• Tech Giants Throw Their Weight Behind Clean Power Plan

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Tech Giants Throw Their Weight Behind Clean Power Plan

May 07 2016

Last year, President Obama and his administration put forward the Clean Power Plan, designed to force states to reduce the emissions coming from their power plants. Due to significant resistance to the plan from 24 different states, the Supreme Court blocked the proposal.

Now, the four technology giants of Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft have thrown their weight behind the project, claiming that those who oppose it will pay the price in both environmental and economic terms.

What is the Clean Power Plan?

The Clean Power Plan was introduced in 2015 as a means for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to gain a better control of emissions around the country. If it was approved, the initiative would allow the EPA to regulate all emissions from individual states, forcing those states to limit the amount of emissions from their factories and plants.

Of course, such regulation would not be in the best interests of many corporations and energy companies, and as a result, 24 states raised objections. The plan was blocked by the Supreme Court, but has since garnered significant backing not only from the president himself, but from over 200 current and ex-lawmakers, not to mention a plethora of environmental groups. Elsewhere, the presidential candidate forerunner for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton, has already pledged to transform the US into a clean energy superpower if she is elected.

Now, these four huge technology companies have thrown their hat into the ring, as well.

“Tech Amici” Behind the Plan

Cumulatively, the big four tech companies have financial clout totalling roughly $1.7 trillion, which means their words have significant gravitas behind them.

“This commitment reflects Tech Amici’s belief that delaying action on climate change will be costly in economic and human terms, while accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy will produce multiple benefits with regard to sustainable economic growth, public health, resilience to natural disasters, and the health of the global environment,” stated the companies in an amicus brief.  

Switching to renewable energy, along with finding ways to determine the value of waste materials as fuel feedstock, are the keys to transitioning away from the ultra-pollutant methods of fossil fuel combustion upon which we currently rely.

Practicing What They Preach?

So the four tech moguls have made their stance clear – but do they operate clean policies in their own companies? Yes. Here’s a rundown of each of the four’s efforts in cleaning up their act:

  • Apple produces and purchases renewable energy for all of its US facilities and for 93% of those based overseas.
  • Amazon pledged to garner 100% of its energy from renewable means back in 2014.
  • Google has been carbon-neutral for almost a decade (since 2007) and is currently the biggest corporate buyer of renewable energy worldwide, having purchased 2GW of the stuff as of today.
  • Microsoft has been carbon-neutral for the past four years and hopes to produce all of its energy from renewables within the near future.

By pointing to the sustainable practices in their own hugely successful enterprises, these behemoths of the industry can hopefully encourage other businesses to follow suit.
 


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