NW Businesses Back Global Warming Bill

SEATTLE - Business lobbies have pushed hard against global warming proposals in Congress. But a group of Northwest companies says tackling climate change will be good for business. They're calling on lawmakers to support an energy bill sponsored by Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman. Among the key elements of the proposal is a cap-and-trade system. It would make industries pay for the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses they release into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. Sarah Severn with Nike says that's an important step toward a clean-energy economy.

Sarah Severn: "We believe that putting a significant price on carbon will move us more rapidly down the path of innovation because it will unleash capital that has been waiting on the sidelines, waiting a signal from Congress."

Severn said the US risks falling behind Europe and China in developing clean-tech industries. She was one of several representatives from Northwest businesses who spoke during a conference call Thursday sponsored by the Seattle-based environmental group, Climate Solutions. Weyerhaeuser, REI and other companies cited the threats to their businesses from climate change and urged senators from Northwest states to pass the Kerry-Lieberman bill this year. The House of Representatives passed a similar bill last summer.