January 23, 2007 — By H. Josef Hebert, Associated
WASHINGTON -- The chief executives of 10 major
organizations, on the eve of the State of the Union
address, urged President Bush on Monday to support
mandatory reductions in climate-changing pollution and
establish reductions targets.
"We can and must take prompt action to establish a
coordinated, economy-wide market-driven approach to
climate protection," the executives from a broad range
of industries said in a letter to the president.
Bush, who in the past has rejected mandatory controls
on carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse" gases, was
expected to address climate change in his State of the
Union speech Tuesday night, but has repeatedly argued
that voluntary efforts are the best approach.
Major industry groups such as the Chamber of Commerce
and National Association of Manufacturers continue to
oppose so-called "cap and trade" proposals to cut
climate changing pollution, mainly carbon dioxide from
burning fossil fuels.
But the 10 executives, representing major utilities,
aluminum and chemical companies and financial
institutions, said mandatory reductions are needed and
that "the cornerstone of this approach" should be a
The officials, expected to elaborate on their plan at
a news conference later Monday, include the chief
executives Alcoa Inc., PB America, DuPont, Caterpillar
Inc., General Electric, and Duke Energy.
In the letter they urged Congress to enact legislation
"to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
The first days of the new Democratically controlled
Congress has seen a rush of legislation introduced to
address climate change, all of which have some
variation of a cap-and-trade approach to dealing with
Among those pushing cap-and-trade climate bills are
two leading presidential aspirants, Sens. Barack,
D-Ill. and John McCain, R-Ariz.
Essentially such a mechanisms would have mandatory
limits of greenhouse gas emissions, but would allow
companies to trade emission credits to reduce the
cost. Companies that can't meet the cap could purchase
credits from those that exceed them or in some case
from a government auction.
Also signing the letter to Bush were the executives of
Lehman Brothers, PG&E Corp., PNM Resources, FPL Group
and four leading environmental organizations.
Source: Associated Press