Cummins CEO Makes Case for Climate Action During White House Visit

Jan 31, 2022 8:10 AM ET
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger unveils the company's environmental strategy in 2019.


Cummins Inc. Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger joined other corporate leaders at the White House Wednesday, January 26, making the case for aggressive action on climate change.

“My view is we’re out of time to protect our climate and we’re out of time to make sure that American companies are the ones that lead the world in these technologies,” Linebarger told President Biden. “When we invest, we can win, and we can create jobs for our workers here in the United States.”

Corporate executives including General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Ford CEO Jim Farley and Microsoft President Brad Smith also championed climate action at the meeting, held ostensibly to talk about the stalled Build Back Better Act. The legislation includes a wide range of provisions, from climate action to childcare initiatives.

Cummins, a global leader in commercial power, wants to be a leader in addressing climate change, as well. The company has brought to market new low-carbon technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells while working to reduce the carbon footprint of its more traditional products such as internal combustion engines.

During his discussions with the president and other business leaders, Linebarger voiced his support for advancing the Build Back Better Act because of its provisions that address climate change, provide tax credits for hydrogen production, and other initiatives that reduce carbon, drive job creation and enhance American competitiveness.

“When we invest, we can win and we can create jobs for our workers here in the United States,” Linebarger told Biden. ”That’s what we intend to do at Cummins, and that’s what I think all of us can do if we invest in climate change technologies now.”

“But we can’t do it alone,” Linebarger added. “The truth is we need investment. Tax credits in the Build Back Better Act for hydrogen and clean trucks will play a big role in getting all of us to invest in infrastructure and other things we need to get this going.”

To date, the U.S. House has passed Build Back Better, but it has stalled in the U.S. Senate. Linebarger says that comes with significant consequences.

“If we wait, not only do we harm the climate, but we make sure we are not the winners in global competitiveness,” Linebarger told the president.