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    We Can't Ignore Climate Change

    by J. Wayne Leonard

    At a Clean Energy Economy Forum at the White House on October 7, 2009, J. Wayne Leonard, the chairman and CEO of Entergy Corporation, a Fortune 500 energy company based in New Orleans, spoke about the urgency of addressing climate change. —Editor

    We are a broad base of business across America. We represent some 37 states. We touch all aspects of the economy. And we have come together here this morning unified in one particular request. And that is that we pass comprehensive climate change and energy policy legislation this year. We are prepared as business to invest, to innovate, to transform the energy sector of this country and of the world — the way we source energy, the way we deliver energy, the way we use energy.

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    We want to get America back in the business of exporting technology instead of dollars. In order to do that, we need comprehensive legislation. We need to know what the rules are going to be with regard to energy and with regard to climate, and particularly with what the price on carbon is going to be in the United States, if we're to move around the world and export technology to other countries. And we need legislation in order to do that.

    I'm the CEO of Entergy. We have nuclear plants around the country. We also serve two-and-a-half million customers in the mid-South and the Gulf South portion of the country, some of the poorest people in the country. People that have been through Katrina, Gustav, Ike, Rita. You name it, they've been through it. Nobody should ever have to suffer through a Katrina.   >>>

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    A version of this speech by J. Wayne Leonard was previously published by Brad Johnson at the blog Wonk Room and was republished in the Climate Progress blog.

     

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    Receding glaciers (causing rising sea levels and flooding) are just one visible symptom of serious global warming.
    Photo: Aman Sagar Extra Large Image

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    Since ice reflects sunlight and open water absorbs it, the melting of glaciers begets more even more melting — one of the "positive feedback" effects that climate models must take into account.
    Photo: Bruce F. Molnia/ USGS

     

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