companies here, and the newly-created jobs in engineering, manufacturing and installation here in the U.S. The time has come to build this future. It is time for the Administration and Congress to lead the way."
"Climate change is the most significant long term threat to the ski industry," says Matt Hamilton, Sustainability Manager, Aspen Skiing Company. "In the Roaring Fork Valley thousands of people depend upon winter sports to thrive. While the impact on snowsports pails in comparison to the long term consequences of climate change on low-lying nations, agriculture and public health, action by our industry can be a catalyst for encouraging implementation of national polices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We urge Congress to take significant action now to control future emissions."
Mindy Lubber of Ceres, a coalition of investors, businesses and environmental groups that coordinates BICEP, said companies that signed the ad "see the future — that the costs of inaction on climate and energy policy greatly exceed the costs of action. And since we must act they're calling for certainty, certainty about pollution costs that will give them a level playing field in planning how to compete globally.
"These companies see that the best path forward by far – for our prosperity as well as our health and environment — is to hasten America's transition to a clean energy economy."