–Andrew Leckey is President of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communication at Arizona State University in Phoenix. Any views expressed here are his own.-
Having spent the past two weeks in record high temperatures in Beijing and Shanghai, with global warming being noted publicly by Chinese officials as the primary cause of severe weather, I find the situation faced by U.S. companies somewhat ironic.
The now-grounded U.S. climate legislation, rather than clearing a general or modest environmental path for U.S. companies and emerging nations, underscored the significant differences of opinion over the environment and the economic impact of regulation.
Other countries may be first to take direct steps, since so many do not require the consensus that the U.S. does and aren’t facing recessionary pressure.
Plenty of money was spent lobbying on both sides of U.S. climate legislation because stakes are high. With the currently unfavorable prospects and likelihood of a less-green Congress next year, new EPA regulations or new Congressional legislation are the possibilities. Most businesses realize that this issue can be stalled but won’t disappear entirely.