A group of Tennessee business leaders were disappointed when U.S. Senate Democrats abandoned plans to push through legislation that would address climate change and encourage clean energy.

GlobeWASHINGTON. D.C – A group of Tennessee business leaders were disappointed when U.S. Senate Democrats abandoned plans to push through legislation that would address climate change and encourage clean energy.

The Tennesseans had earlier made the rounds on Capitol Hill, trying to persuade lawmakers that passing the measure would be good for the nation, especially for business.

“The recent decision to delay action on climate policy until after the summer signaled a true loss for American businesses, for Tennessee businesses,” said Cortney Piper of The Tennessee Business Leaders for a Clean Energy Economy.

The group’s members, which number close to 100, are still hoping to see action on legislation this year because “they want to unleash investment in new technologies, create new jobs and move our nation to a new energy future,” Piper said.

But given the current political climate, the outlook is not good.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was merely acknowledging political reality when he pulled the plug on a bill to reduce carbon emissions. The U.S. House passed its own bill last year, but Democrats did not have enough votes to get the legislation through the Senate.

There’s little reason to believe the forecast will improve in the coming months. Republicans are likely to pick up seats in the House and the Senate in this fall’s elections, possibly a majority in one or both chambers.

The Tennessee business leaders believe until Congress acts, however, companies looking to invest in clean energy will turn to China, Europe and other places that are taking aggressive steps to transition to a low-carbon economy.

“They see market certainty in China and Germany. They don’t see certainty with the energy markets in the United States,” Piper said.

That was the message when they met in July with Tennessee Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.

Businesses are ready and willing to make investments and create jobs in Tennessee, they said. Many already are.

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Source: Michael Collins | Knoxville News Sentinel