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Lindsay Graham Is Absolutely Right.

Last month, the nationwide unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent. This is the most severe recession since WWII, and there is much discussion in Washington (not to mention just about every state capital in America) about what should be done to get the economy moving again. I personally believe the situation is even worse than it appears (consider the real unemployment rate and the draconian measures states like California are going to have to take to balance their budgets and you have serious issues ahead.)

Those who have read my previous posts will be surprised to see me write that at least in this instance: we need to listen to Republican Senator Lindsay Graham (at least this quote)

"At the end of the day we need a comprehensive approach that would allow this country to jump start its economy and lead the world to a cleaner environment. Every day we wait in this nation China is going to eat our lunch."

The dominant albeit inaccurate media narrative is that the business community does not support legislation that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage clean, sustainable energy. This impression is understandable if you get your information on the opinion of the business community from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As the Chamber of Commerce takes increasingly extreme stances on issues like the climate change, their claim to represent the business community in the United States is becoming less credible and the claim of their critics that they only represent the interest of large fossil fuel and legacy companies that pad their bank accounts more believable. The fact that the Chamber spent well over $100,000,000 lobbying last year proves to me, that the business of the Chamber at least, is pretty damm profitable.

As the Chamber buries its head in the sand and mimics the messaging of big oil and coal companies like a very well-compensated parrot (if they are spending $100 million+ on lobbying, imagine how much they are keeping) a large and growing number of businesses are seeking other associations to represent their views.

One great example, American Businesses for Clean Energy (ABCE), is a broad group of both large and small businesses whose membership recently reached 2,500 members. In only four months. Without, I might add, $100 million behind it.

The companies range from large to small from all industries, for example, a recent new member is Warner Music Group.

Businesses who join ABCE declare support for legislation that will lead America to a prosperous, clean energy future. These businesses represent what is really in America’s best interest not only in the long term, but the immediate term as well.

It is already clear that what little growth there is in the economy is coming from clean energy. Just Wednesday, the benefits of California’s landmark climate bill, AB32, were on full display as the Governor Schwarzenegger welcomed a major new solar panel factory to the state.

An America that isn’t dependent on foreign oil from unstable regions and unfriendly nations is what we want to be. Where we not only compete but also lead in the next wave of the global economy – a wave based on clean technologies made in the USA, applied in the USA, and exported to other countries — this is the vision we need to make a reality. The comprehensive climate and clean energy bill the U.S. Senate is an important next step in our economic recovery and it must be passed without delay.

If you are a business owner, I’d like to invite you to join ABCE. Stand and be counted as a business that supports a stronger America through smart legislation to reduce pollution and ignite investments in clean energy and secure job creation at home.

Congress needs to know that businesses in America want to transition to cleaner, more sustainable domestic sources of energy to help our economy, our national security, and yes, our environment. Join American Businesses for Clean Energy today.

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