Obama to CEOs: A Carbon Cap is Good for You

Photo via the <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/4331443972/">White House Flickr feed</a>.

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Barack Obama made a business case for cap-and-trade to CEOs on Wednesday, arguing that cutting carbon pollution is necessary for the future of American companies.

“A competitive America is also an America that finally has a smart energy policy,” Obama told the 100 corporate leaders gathered at the Business Roundtable, noting that he will “not accept second place for the United States of America” when it comes to energy. The roundtable’s executive board include a number of CEOs of companies key in the climate fight, like Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil., Michael Morris of American Electric Power, and Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric.

Obama reaffirmed the need for a cap and price on carbon, noting that “many businesses have embraced this approach.” “I am sympathetic to those companies that face significant transition costs, and I want to work with organizations like this to help with those costs and get our policies right,” he said.

But failure to act, he said, would present more uncertainty for businesses:

What we can’t do is stand still. The only certainty of the status quo is that the price and supply of oil will become increasingly volatile; that the use of fossil fuels will wreak havoc on weather patterns and air quality. But if we decide now that we’re putting a price on this pollution in a few years, it will give businesses the certainty of knowing they have time to plan and transition. This country has to move towards a clean energy economy. That’s where the world is going. And that’s how America will remain competitive and strong in the 21st century.

There has been some concern of late that the White House might not be backing off calls for a carbon cap, but Obama has made a point of reemphasizing his support for it in recent weeks. He also called on Senate Democrats to keep it a cap in legislation.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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