Sunday, June 01, 2008

Environmentalists and corporate welfare

The Lieberman-Warner bill sets caps on emission of some greenhouse gases and creates a complex government bureaucracy to allocate permits and such. Why do some corporations support the bill? They stand to profit, as CNN explains:

Businesses supporting Lieberman-Warner stand to profit from clean-energy or energy-efficiency iniatitives. GE, for instance, sells wind turbines, compact fluorescent lightbulbs, and energy-efficient locomotives and aircraft engines. Just this week, GE and the oil-field services firm Schlumberger announced plans to work together on clean-coal technology.

Utility companies Exelon, FPL Group, NRG Energy and PG&E Corp., which signed a letter supporting the bill, are developing nuclear energy, wind or solar power, or so-called clean-coal plants. They would gain as the costs of burning coal in conventional plans goes up. About 50% of electricity in the United States comes from burning coal.

Thus, some companies benefit if the cost of electricity goes up. If global warming legislation passes, we will know that those companies had the better lobbyists.

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