TEXT OF LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR CLEAN AIR ACT FROM BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS
Dear President Obama, United States Senators and House of Representatives members:
We, the undersigned business organizations, represent companies of all sizes and from diverse sectors. We recognize that over the last 40 years, the Environmental Protection Agency has proven itself as much a protector of our economy as of the public’s health.
We know that small business owners support some of the key strategies needed to reduce pollution and transition to a clean energy economy. A recent national poll of small business owners conducted by Small Business Majority affirms this. It found that 61% of respondents agree that moving the country to clean energy is a way to restart the economy and make their businesses more competitive in the global economy, and that 50% support comprehensive clean energy and climate policy. Fortunately, many small businesses are already taking steps to conserve energy and many are interested in doing even more.
Larger businesses also support EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act and understand that it has spurred innovation and economic value for the US. Some of the most trusted consumer brands in America, including eBay, Stonyfield Farm and the entire Outdoor Industry Association along with several major utilities are on record supporting the reduction of greenhouse gases and other pollution and are represented in the groups identified below.
Despite its success, some in Congress are seeking to undermine EPA’s authority to enforce the Clean Air Act, when they should instead focus on passing legislation that will create jobs and boost business opportunities for employers across the nation. Contrary to misleading claims from opponents of clean energy and environmental safeguards, reducing pollution is good for businesses, and the Clean Air Act has proven to be a wise investment for long-term economic growth.
Studies show that the economic benefits of the Act have far exceeded the costs of controlling air pollution emissions. According to the Office of Management and Budget, the total economic benefits of the Clean Air Act are estimated at more than four to eight times the costs of compliance. Moreover, the Clean Air Act has created an atmosphere conducive to economic growth and stability. In the last two decades, emissions of the most common air pollutants have declined by 41%, while Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased by more than 64%.
The Clean Air Act has also ushered in important technological innovations, such as catalytic converters, that have helped fuel job growth. In fact, the US air pollution control industry generated revenues of $18.3 billion in 2007 (including more than $3 billion in exports), and is part of the broader environmental technologies industry that had $282 billion in revenue in 2007 and employs 1.6 million Americans.
In short, the Clean Air Act provides lawmakers with an example of how responsible environmental measures can both ignite new industries and send a market signal to investors and entrepreneurs that innovation and investment in the clean energy sector is good business.
We urge you to support EPA’s mission and to reject efforts to block, delay or weaken implementation of the Clean Air Act. Owners of both small and large businesses want real solutions that will create long-term economic growth and ignite a new era of American innovation.