Nike, IKEA join 221 companies in backing EPA’s climate rule

Major sportswear retailer Nike and furniture giant IKEA are backing the administration’s landmark climate rule on carbon pollution from existing power plants.

They aren’t alone: the retailers were joined by 221 businesses across the U.S. in a letter sent to President Obama on Tuesday to mark the end of the administration’s comment period on the standards.

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The letter, circulated by the research firm Ceres and the Carbon Disclosure Project, was signed by manufacturers, technology firms, apparel makers and more.

"As businesses concerned about the immediate and long-term implications of climate change, we strongly support the principles behind the draft Carbon Pollution Standard for existing power plants,” the letter, signed by Nestle, Levi Strauss & Co, and Starbucks, states.

A main point of contention surrounding the rule is the potential for it to increase electricity prices. Republicans argue the standards would drive out fuel sources that are “reliable and affordable” and harm the grid.

The businesses contend that the regulation, which requires the nation’s fleet of existing plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, is “grounded in economic reality.”

The companies applauded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allowing states flexibility in implementing the proposed standards, and the administration’s push toward renewable energy.

“Increasingly, businesses rely on renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions to improve corporate performance and cut costs,” the letter states.

The EPA plans to finalize the controversial rule, which the coal industry has vowed to fight in court, by the summer of next year.