Hundreds of businesses promote climate rule to governors

A sustainability group, along with 365 companies and businesses, is telling governors around the country to support President Obama’s upcoming rule governing power plant carbon emissions.

In a letter sent to governors, the companies said the forthcoming Clean Power Plan rules are “critical for moving our country toward a clean energy economy.” They said the governors should comply with the rule and find ways to meet the emission reduction goals the plan will lay out for states.

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“The plan’s flexible approach provides an exciting opportunity for states to customize their own energy portfolio, expand clean energy solutions, attract new industries to the state, and create thousands of jobs,” the letter said.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to release its Clean Power Plan as early as next week. The landmark rule, a cornerstone of Obama’s climate change agenda, will look to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030. 

The letter, from sustainability group Ceres, went to 29 governors. Companies signing the letter included Fortune 500 firms General Mills, eBay and Staples, as well as local businesses. Ceres said businesses in all 50 states are represented on the list, representing more than 340,000 employees and $350 billion in annual revenue. 

“Clear and consistent policies can send market signals that help businesses and investors plan for the future,” the letter said. “We are seeking long-term policies that provide businesses the certainty needed to transition to a clean energy economy.” 

Ceres’s letter is the latest example of green groups and environmental officials tapping the private sector to make the case for action on climate change.

Thirteen major companies signed a White House pledge this week to focus on green policies ahead of a climate conference scheduled for later this year in an effort to show private sector support for a greenhouse gas treaty. 

Ceres sent Friday’s letter to a handful of governors who have signaled their opposition to the Clean Power Plan, including those in Wisconsin, Kentucky and Texas.