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Deere Quits USCAP

Deere & Co. dropped out of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) in May, which has supported a cap-and-trade program for reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Deere did not make an announcement in May that it was leaving the coalition. Ken Golden, a spokesman for the manufacturer of farm machinery, said Deere left USCAP because the group’s legislative strategy “no longer served as a foundation for moving forward” with climate change regulation, according to the article.

The company joins a handful of others that have left the partnership in recent months, including ConocoPhilips, which decided against renewing its membership to ensure “fair and equitable treatment of the transportation sector.”

BP America and Caterpillar also left USCAP following ConocoPhilips’ announcement that it would not renew its membership.

About two dozen companies remain in the group, including General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Siemens and Alcoa. The group also has picked up four new members in the past year, including Honeywell and Weyerhaeuser.

The coalition, which was founded in 2007, has been a lightning rod for groups that have opposed a cap-and-trade scheme since it recommended a phased-in cap-and-trade system for U.S. producers of carbon dioxide in 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Most recently, two conservative policy groups — FreedomWorks and the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project– ran television commercials that said cap-and-trade legislation would put Deere’s U.S. employees at risk of losing their jobs if the company moves to lower cost manufacturing sites overseas, reports the newspaper. The ads also accused Deere of supporting “back-room deals” by members of Congress to get votes to pass carbon regulation.

FreedomWorks also confronted Deere’s chairman and CEO at the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting in February about its membership.

Deere is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders program and participates in the Business Environmental Leadership Council.

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