WASHINGTON (February 17, 2009) -- The Western Business Roundtable’s (WBRT) report released today mischaracterizes the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), according to experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Following is statement by Ned Farquhar, Western Energy Expert for the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“The Western Business Roundtable’s report misreads the Western Climate Initiative and ignores the West’s potential to drive job growth and economic opportunity with renewable energy and energy efficiency. America’s West is the world’s greatest center of technological and scientific innovation and is packed with wind, solar, and geothermal energy potential. It also stands to bear the worst impacts of global warming -- drought, wildfire, coastal erosion, storms -- if current trends continue.
“Western states have led efforts to tackle global warming for many years and created the WCI because they recognize the importance of preventing climate disaster. This includes putting a firm limit on global warming pollution and creating a market that rewards smart companies for real reductions. The WBRT recommendations would only lead to further delays that would be a Detroit-style, head-in-the-sand accommodation of business as usual.
“Climate change is not going to wait, and Westerners -- from California to Montana and Washington to New Mexico— aren’t going to hide from the future. Fortunately, leaders in Washington are also poised to follow this path and take on the challenge of global warming.”
The WBRT is an organization funded by big energy companies that aggressively supports and lobbies for the fossil fuel energy sector and extractive uses of public land throughout the West.
The WCI is a collaboration of seven U.S. governors and four Canadian Premiers created to identify, evaluate, and implement collective and cooperative ways to reduce greenhouse gases in the region, focusing on a market-based cap-and-trade system.