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NAM to Rate Lawmakers on Climate Change Vote

The National Association of Manufacturers will consider House Members’ vote on contentious climate change legislation to be a “key vote— when the group rates lawmakers’ performance for the year, NAM announced on Thursday. The bill, which NAM opposes, is expected to hit the House floor on Friday.

“While we support a number of the provisions of the legislation, after careful review, our concerns remain fundamentally unchanged from the initial draft,— NAM Executive Vice President Jay Timmons wrote. The legislation “will regulate and add cost to every one of our members, which already bear the burden of local, state and federal compliance cost through the Clean Air Act. Moreover, it allows Congress to select winners and losers through the distribution of allocations to industries.—

“Overall, the NAM official principles support the development and deployment of competitive clean energy technologies and robust energy efficiency improvements; however, our members do not support mandates on the use of specific, economically uncompetitive technologies,— Timmons continued. “The NAM supports policies that recognize the robust voluntary actions of industry to reduce energy intensity and improve efficiency to promote emissions reductions throughout the economy.—

NAM’s decision to consider Friday’s expected climate change vote as a “key vote— in its ratings of lawmakers comes amid apparent pressure by Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) and other pro-business Democrats on the group’s management to sit this round out. Earlier this year, NAM sided with Democratic leadership when it decided to “key vote— the stimulus package, a decision that caused considerable consternation for Senate Republicans.

“Manufacturers are committed to working with Congress to establish sensible and responsible federal climate change policies that reduce [greenhouse gas] emissions, but these policies must maintain a competitive playing field for American companies,— Timmons wrote.

The House on Friday is expected to vote on a cap-and-trade bill that will set pollution levels and create a private marketplace for the sale of offsets.

The vote is a result of a recent deal struck by Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), which would put the new commodity under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and not the Environmental Protection Agency.

The National Federation of Independent Business and the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors decided on Wednesday to “key-vote— it as well.

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