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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Political gridlock not likely to forestall energy regulation

From an article by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Bayside — The partisan divide on Capitol Hill means cap-and-trade legislation is all but dead, so businesses need not worry about their carbon footprint, right? Wrong, speakers at a summit on energy efficiency said Tuesday.

The Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and global corporations such as Wal-Mart are leading the nation down a path of "quiet regulation" of greenhouse gases, despite the political rhetoric and battles that have created gridlock in Congress, Mark Thimke, environmental lawyer at Foley & Lardner, said during the Green Manufacturing Summit at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.

But corporate initiatives have gone beyond Wal-Mart, he said.

Suppliers to 62 corporations must provide information as part of a greenhouse gas supply chain initiative launched this year. That effort includes Racine County-based manufacturers S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. and Diversey Inc., formerly JohnsonDiversey.

Thimke said that means a host of companies that may have thought they didn't have to worry about greenhouse gases should start paying attention.

"Even if you aren't one of the big companies and you are selling to these people, you need to know where you're at," Thimke said.

Energy efficiency is a carbon strategy because emissions are linked to energy production.

Efficiency opportunities abound for many manufacturers, said Jon Dommissee of Bradley Corp., a manufacturer of commercial plumbing fixtures, which co-sponsored the event.

"There's a lot of energy wasted - and there's a lot of money wasted," he said.

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