Houston energy execs behind new CO2 groups *update*

Corbin Robertson Jr., chief executive of and leading shareholder of Houston’s Natural Resource Partners has teamed with H. Leighton Steward, a former exec at Burlington Resources to launch a new group to fight climate change legislation, according to this Washington Post article:

“The new groups join an increasingly fractious debate over climate legislation that has roiled corporate and environmental groups alike. Earlier this month, Duke Energy, Alcoa and Alstom all pulled out of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, an industry group whose ads have asserted that the House climate bill would make energy unaffordable. “We thought [the bill] had evolved in ways to be affordable for our customers,” said Duke spokesman Tom Williams.

The pair have also launched Plants Need CO2 as an educational non-profit. It’s web site has messages like “Warmer is better than colder” and “More CO2 in the air means enhanced plant growth.”
Adam Kolton, Senior Director, Congressional and Federal Affairs for the National Wildlife Federation, shot back at the groups’ message:

“Steward’s simplistic view of climate science shows he is no steward of the environment. Excessive reliance on dirty fossil fuels amounts to forcing our ecosystems to gorge on carbon dioxide. His diet prescription is destructive and reckless.”

He added that according to a recent federal report, higher CO2 enhances growth of some plants, but generally not in desirable ways. Excess CO2:
· makes crops less nutritious with lower nitrogen and protein content;
· favors weeds, invasive species, and undesirable plants, e.g., poison ivy grows faster and is more toxic;
· increases production of allergy-inducing pollen; and
· decreases nutrient content of forage species, with impacts for cattle and wildlife health.
Here’s the group’s new ad: