WASHINGTON Jan 30 Forty industry groups
launched a new partnership on Thursday to form a "unified
strategy" to respond to forthcoming federal regulations
targeting carbon emissions from the country's fleet of power
plants and other carbon-intensive facilities.
Led by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy,
the group will lobby local, state and national lawmakers and
educate the public about what they believe will be the economic
impact of future regulation.
NAM President and chief executive officer Jay Timmons and
other members of the Partnership for a Better Energy Future said
President Barack Obama's climate action plan, which will target
domestic emissions through executive actions, such as power
plant emission standards, aims to completely eliminate fossil
fuels from the U.S. economy.
"To remain competitive in a global economy, manufacturers
need an 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy to ensure they have
access to affordable and reliable energy," Timmons said in a
Obama touted what he said was a successful energy approach
in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, saying the
strategy has enabled an expansion of natural gas and oil
production while driving a decline in greenhouse gas emissions.
"The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few
years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy
independence than we've been in decades," he said.
The members of the partnership, as well as some
environmental groups, have been wary of the administration's
Industry groups have said Obama's version of an
"all-of-the-above" approach does not incorporate all energy
sources, since regulations being drafted by the Environmental
Protection Agency will effectively drive coal out of the U.S.
Environmental groups, meanwhile, wrote a letter to Obama's
new policy adviser, John Podesta, this month to complain that
the "all-of-the-above" approach does not encourage greater use
of renewable energy.
Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy, said the new
coalition will ramp up the individual efforts of its members.
"While each of the many organizations that are part of this
new partnership will continue to work with our own grassroots
networks and memberships, this broad coalition will enable us to
amplify and unify our efforts here in Washington and across the
country," she said.
The EPA is due in June to publish a proposal to set carbon
emissions standards for the country's existing fleet of power
plants, which each state must carry out with individually
"We can address pollution without threatening energy
reliability and without significantly increasing energy costs.
That's our job. That's what we're going to do. Carbon pollution
is not different than any other pollutant we have regulated
under the Clean Air Act," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said
(Additional reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Meredith