EPA Must Be Free to Pursue Its Legal Mandate to Clean Up Air Pollution, BICEP Coalition Representative Timberland Company Tells Congress

Jobs, Health at Stake as New Clean Air Act Regulations Spur Move toward Clean Energy
Feb 9, 2011 2:45 PM ET

(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) WASHINGTON - February 9, 2011 - A Timberland Company official, representing both the company and the wider Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) coalition, testified at today’s opening hearing on an effort by House Republicans to restrict the EPA’s authority that moves to curb the regulation of greenhouse gas and other air pollution are mistaken.

Timberland Senior Manager Betsy Blaisdell told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that “preventing EPA from exercising its authority, or rolling back any of its actions, would cost the economy in human health, in terms of illness that often results in lost work days, and more.

“More specifically,” Blaisdell said, “in 2010 alone, Clean Air Act protections helped avoid 13 million lost work days, thereby helping maintain or increase our nation’s economic productivity. EPA must be allowed to continue to exercise its authority and move forward with its recent actions. “

Blaisdell’s remarks on behalf of the 20-company BICEP group come on the heels of a new report released yesterday which found robust overall job gains – nearly 290,000 full-time jobs in each of the next five years - stemming from compliance with pending EPA clean air rules

The “New Jobs - Cleaner Air” report, a detailed analysis of how pending updates of EPA rules will affect the electric power sector, contradicts claims by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and others that regulations might inhibit job growth. The report was issued by Ceres, a national coalition of large investors and companies that coordinates BICEP, and the University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute.

Ceres President Mindy Lubber said after Blaisdell’s testimony that “Timberland and the vast majority of leading companies understand the Clean Air Act is a friend of the economy, not the enemy. They understand that sensible rules create market certainty, foster technology, protect public health and lead to more jobs overall.”

BICEP is a fast-growing coalition of consumer brands that have been actively supporting robust climate and energy policy since the coalition formed in 2008. In a related development, century-old apparel brand Anvil Knitwear today joined BICEP as its 20th member.

Timberland was one of five founding members of the coalition, which within months of its launch emerged as a leading business voice for comprehensive energy and climate policy in the last Congress – a Congress where such legislation came closer than ever to becoming a reality.

Other BICEP members include Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, Starbucks Inc., Aspen Skiing Company, Ben and Jerry's, Best Buy Co., Clif Bar & Company, eBay, Eileen Fisher, Gap Inc., Jones Lang LaSalle, The North Face, Seventh Generation, Stonyfield Farm Inc., Symantec, Target Corp., New Belgium Brewing and Outdoor Industry Association.

The BICEP coalition is coordinated by Ceres, which also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk, a network of more than 90 institutional investors with nearly $10 trillion under management focused on addressing the financial risks and investment opportunities posed by climate change.
More about BICEP’s core principles for energy independence and climate policy can be found at: http://www.ceres.org/bicep.