Bayh goes bye … so do the oil companies

Bottom line: Three big companies quit an influential lobbying group that had focused on shaping climate-change legislation, in the latest sign that support for an ambitious bill is melting away.

Besides the obvious — that climate change fever has subsided — companies are starting to stand up to the President.  Many companies had been bending over to the anti-business policies and rhetoric, hoping to at least minimize their hurt with sweetheart dealing and avert the wrath of the White House’s’  vindictive Chicago thugs. The worm seems to be turning.

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Excerpted from WSJ: Defections Shake Up Climate Coalition, Feb.   17, 2010

Oil giants BP and ConocoPhillips and heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar said Tuesday they won’t renew their membership in the three-year-old U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a broad business-environmental coalition that had been instrumental in building support in Washington for capping emissions of greenhouse gases.

For companies, the shifting political winds have reduced pressure to find common ground, leading them to pursue their own, sometimes conflicting interests.

More than 20 other large companies, including oil company Royal Dutch Shell PLC and industrial heavyweights General Electric Co. and Honeywell International Inc., remain in the coalition with environmental groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund and Natural Resources Defense Council.

But experts said the companies’ decision to withdraw from USCAP is a sign the politics of climate change is shifting in Washington.

When USCAP was founded in 2007, leaders of big U.S. companies had grown concerned that Democrats in Congress were preparing to put strict limits on industrial emissions of heat-trapping gases linked to climate change. Many executives decided it was better to be part of the debate in a united front.

“The saying in Washington is that if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” 

As long as climate legislation appeared imminent, companies were willing to paper over their differences and continue to work together. But by late last year, momentum had stalled in the Senate as Washington turned its attention to health care, the economy and the midterm elections.

Full article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704804204575069440096420212.html

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