Monthly Archives: October 2009

LessCarbonMoreJobs Welcomes Texas

Our groundbreaking web site,, now has 22 states on it.

A new map of clean energy companies in Texas was unveiled yesterday. It shows about 150 businesses working in energy efficiency or renewable energy in the Lone Star State, most of them clustered around the Dallas/Fort Worth/Austin area.

That brings the site to a total of almost 2,500 American companies so far .. and we’re not even half way across the country.

For more info, see our press release or, see this story in the Dallas Morning News.

Posted in Jobs, News / Comments are closed

As the Chamber Turns: Update on U.S. Chamber vs. Climate Science

The Chamber of Commerce story is all over the media again today, which means we get to keep using the phrase “Scopes monkey trial” almost a century after it should have been old news.

In yesterday’s blog post we told you about Apple “resigning .. effective immediately” from the Chamber because of the Chamber’s position on global warming policy. Apple became the fifth big company to leave either the Chamber or its board of directors because of inflammatory comments about the underlying truth of climate science (the others are Exelon, PG&E, PNM and Nike).

Apple’s departure touched off a slew of articles and editorials around the country, all pointing out that the Chamber has gotten itself into a public relations hole — and most suggesting that it follow the advice of the old proverb and stop digging.

Here’s a sample of the reactions:

And the winner in the pop-culture reference department is Marc Gunther, writing for the Energy Collective, who compares the Chamber to David Letterman, because the have both “really, really embarrassed themselves.”

But the Chamber is apparently not interested in the above advice. Instead, it is digging in and has launched counterattacks against Apple and some of its other critics, including the Boston Globe.

Chamber CEO Tom Donohue told reporters, including Politico‘s Lisa Lerer today:

The only regrets we have is that we maybe have not always used the right language. We don’t have regrets about our position and we don’t intend to change it.

Donohue blamed the resignations on an “orchestrated pressure campaign” by environmental groups. He also said:

What we decided to do is we’re going to let the scientists argue the science.

Of course, the scientists aren’t actually arguing anything. The vast majority of scientists long ago determined that climate change is real, and is a really big threat to us all. But it is generous of Donohue to cede the world of science to the scientists, I suppose.

On a related note, Environmental Defense Action Fund has decided to join the ranks of the vast green-wing conspiracy that Donohue blames for his problems. Check out these new ads that we’re running with our friends at NRDC.

Donohue would no doubt see this as part of an “orchestrated pressure campaign.” But much as we’d like to take credit for making five huge corporations leave an organization whose goal is to re-enact one of the most infamous trials in history — as the losing party, no less — we do have to point out that our ads are brand new, so those corporations quit the board all by themselves.

Posted in News / Read 2 Responses

Apple Joins List of Former U.S. Chamber Members

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce continues to make a monkey of itself over its “Scopes trial” comment, as well as its general policy on climate change.

The latest chapter in the ongoing saga comes from high-tech powerhouse Apple, which announced that it is resigning from the Chamber effective immediately. Apple says it objects to “the chamber’s recent comments opposing the E.P.A.’s effort to limit greenhouse gases.” Those comments include threatening litigation.

In a letter to chamber president Thomas Donahue, Apple wrote:

Apple supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and it is frustrating to find the chamber at odds with us in this effort.

You can read Apple’s entire letter [PDF] here.

But the bad news for the Chamber doesn’t end there. One of its chapters is now distancing itself from the national organization. That item comes from the San Jose Mercury News editorial “U.S. chamber is a dinosaur on climate change“.

The paper says the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce has “had discussions with the U.S. Chamber and the California Chamber as well as PG&E and several other members.”

The president of the San Jose Silicon Valley chapter solidly opposed her national counterpart’s comments, saying:

There isn’t anyone who doesn’t realize that climate change is a man-made phenomenon and something we need to address and address quickly.

PG& E, of course, has already resigned from the chamber because of its climate policy — as have PNM Resources and Excelon (and now Apple).

Nike withdrew from the Chamber’s board of directors, but hasn’t given up its membership altogether.

Posted in News / Read 4 Responses

Best Economic Analyses: Economy Can Thrive as We Cap Carbon

When you want to find out which cars are best, you look to honest experts who do their homework – like Consumer Reports or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

At EDF, we do the same thing when it comes to analyzing how the economy will fare under a carbon cap:  we look at what the neutral, nonpartisan economists are saying.

