18 Mar 2010, 10:15pm
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Weyerhauser Joins Enviro-Industry Climate Coalition

By DARREN SAMUELSOHN of Greenwire, NY Times, March 18, 2010 [here]

Global timber giant Weyerhaeuser Co. said today it has joined the U.S. Climate Action Partnership group that is lobbying for comprehensive climate and energy legislation on Capitol Hill.

The Federal Way, Wash.-based company becomes the 29th member of the business-NGO lobbying coalition, alongside General Electric Co., General Motors Co. and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“The forest products industry will play a leading role in reducing dependence on fossil fuels and reducing emissions of carbon dioxide using biomass from forests, a sustainable resource and one of the best at sequestering carbon,” Weyerhaeuser CEO Dan Fulton said in a press release. “The role of forest fiber in a low carbon economy will depend on the public policy concepts under debate in Washington, D.C.”

“USCAP,” Fulton added, “has successfully integrated the expertise of numerous stakeholders, and we believe our membership will help positively position sustainable forestry, biomass and forest products in these important policy discussions.”

Membership in U.S. CAP has more than doubled since its inception just prior to then-President George W. Bush’s State of the Union speech in January 2008. The group played a critical role in pushing the House toward passage of climate legislation last June.

But the group has also seen some of its power dwindle after recent defections. Two big oil companies, BP America and ConocoPhillips, and Caterpillar Inc., withdrew last month from the $100,000-a-year membership club. And Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) recently questioned GM and Chrysler LLC’s participation after they received $17 billion in federal bailout funds. Barton also helped drive insurance giant AIG Inc. out of the group after it got $85 billion from the Treasury.

U.S. CAP officials insist they are still playing a big role in the climate debate on Capitol Hill that has been largely in standby mode in the Senate. The coalition’s CEOs are expected to participate today in a conference call with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), a lead author of the Senate proposal to curb greenhouse gas emissions. … [more]

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