What Business Leaders Are Saying: Trump Administration’s EPA Rule Denies Opportunity to Lead

This week, the Trump Administration announced plans to eliminate the Clean Power Plan (CPP), an Obama-era policy to reduce carbon emissions. Under the new plan, states may write their own regulations for coal-fired power plants–or write none at all. This is a drastic shift away from the CPP, which pushed the energy industry toward clean energy sources like wind and solar. Hundreds of business leaders have told us that they experienced losses due to severe weather affecting their supply chains...

Doing the Math on the Clean Power Plan

Critics of the Clean Power Plan argue it will increase electricity costs so much that companies operating here in the U.S. will shift their jobs to China. The local business leaders with whom we work see it differently. Nineteen out of 20 of them support the Clean Power Plan, because the immediate cost of switching from coal to cleaner energy is far smaller than the current cost of severe weather-driven by climate change. Over time, those weather costs will grow. Any discussion of increased...

Market Solutions for Managing the Risk of Climate Change

Appropriate risk management could be a lasting solution to climate change, according to Robert Litterman, former head of risk management for Goldman Sachs. “The risk of climate change is not currently being priced,” Litterman said in a briefing with business leaders this week. “As a result, globally, humans are taking on too much risk.” We do not know the full capacity of the atmosphere to absorb carbon emissions, Litterman said, but we do know “whatever remaining capacity exists, it...

An update on our work

It’s been a year since President Trump’s election, and I have been reflecting on what has changed and how we at Business Forward have adapted. I’d like to take this opportunity to update you on our work. First, business leader engagement is up. For eight years, our mission has been to “help local business leaders fix Washington by bringing Washington to them.” Naturally, we worried dysfunction here in Washington this past year would depress interest. We were wrong. By every measure,...

The Clean Power Plan Court Case

Constitutional attorney and former U.S. Supreme Court Clerk Simon A. Steel discuss the arguments and impact of federal litigation of the Clean Power Plan.   Simon covers the basics of the current case, the steps likely to lead to review by the Supreme Court, and how business leaders can weigh in on the merits of CPP. We will review how business groups and individual business leaders traditionally file briefs with the Supreme Court, and what arguments are likely to have the biggest impact...

Biz Leaders on UN Climate Change Agreement

As world leaders gather to sign the United Nations climate change agreement at the United Nations today, nearly 50 business leaders from across the country discussed policies to curb climate change. Small business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, and executives have said that businesses are already feeling the effects of climate change. Severe weather affects commodity prices, disrupts supply and delivery chains, and keeps potential customers at home. Some business leaders have remarked that...

Preparing for the Next Hurricane Sandy

This week marks the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, one of the most costly and devastating storms to hit the Eastern Seaboard. The storm caused more than $65 billion in physical damages, and many businesses faced additional losses from economic disruption. As climate change continues to cause extreme weather, the probability of another storm like Hurricane Sandy is increasingly more likely. To better prepare businesses for natural disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency...

Prepare Your Business for the Return of the Polar Vortex

Extreme cold weather could be back this year for much of the United States, according to a recent report by AccuWeather. Last winter’s polar vortex, a counter-clockwise flow of arctic air that originates in the North Pole, brought record-low temperatures to much of the Midwest and East Coast last January and wrought havoc on the economy. After several quarters of solid economic growth, the GDP shrank by 2.1 percent in the first quarter. Housing starts were down lower than expected, as were...

More than 150 Companies are Actively Considering the Cost of Carbon Emissions

Climate change does not appear on a company’s cash flow statement, but it is still a significant financial risk for many businesses. From severe weather damages to supply chain disruptions to the availability of many commodities, changes in the environment can negatively affect a business’s operations. A Business Forward report, using the auto industry as an example, showed that weather-related disruptions can add substantial costs. Businesses that are planning for their long-term...

Cost of EPA’s Clean Power Plan Less Than Economic Losses From Weather-Related Disruptions

From 2011 to 2013 severe weather cost the U.S. economy more than $200 billion. With the frequency and intensity of severe weather increasing, so are production delays and disruptions. This week, the Environmental Protection Agency held hearings in four cities across the country to gather feedback on the recently proposed Clean Power Plan. Business Forward President Jim Doyle testified at hearings in two cities, Atlanta and Pittsburgh. He discussed the impact climate change has had on business...