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Conoco, BP and Caterpillar drop out of climate partnership

By Steven Mufson

ConocoPhillips, BP and Caterpillar are dropping out of U.S. Climate Action Partnership(USCAP), the group of corporations and environmental groups that has been most prominent in pushing Congress to pass cap-and-trade legislation. Conoco and BP pulled out today and Caterpillar quietly pulled out of the group last week.

The loss of three major companies deals a blow to the 30-member group, and further dims the prospects for the current cap-and-trade bill passed last summer by the House and awaiting action in the Senate.

ConocoPhillips and BP both said the group had served its purpose, but they prefer to pursue their interests independently.

Both cited concerns about the effects legislation might have on the oil refining business and pointed to a desire to do more to promote natural gas, which has become more abundant recently thanks to new developments in shale gas. The legislation adopted by the House included many benefits for coal producers and coal-fired power plants in an effort to secure the votes of key lawmakers. But many in the natural gas industry felt that more should be done for them.

ConocoPhillips said in a statement that it plans to "to better focus its efforts on ensuring fair and equitable treatment of the transportation sector and its consumers and on expanding opportunities for greater near-term GHG reductions through increased use of natural gas."

"We think the organization has accomplished what it was intended to do," said Ronnie Chappell, a spokesman for BP. "It has established a broad, princiiple-based framework for climate change legislation. With the completion of that blueprint, that work was done."

Chappell added that "the climate discussion is moving to a new phase where the issues are more specific and we think we can be more effective addressing issues of concern to us and our customers outside of USCAP."

He said "we don't think legislation pending in the House or Senate conforms with the blueprint. A disproportionate share of the cost burden falls on the transportation sector and consumers. As a result we're going to miss out on the most cost effective measures and misallocation of resources could occur."

He said BP was concerned that refiners were not treated as a trade-exposed industry. "Poorly designed legislation could result in the closure of refineries, an increase of [refined petroleum] product imports and the loss of U.S. jobs."

Kate Kenny, a spokesman for Caterpillar, said that it wanted to focus on carbon capture and storage technology projects, such as FuturGen, the Illinois project it has joined. "While we believe USCAP has been successful in pulling together broad industrial and NGO support for a package of sound principles needed to address climate and energy policies in the US," she said in an email, "we have decided to direct our resources toward the commercialization of technologies that will promote and provide sustainable development and reduce carbon emissions."

Shell Oil Co. said it is staying in USCAP, despite the exit of its fellow oil giants. "Shell has long supported a market-based approach to addressing energy supply and CO2 emissions," the company said in a statement. "We are pleased to continue our association with USCAP and will remain engaged in advocating for federal legislation that will protect existing jobs, create new jobs via development of domestic oil and gas resources allowing the U.S. to be more self-reliant, incentivize the development of lower carbon energies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."


Dan Beyers

 |  February 16, 2010; 10:53 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please report offensive comments below.

Environmentalist will never admit they are wrong. They have made Global Warming their religion and the earth has become their god. Even though they are crazy earth worshipers, I can’t really find any hidden agenda with them.

So, I say let fanatics be fanatics when it comes to tree hugging and the environment. Even though they are crazy, you got to love their dedication, Right?

The real problem is with these far left Commie Progressives. They want nothing more than to see Capitalism collapse. They may believe in the THEORY of Global Warming, but their real objective is Global Socialism.

There is good news though. The American people are waking up to their agenda (Scott Brown), and the November elections will be the first step in disinfecting our country of them.

Posted by: Senator_Salesman | February 16, 2010 9:50 PM
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The biggest financial hoax in history was almost completed, until the e-mails broke the vail of silence surrounding the "scientists" and their certainty. The worlds economies almost ponied up trillions for "sttled" science that had been fabricated. Now the big companies can get away from paying bribes to the looney left, disguised as financial support to the global warming cartel. That global warming cartel is now on it's last legs. The US senate will never allow any federal funding, now that Jones and his ilk have been proven to be charlatans. Their last hoax was in the 70's called global cooling. Now it is global warming. What is their next con?

Posted by: -PBL- | February 16, 2010 7:46 PM
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How is pulling out of cap-and-trade supposed to be a blow to the left? You idiots are so ill-informed it'd be funny if it wsn't ruining my country.

You're mad at a democratic base that's been in power for one friggin year? Do you really think jobs lost and bailouts all happened in ONE YEAR??? Your beef is with the LAST guy's administration and you're all too short-minded to see that.

And the next time the east coast gets hit with two massive snow blizzards bloated by the added condensation from melting ice in the North Pole (I'd draw you a diagram but you'd probably wind up eating it), don't blame this government- they were the ones trying to deal with global warming, not you...

Posted by: donaltc | February 16, 2010 6:46 PM
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"We are pleased to continue our association with USCAP and will remain engaged in advocating for federal legislation that will protect existing jobs, create new jobs via development of domestic oil and gas resources allowing the U.S. to be more self-reliant, incentivize the development of lower carbon energies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."


". . . and this bed is JUUUUUSSSSSTTT Right!!" The fairy tales that have been told around the so-called green economy make Mother Goose look like a realist by comparison.

Posted by: UncomfortableTruths | February 16, 2010 6:37 PM
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america must drop this atmosphere of political correctness, and do what is in it's own best interest.
Our children deserve no less.
We apoligize to dictators,
and fanatics, and we offer up
the blood of americans as some
Wake Up!
America is the Best And Brighest
Hope this world has ever known.
Do Not Believe the lunatic fringe,
Reid, pelosi, obama, the media left,
their day is almost over.

Posted by: simonsays1 | February 16, 2010 4:26 PM
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Thank goodness these companies came to their senses, now they can quit trying to commit suicide in the name of political correctness.

It's time to bury cap and trade forever. The global warming hoax has been seen for the fraud it is.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | February 16, 2010 3:58 PM
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Nice one "Askgees"... very patriotic... cheerleading the self-interested attempts of the world's biggest polluters to keep spewing pollution so they can keep the U.S. hooked on their foreign oil while China eats us for lunch in developing the energy supplies of the future...

Posted by: frededias | February 16, 2010 2:11 PM
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It is interesting to see the comment relative to a left initiative It appears to me the is the United States Of America.

How divisive, what a shame!!!

Posted by: Mjann | February 16, 2010 2:07 PM
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Fantastic. The kool aid is wearing off. Time to put the US back on the right course not the LEFTS twisted path.

Posted by: askgees | February 16, 2010 1:57 PM
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