DuPont, others call for mandatory emissions law

22 January 2007 19:27  [Source: ICIS news]

Some US firms seek emissions caps lawWASHINGTON (ICIS news)--DuPont joined nine other major industries and four environmental groups on Monday in calling on Congress to impose this year a stringent, mandatory greenhouse gas emissions control programme in the US.


DuPont president and chief executive Chad Holliday along with representatives of other manufacturing firms, electric utilities and energy companies said Congress should act quickly to implement a mandatory control system with a carbon cap-and-trade programme as its cornerstone.


Other industry representatives included top executives from Alcoa Corp., BP America, Caterpillar Inc., Duke Energy, General Electric and PG&E Corp.


“Climate change is a serious issue that has to be addressed through concrete action,” Holliday said.


Other than calling for a mandatory cap-and-trade system, the industry and environmental coalition, called the US Climate Action Partnership (USCap), did not propose or endorse any specific legislative measures.


Instead, the group called on Congress to pass a carbon emissions control law that would recognize the global nature of climate change, the importance of potential technological responses and the potential for economic opportunity and advantage in a mandatory emissions control programme.


The group also said any legislative response by Congress “must be fair to sectors disproportionately impacted” by a mandatory limit on carbon emissions.


Under a cap-and-trade system, the federal government would grant individual companies specific carbon emissions licenses that would limit or cap the amount of carbon they could release to the environment annually.  Those companies who emitted less carbon than allowed could sell carbon credits on the open market to those firms that exceed their carbon allotments.


Asked whether a mandatory emissions control system would perhaps harm the US chemicals industry by driving up electric power costs and increasing demand and costs for natural gas, Holliday said the plan recognizes that some industrial sectors might be hit harder than others.


“We think there are unique regional and industrial sectors that must be taken into account by Congress,” Holliday said.  He said, however, that a mandatory cap-and-trade system would help stimulate technological advances - such as carbon capture and storage - that would help meet needs of industry and the environment.


Holliday also said a mandatory emissions programme should be accompanied by greater access to US domestic energy resources, including development of more offshore oil and gas fields.  “I am convinced that we can open more offshore areas to energy development in an environmentally safe way,” he said.

By: Joe Kamalick
+1 713 525 2653

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