In the world of economic forecasts, the honest brokers include the Environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Information Administration, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Congressional Budget Office.

In a just-released publication, EDF’s economics team looks at what these nonpartisan experts are saying about the House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454, or ACES).  As you recall, that bill would put a gradually declining cap on emissions of heat-trapping gases.

Here’s what we found:  according to unbiased economic experts, if we adopt ACES, the US economy will reach $25 trillion in the spring of 2030 – just a couple of months after it would do so with no cap.  In other words, we don’t have to compromise between a strong economy and a better environment.  We can have both.

To help you see how tiny the impact of a cap on economic growth will be, check out this chart:


The new EDF paper builds on our analysis last year of nonpartisan studies of earlier climate bills.  The new studies square up perfectly with last year’s:  fighting climate change is easily affordable.

So what about those wild numbers you hear tossed around – that if we cap carbon, the economy will crater and families will go broke paying ginormous utility bills?   Those numbers aren’t from these neutral, nonpartisan studies; they’re from “studies” by groups who want to kill climate legislation.

We’ve rebutted the crazy numbers elsewhere.  But this brief is about real economic studies done by serious, neutral experts.

The new paper also compares the tiny costs of protecting ourselves against potentially catastrophic global warming with the much larger amounts we spend to protect ourselves in other ways – like police and fire protection, life insurance, and national defense.  This chart tells the story:


There are a lot more goodies in our economists’ new report — check it out.  And if you want the graduate-level course, you can learn still more about climate economics at

Posted in Economics / Read 3 Responses

Report from Bangkok: Looking for the U.S. to Act

EDF’s Gus Silva-Chavez is blogging from the global climate negotiations in Bangkok. Yesterday, he sent a big thank-you to Senators Boxer and Kerry for getting work started on the Senate version of the climate bill:

Whatever else you can say about the draft bill that Senators Boxer and Kerry introduced in the Senate yesterday, it was welcome news to country negotiators and NGOs at the climate talks in Bangkok.

For several weeks the main question everyone has been asking me is “What’s the next U.S. move and when will it happen?” Now I can give them an answer – Senators introduced draft climate and energy legislation. Today.  Continue »

This echoes the call for U.S. leadership from the governor’s summit in California. The scientific urgency, public opinion and global path are all in place — now it’s up to the Senate.

Posted in International / Comments are closed

Message from Governors’ Summit: U.S. Must Act

This post is by Wade Crowfoot, EDF’s West Coast Political director.

Loud, bipartisan clamoring for a federal climate bill resonated here in Los Angeles as Governor Schwarzenegger and governors from around the world gathered to talk climate.

“The time for debate is over,” proclaimed Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, one of several U.S. governors calling for immediate federal action on climate.

The impressive three-day gathering, dubbed the “Governor’s Climate Summit 2…On the Road to Copenhagen,” features leaders from around the globe. Governors and leading thinkers from 70 countries on six continents are represented. New international partnerships are being announced what seems like each hour, from an African ‘Green Deal’ to Mexico reforestation projects.

Everything on day one of the summit has pointed to the importance of getting the federal bill passed so American leaders can head to Copenhagen in just two months time with a mantle of leadership.  It’s a powerful message, considering the thousands of attendees and dozens of mainstream corporate supporters helping to amplify this message on the need for American leadership.

Just nine months after his first international summit on climate action, Republican Governor Schwarzenegger highlighted the first day of this sequel gathering with a rousing speech about the green revolution’s impact on the California economy:

Since 2005, green jobs have grown ten times faster than the rest of California’s job market.

He explained how California’s policy on tailpipe emissions, a low carbon fuel standard, and cap and trade have generated sustained job growth in an otherwise gloomy economic climate.

Schwarzenegger was joined today by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who announced a landmark EPA rule requiring large facilities (those emitting over 25,000 tons of CO2 per year) incorporate new pollution reduction technologies.  “The journey toward a cleaner, healthier future is underway” said Jackson. Her comments made it clear that while the Obama Administration is working hard to pass the climate bill, the EPA is not waiting on Congressional leadership to tackle greenhouse gas pollution.

As Senators Boxer and Kerry introduced their climate bill in the U.S. Senate, the message from around the world is clear: The time to act is now.

Posted in Climate Change Legislation / Read 2 Responses