NAM’s Chairman, Chuck Bunch, on Energy

By July 6, 2007Energy, Global Warming

The chairman of the NAM’s board of director is Chuck Bunch, chairman and CEO of PPG, the Pittsburgh-based manufacturer of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials and glass products. Given his insights and experience in one energy-intensive sector of the economy, we pay attention to his observations on energy policy and the environment: He’s thinking what a lot of manufacturers are thinking.

In that spirit, we commend to you his recent remarks at the 100th anniversary of the Air & Waste Management Association’s annual conference. He provides a useful grounding in balance and economic reality, including on the subject of climate change and energy:

There’s been a lot of talk about a national climate change policy. A national climate change policy, in general terms, is a good idea.

But it CANNOT precede a solution to our energy issues. To implement a climate change policy without a diversified energy policy in place is a recipe for disaster. It sets up U.S. business for failure. Think of climate change as a weed. We can’t just pull the top off. We have to dig it out at the roots. And the root of the issue is energy.

In February of last year, President Bush declared that “America is addicted to oil.” Since that time, little has been done to wean us from the drug and diversify America’s energy sources. Yet just last month, prior to the G-8 summit in Germany, he announced a new global framework for fighting climate change that calls for a commitment to cutting global greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Setting aggressive greenhouse gas emission reduction goals without implementing a broad-based energy policy that addresses the long-term needs of the country and embraces the full gamut of energy sources is untenable. By necessity, this must include the basic fossil fuel mix that today fills most of our energy needs, such as coal, oil and natural gas. It must also include a renewed commitment to nuclear power, clean coal technology, and an aggressive commitment to development of alternative, more environmentally friendly fuels.

The text of his speech is available at the PPG website in .pdf format. Do read the whole thing.

And here’s the link to the NAM’s comprehensive strategy, “Energy Security for American Competitiveness.”

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