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What Do EPA Changes Mean for Businesses?

emissionsBusinesses may be the biggest losers when it comes to major changes at the EPA.

Massive budget cuts and regulatory rollbacks might not be a boon to businesses, according to an Environmental Defense Fund blog. The blog cites agency programs that help corporations respond to climate change — and thus improve their future planning and reduce risks and costs.

One such regulatory program is the Clean Power Plan, which requires the power sector to reduce their CO2 emissions by 32 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order that will roll back the carbon regulations this week.

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has said the Clean Power Plan hurts business, however many companies support the rule. Most Fortune 500 companies already set emissions reduction and renewable energy targets. As the EDF blog says: “the CPP can open new opportunities for businesses interested in operating in a clean energy economy.”

For this reason major companies including Mars, Ikea, Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft filed legal briefs endorsing the plan last year. They have all set specific goals to boost renewable energy use to “cut costs and hedge the risks of relying on entirely on increasingly volatile fossil fuels,” one of the briefs said, adding that keeping the Clean Power Plan on track will stimulate more renewable investments, “long-term price certainty” and improve the quality of public health in the long run.

More recently, hundreds of companies urged the Trump administration to move forward with policies to address climate change, like the Clean Power Plan.

Other programs that benefit American businesses are the EPA SmartWay program and the heavy-duty truck greenhouse gas program, which save companies billions, according to a different EDF blog.

The SmartWay program, a voluntary carbon-reduction partnership between the EPA and the freight industry with more than 3,000 companies and organizations, includes major shippers like Home Depot, Apple, Colgate-Palmolive and Target. It has saved partner businesses over 7 billion gallons of fuel, lowered fuel costs by $24.9 billion and reduced carbon emissions by 72.8 million metric tons since 2004, according to the EPA.

The so-called Clean Trucks program has also received broad support from the nation’s largest corporate fleets including Walmart, PepsiCo and UPS, as well as manufacturers.

Why? Because the program will save fuel and operating expenses for corporate owners and provide new revenue streams for manufacturers, which stand to benefit financially from developing more efficient engines and vehicle technologies. It is estimated to save 1.1 billion metric tons of carbon pollution and $170 billion in fuel costs.


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