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Business, Faith & Public Health Leaders Voice Support for
Western Climate Initiative Design Document & Economic Analysis

July 27, 2010—Today the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) released its “Design for the WCI Regional Program” that outlines the guiding principles which states and provinces can use to develop the programs that will increase clean energy production and reduce climate change pollution. The WCI is a coalition of seven U.S. states and four Canadian provinces that have been working together since 2007 to identify, evaluate and implement policies to address climate change.

The release of the Design document follows the publication of the WCI’s updated Economic Analysis on July 7, which shows that the region can achieve pollution reduction goals and realize a net cost savings of approximately $100 billion (in U.S. dollars) between 2012 and 2020.

Both the Design and Economic Analysis documents lay the groundwork for the region to tackle the economic, energy and environmental challenges associated with greenhouse gas emissions, while forging ahead toward a clean energy future. Below are comments from business, faith and public health leaders from around the region reacting to the release of Design for the WCI Regional Program and updated Economic Analysis:

“The outdoor recreation industry, which generates $730 billion annually for the U.S. economy and supports more than 70,000 jobs across Oregon, is at risk because of the effects of global warming. Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort has taken the initiative to help tackle climate change through numerous actions including investing in clean renewable energy by purchasing certified carbon offsets and building two LEED certified buildings. Now we need government action. We applaud the WCI for developing a practical approach to controlling greenhouse gas emissions and working to solve the most important environmental challenge of our time.” Heidi Logosz, Sustainability Manager, Mt. Hood Meadows (Oregon)

“The Design for the WCI Regional Program is a useful roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions – when implemented this regional effort will protect public health by decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels, benefitting people and the planet. The religious community applauds the WCI for its forward-thinking and collaborative approach to solving one of the most important moral issues of our time.” LeeAnne Beres, Executive Director, Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light (Washington)

“By implementing a market-based, economy-wide cap on carbon emissions, the WCI is signaling that this region is serious about supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency. The WCI’s Design document shows that we can transition to clean energy and away from oil and other dirty energy sources, ultimately leading to a robust economy and clean environment.” Tom Bowman, President, Bowman Design Group (California)

“The WCI’s comprehensive strategy with the clear goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions will stimulate investments in clean energy technologies, help create green jobs and protect the environment. Reducing pollution and investing in green technologies are not only the right path for the future, but smart business in today’s economy. Petzl commends the WCI’s leadership and efforts to develop a collaborative approach to solving one of the most important issues of our time.” Mark C. Rasmussen, President, Petzl America, Inc. (Utah)

“The WCI’s market-based, economy-wide approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including allowing for an appropriate role for offsets, will benefit rural economies and communities. Creating a system that encourages quality agricultural and forestry offsets will create new revenue for landowners and produce natural resource benefits in the way of improved soil and water quality and enhanced wildlife habitat. When WCI is implemented rural economies will reap its benefits.” Ted Dodge, Executive Director, National Carbon Offset Coalition (Montana)

“If you care about people, then you simply have to care about climate change. As a physician, I’m deeply disturbed by the potential for increased heat wave deaths, higher levels of asthma, more vector-borne diseases like malaria, and impacts to world agriculture that will devastate already food-stricken countries. WCI’s Design document provides a pathway for how we can reduce emissions, and the economic analysis shows we can answer climate change while saving the region money. But this isn’t merely a matter of money; it’s also about people’s lives.” Catherine Thomasson, MD, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility (Oregon)

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The Western Climate Advocates Network (WeCAN) is a network of environmental and public interest organizations around the Western U.S. and Canada working to advance critical issues related to the WCI.

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