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    ConocoPhillips, BP Quit Climate Coalition

    Shell Oil said it will remain a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- ConocoPhillips and BP have dropped out of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), the coalition of corporations and environmental groups that has been most prominent in pushing Congress to pass cap-and-trade legislation, according to a report by the Washington Post.

    The loss dealt a blow to the now 28-member group and further dims prospects for the cap-and-trade bill, which passed the House last summer and is awaiting action in the Senate, the report stated.

    Conoco and BP pulled out Monday, both saying USCAP served its purpose and that they prefer to pursue their interests independently. They cited concerns about the effect the proposed climate legislation might have on the oil refining business.

    ConocoPhillips chief executive, James J. Mulva, said in a statement that the current bill "left domestic refineries unfairly penalized vs. international competition."

    BP spokesman Ronnie Chappell said: "We think the organization has accomplished what it was intended to do. It has established a broad, principle-based framework for climate-change legislation. With the completion of that blueprint, that work was done.

    "We don't think legislation pending in the House or Senate conforms with the blueprint," Chappell added. "A disproportionate share of the cost burden falls on the transportation sector and consumers. As a result, we're going to miss out on the most cost-effective measures, and misallocation of resources could occur."

    BP is concerned "poorly designed legislation could result in the closure of refineries, an increase of [refined petroleum] product imports and the loss of U.S. jobs," he said.

    Corporate membership in USCAP costs approximately $100,000, according to an oil company official cited by the newspaper. USCAP added three corporate members in the past seven months, most recently Honeywell in October, and AES and Alstom last July. "Our mission is unchanged," USCAP spokesman Tad Segal told the Post.

    Despite the exit of its fellow oil giants, Shell Oil said it is staying in USCAP. "Shell has long supported a market-based approach to addressing energy supply and CO2 emissions. We are pleased to continue our association with USCAP," the company said in a statement.

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