Edenton, NC — Recently, 25 business groups including the Sustainable Furnishings Council, announced that they are filing a friend of the court brief (an “amicus brief”) in support of the national Clean Power Plan, the strongest action to-date for addressing climate change.  These groups represent a broad range of industries and regions nationwide.

In their brief, the groups say that unrestrained climate change will burden national, state and local economies with increased costs and business disruptions from droughts, flooding, reduced agriculture productivity, extreme weather, rising seas, and other disturbances. In addition they point out that the Clean Power Plan will boost economic growth by generating new market-based solutions and new jobs in renewable energy.

The Clean Power Plan has been challenged in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Given the current vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court and the potential for a 4-4 deadlock, the decision of the Circuit Court takes on greater importance.

Leading the groups is the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), which has a membership network spanning more than 200,000 businesses. Susan Inglis is Executive Director of Sustainable Furnishings Council and comments, “Experience tells us that implementing the Plan will create jobs and grow our economy. Its decentralized approach allows each state to decide how best to reduce carbon pollution, supporting our businesses as they support a healthy future. It protects our nation’s economy – and so also our individual businesses – from the disastrous effects of unrestrained climate change. We all need the Clean Power Plan to be fully implemented.”

Business groups signing the amicus brief include:

American Sustainable Business Council
U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.
South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce
Green America
Business and Labor Coalition of New York
CABA (Climate Action Business Association, New England)
Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce (Kansas)
Idaho Clean Energy Association
Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium
Kentucky Sustainable Business Council
Local First Arizona
Local First Ithaca
Lowcountry Local First (South Carolina)
Metro Independent Business Alliance (Minneapolis)
Ohio Sustainable Business Council
National Small Business Network
New York State Sustainable Business Council
P3 Utah
Pioneer Valley Local First
Small Business Minnesota
Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia
Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts
Sustainable Furnishings Council
West Virginia Sustainable Business Council
Polling of small business owners shows they expect to suffer economic harm if the Clean Power Plan does not survive the legal challenges:

Majorities of business owners said they were concerned about “carbon pollution” (57 percent) and “climate change” (53 percent).
More than half of all business owners (53 percent) believe climate change will adversely affect their business. Of that, 19 percent – nearly one in five – say that extreme weather events associated with climate change already have affected their operations.
A clear majority, 64 percent, say that government regulation is needed to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.
57 percent say that the biggest emitters, like power plants, should make the most significant cuts in carbon emissions, rather than have all businesses cut emissions equally.
Poll results may be found here: http://asbcouncil.org/poll-small-business-owners#Climate

The appeals court is set to hear oral argument in the case on June 2, 2016, with a decision expected later this year. The case will almost certainly proceed to the United States Supreme Court, with an ultimate decision in 2017.

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