American Sustainable Business Council supports EPA carbon standard

Washington, D.C., March 28, 2012 — A group of business organizations representing over 125,000 businesses across the country issued the following statement expressing strong appreciation for the Environmental Protection Agency's new carbon pollution standard for new power plants.

The statement, signed by the American Sustainable Business Council, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and Main Street Alliance, reads as follows:

"As organizations with members who hail from all sectors of the U.S. economy, we are pleased to see that the EPA has released, for public comment, its much anticipated proposal to limit industrial carbon pollution from new power plants under the Clean Air Act.

"We represent a diverse set of business interests who support the implementation of strong federal clean air standards. Our partnering businesses range in size from Fortune 500 companies to the small businesses that make up the backbone of the economy and constitute more than 125,000 businesses and more than 300,000 individual business leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors.

"As representatives of the business community, we understand the importance of certainty and clear market signals and believe a national standard to reduce carbon pollution from new power plants will both clarify risks and opportunities for U.S. businesses, while also leading to technological innovation and investment in the domestic clean energy market. Investing in cleaner technologies and more efficient resources can be a pathway to profit and prosperity, boosting economic growth and creating jobs while also providing competitive returns to investors. We look forward to reviewing the proposal and identifying opportunities for increased investment in innovative low and no-carbon technologies as well as new energy infrastructure and energy efficiency.

"For example, the U.S. electric sector is one of the most capital-intensive industries in the country, routinely investing between $80 and $110 billion per year on capital infrastructure projects. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that for every $1 million of investment in a construction project 11 new jobs are created.

"For an infrastructure project requiring $200 million worth of investment, this equates to 2,200 jobs. When multiplied by dozens of projects around the country, an investment in clean energy infrastructure becomes a meaningful step towards economic recovery and growth. EPA's proposal, once finalized, will help create the necessary market drivers for this kind of investment.

"Furthermore, we reject efforts to undermine EPA's authority to fulfill its legal obligation to develop and implement clean air standards under the CAA. Derailing or delaying such standards leads to increased uncertainty and undermines the potential for capital investment and economic growth, weakening the opportunities presented to U.S. businesses by the growing $243 billion global clean energy market.

"If we intend to grow the economy, we need to use all the tools at our disposable to encourage the transition to a clean energy economy. Today's release and announcement by EPA to limit industrial carbon pollution from new power plants under the Clean Air Act is a strong step in the right direction."

The ASBC is a coalition of business networks and businesses committed to advancing a new vision, framework and policies that support a vibrant, equitable and sustainable economy. The council brings together the business perspective, experience and political will and strength to stimulate our economy, benefit our communities and preserve our environment.

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