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Sierra Club leader calls for climate integration

By Juliet Eilperin

As Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) continued courting business groups in closed-door meetings Thursday, the Sierra Club's new leader made a modest proposal: Why not let the greens join the party?

Michael Brune, who just took over as the Sierra Club's executive director, suggested in an interview that the climate troika ought to place environmental and business lobbyists in the same room.

"We don't begrudge the meetings with the Chamber," Brune said, referring to Thursday's meeting with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its allies. "We need to at least create the opportunity for breakthroughs, by putting climate adversaries together."

Brune ran the Rainforest Action Network before taking up his current post. In his former job, he recalled, businesses such as Lowe's and Home Depot demanded his group meet face to face with timber and forest product companies to work out their differences.

Would the Sierra Club arrange for such a summit?

"I'm not sure we're the best broker," Brune said. "That dialogue is best brokered by folks on the Hill."

Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, wrote in an e-mail he wouldn't rule out such a meeting.

"We are always willing to discuss issues with anyone seriously interested in accomplishing workable, sensible legislation," Josten wrote.

In the meantime, the three senators are pursuing a separate-but-equal strategy. In addition to the Chamber meeting, they met with executives from Conoco, Shell and BP Thursday morning.

It's unclear whether the troika is making any headway, judging from Josten's post-meeting comment: "Today, representatives from the Chamber and other industry groups had another informative meeting with Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman on energy and climate legislation. There is still a lot of ground to cover to translate ideas into legislation. Once a bill is presented to us, we will carefully evaluate it."

By

Juliet Eilperin

 |  March 25, 2010; 7:01 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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For the past 4 - 5 years the top Pentagon
Generals have said the #1 threat to our
national security is 'Climate Change'.

The same goes for the top threat to over
financial threat to corporations.

Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman need to be
exposed. The best that Mr. Brune could do is
expose these three politicians and the top
industry campaign contributors. This way
the voters can be more educated in who to
boot in the primary process.

Negotiations will not produce the same
results as seen at RAN. Otherwise it is
putting the cart before the cash loaded cart.

Posted by: theman_in_black | March 29, 2010 1:05 AM
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