AIG Withdraws From US Climate Action Partnership
Dow Joes Newswire
February 6, 2009
WASHINGTON -- American International Group (AIG), the beleaguered insurance giant rescued from an imminent failure by federal tax dollars, has withdrawn its membership from the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, the company said Friday.
The move follows queries from U.S. lawmakers about why the firm was funneling taxpayer money into the influential organization that's lobbying Congress to pass legislation that would ax greenhouse gas emissions.
"It is entirely appropriate for AIG to withdraw from USCAP," said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, who initiated the inquiry. "American taxpayers now own 80% of AIG and they should not have to fund its lobbying efforts to make cap-and-trade a reality," he told Dow Jones Newswires in an email.
Cap-and-trade legislation would mandate an increasing limit on greenhouse gas emissions, and create a market to buy and sell pollution credits.
Barton, a ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, is an outspoken critic of the move by Democratic leaders to cut greenhouse gases by at least 80% from their 1990 levels by 2050, saying such a law could cripple the economy and put U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage.
AIG spokesman Joseph Norton said in an email that the firm wasn't changing it's position on cap-and-trade legislation.
The insurance industry stands to gain from the creation of a potential multi-trillion dollar market in insuring climate change policies that could range from protection for potential weather-related incidents to liability for carbon dioxide storage leakage.
"This decision does not reflect any change in AIG's views on the mission of USCAP," Norton said. "However, we have concluded that participation in USCAP is not consistent with the spirit of AIG's decision to suspend federal lobbying activity."
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