ConocoPhillips bails out of climate coalition

ConocoPhillips announced Tuesday that it is abandoning the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a major coalition of corporations and environmental groups that’s pushing Congress to approve cap-and-trade legislation.

ConocoPhillips, the country’s third-largest oil company, said that the major House and Senate climate change bills would harm oil companies.

“House climate legislation and Senate proposals to date have disadvantaged the transportation sector and its consumers, left domestic refineries unfairly penalized versus international competition, and ignored the critical role that natural gas can play in reducing GHG emissions," CEO Jim Mulva said in a statement announcing that ConocoPhillips would not renew its membership.

"We believe greater attention and resources need to be dedicated to reversing these missed opportunities, and our actions today are part of that effort. Addressing these issues will save thousands of American jobs, as well as create new ones,” he added.

USCAP formed with a big splash in early 2007, uniting major companies such as General Motors and Duke Energy with large environmental groups, including the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Some oil companies in the coalition have expressed concern that House and Senate climate bills would harm refiners, and sought to alter USCAP’s position on the best way to address emissions from gasoline and other fuels.

ConocoPhillips said its decision will allow the company to “better focus its efforts on ensuring fair and equitable treatment of the transportation sector and its consumers and on expanding opportunities for greater near-term GHG reductions through increased use of natural gas.”