11 Feb 2010 Following Obama Comments, Corporate and Environmental Special Interests Scramble to Lobby Administration Officials on Global Warming Legislation
Washington, DC – Desperation and panic over the imminent failure of cap-and-trade legislation is driving a new White House lobbying push by special interest groups, according to policy experts at the National Center for Public Research.
Corporate and environmental special interest groups are meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Climate Change Czar Carol Browner this week, spurred by comments by President Obama that the politically-unpopular cap-and-trade requirements might be split from the “green jobs” section of the cap-and-trade bill. Such a change would likely doom the chances of a national law mandating reductions in carbon emissions.
President Obama made the remarks at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire last week.
Obama’s comments follow a series of highly publicized controversies surrounding the quality of science behind claims that industrial activity is causing global warming. Climategate and politicized material in the United Nations’ most recent IPCC report appear to be eroding both political and public support for global warming legislation.
“Elected officials are recognizing that supporting cap-and-trade is a political loser and they are shielding themselves from the shrapnel of the exploding global warming bubble. A recent poll by The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found global warming last on a list of public policy priorities for the president and Congress,” said Deneen Borelli, a fellow with National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network.
“While there are serious questions about the science, there is no doubt that cap-and-trade will lead to higher energy prices, slower economic growth, and additional job losses,” added Deneen Borelli.
GE CEO Jeff Immelt and Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, members of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a coalition that supports cap-and-trade, attended the lobbying sessions.
“Importantly, only a handful of USCAP CEOs participated in the high-level lobbying pitch. It appears the majority of the USCAP CEOs are abandoning the cap-and-trade gambit leaving a handful of CEOs. Since Immelt and Rogers have bet the fortunes of their respective companies on the bill, it seems they are willing to go down with the cap-and-trade ship,” said Tom Borelli, Ph.D., Director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project.
“It’s clear the political winds are blowing against the few active members of USCAP. Immelt and Rogers are serving as poster children for CEOs who failed the political game and put their shareholders in jeopardy,” said Tom Borelli.
Congressional backlash against new global warming laws and/or regulation also includes proposed actions by the EPA. Democratic Congressmen Ike Skelton and Collin Peterson have introduced a bill to strip the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas. Congressional efforts to block the EPA from regulating carbon emissions only adds momentum to the anti-climate change wave moving across the political arena.
“The fact that Democrats are rising against EPA’s regulatory overreach shows the political tide has turned against global warming alarmism. It’s a great sign for liberty,” said Deneen Borelli.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-profit, free-market think-tank established in 1982 and funded primarily by the gifts of over 100,000 recent individual contributors. Less than one percent of funding is received from corporations.