Submitted by: American Sustainable Business Council
Posted: Feb 15, 2013 – 10:41 AM EST
WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 /CSRwire/ - As business owners and leaders, we understand that climate change if not addressed, will impose substantial economic costs on the United States. All of us will spend more money to harden our infrastructure, repair storm-damaged homes, pay more for health care and fresh water and watch property values deteriorate. These costs will make the US economy less productive and less competitive. This is especially bad news for the small to mid-size businesses that create the most jobs in our country.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline is not an economically viable project. We believe that the market would not be able to bear the true cost of the pipeline without the government absorbing liability and shifting the costs of risks onto society as a whole. This is similar to the case of nuclear energy, where no plant would be built without government shouldering liability. This is as much a government subsidy as a direct payment would be.
If the private sector were to internalize the full cost, including the setting up of a fully adequate fund against damage from the possible spills, land despoliation, water clean-up, medical costs, carbon emissions, and other damages associated with the pipeline, it would be a losing proposition financially.
We do not believe that the pipeline will create the large number of jobs its supporters contend. As a March 2012 study from Cornell University noted, an equal investment in clean energy generates 3 to 4 times as many jobs as investments in fossil fuels, without the potential environmental hazards posed by pipelines like Keystone XL. The pipeline will do very little (and at great cost) to improve the nation’s energy security. In fact, much of the output is destined for export.
Instead of risking our future by increasing fossil fuel use, the United States needs to take action to both invest in clean energy and lower our own carbon output. Doing so will put us in a better negotiating position to encourage other large emitting nations (mainly China and India) to reduce their own GHG emissions.
The money needed to build the pipeline would be more productively directed towards energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and infrastructure (such as smart grid). The US needs to step up investments in the $5 trillion global clean technology market – and the jobs that go with it. We applaud the gains that Germany and other nations are making in clean energy, and are concerned that the United States is becoming less competitive in this dynamic industry.
All these economic reasons and more are why close to 1,000 business leaders have signed a letter to the President asking to cancel the Pipeline.
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