GE: We Bring Higher Energy Costs to Life

Corporate rent seeking is a staple of global warming alarmism. When any company touts its green credentials, a good bit of skepticism is in order. For example, BP Solar, which has a solar plant in Frederick, has substantial financial interests at stake in the recommendations of the Maryland Climate Change Commission. One of those recommendations will be to encourage renewable energy sources like ta da solar energy.

However the big player in the global warming rent seeking game is General Electric. GE swooped in and gobbled up all of Enron’s alternative energy interests, after the company went belly up. Enron was the chief corporate lobbyist on the Clinton administration to sign the Kyoto protocol.

Why? Because the Kyoto protocols, if implemented in the United States the restrictions on so called “dirty” sources of energy would have positioned Enron to be the supplier of the “clean” but scarce and expensive-to-produce sources of energy.

The game is the same, but GE is just the new big dog. Darren Bakst a colleague of Paul Chesser at the John Locke Foundation explicates how GE plays the game.

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I find it interesting that NBC, a subsidiary of General Electric, is all of a sudden pushing green awareness. Their attempts at going green reached amusing levels recently when they broadcast their Sunday night football show without any lights.

They also dedicated a full week to “Green Week” integrating green doctrine into their programs (interesting that the writers and producers didn’t complain about corporate interference).
I doubt it is just a coincidence that General Electric (GE) is heavily invested in wind energy and alternative sources of energy. From a recent GE press release:

With a 500% increase in wind turbine production since 2004, GE expects its wind business revenues to exceed $4 billion this year. Over the past two years, GE has supplied wind turbines representing more than 50% of the new wind capacity across the U.S.

The alarmists that want to criticize anyone that dares speak against extreme action to mitigate global warming, always seek to tie the “skeptics” to big special interests (e.g. coal, oil, etc.). This is an easy way to avoid discussing any of the substance of the issues.

There is a slight problem though for the alarmists. They have big special interests on their side. GE is just one of the many rent seekers trying to make money off of excessive energy regulation, such as renewable portfolio standards that mandate the purchase of alternative energy.

Even the Nobel Prize Winner himself, Al Gore, appears to have a a lot to gain from global warming extremism. Gore is a new partner in a venture capital firm with a lot of investments in alternative energy.

Except from a recent Newsweek article: If Gore’s profit-sharing deal is anything like the firm’s other 23 partners, he’s also in line to collect tens of millions of dollars a year. That’s because partners carve up 30 percent of the profits if and when the alternative energy start-ups that KP supports go public or are sold.

Instead of talking about “big oil,” or coal, the special interests that should be talked about are the ones that are pushing government regulation to impose significantly higher costs on the public, including the poor, all in the name of extra profits.

Where is the media when it comes to doing some original research instead of repeating the same old tired cliches? “Big evil corporation uses influence to hurt the poor and benefit the rich”–that usually would be a story the media would cover in a second. However, when it comes to the environment, it doesn’t matter what the “evil corporations” do as long as they can articulate some environmental excuse.

GE: They bring good things to life, if you are a GE shareholder. If you are poor, they bring high energy prices to life.

crossposted on The Main Adversary

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