By Bob Tita
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
CHICAGO -(Dow Jones)- Deere & Co. (DE) has quietly dropped out of a coalition of large companies that has supported a cap-and-trade program for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Deere, the world’s largest manufacturer of farm machinery, opted to leave the U.S. Climate Action Partnership in May because the group’s legislative strategy “no longer served as a foundation for moving forward” with climate change regulation, Ken Golden, a spokesman for the company said Tuesday.
“We came to the conclusion that Deere had other opportunities to be involved in climate change initiatives,” Golden said.
The Moline, Ill., company joins a handful of other companies that have left the partnership in recent months, as political support erodes for comprehensive energy legislation that includes a cap-and-trade program and stricter mandates for energy conservation. Other members to leave the group include construction machinery company Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), and energy companies BP PLC (BP.LN, BP) and ConocoPhillips Co. (COP)
A spokesman for the partnership, Tad Segal, offered no reaction to Deere’s reasons for leaving the group, but credited the company with “playing a valuable and significant role” in developing the group’s policy initiatives.
“As with every coalition, there have been membership changes, including departures and new memberships,” said Segal.
About two dozen companies remain in the group, including corporate heavyweights General Electric Co. (GE), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Siemens AG (SIE), and Alcoa Inc. (AA) The group also has picked up four new members in the past year, including Honeywell International Inc. (HON) and Weyerhaeuser Co. (WY)
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