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Private sector leaders form The Oregon Business Alliance for Climate, led by Tom Kelly of Neil Kelly Co.

COURTESY PHOTO - New business group vows to seek a price on carbon, promote renewable energy in Oregon. Private sector leaders are stepping up the fight to enact a price on carbon emissions to combat climate change, with the formation of a new group, The Oregon Business Alliance for Climate.

Led by chairman Tom Kelly of Neil Kelly Co., the group's founding members will hold a press conference to announce their official launch on Thursday, June 22.

"The Business Alliance for Climate is specifically focused on Oregon's clean energy economy, including carbon pricing options, that will make the most sense for statewide business interests," Kelly said in an email release.

The group, which is still soliciting members and donations, says existing policies that mandate the use of more renewable energy and alternative transportation fuels are not enough.

Experts say putting a price on carbon emissions could have the biggest impacts of all policies, but efforts to do so have faced significant political hurdles and opposition.

Kelly's home improvement company, in addition to doing home energy audits, has a unit that does solar panel installations.

The new group's founding statement says climate change is already risking the health of Oregon's economy, causing wildfires, depleted snowpack and ocean acidification. Climate change poses grave risks to the state's agriculture, fisheries, recreation, manufacturing, financial, energy and natural resource industries, the alliance says in its founding statement.

For more information, see the group's website, still being built, at: http://orbizclimate.launchrock.com

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