Saturday, May 14, 2005

Environmental Extremists: They're Everywhere

According to the NYT, the radicals who disagree with President Bush on the Kyoto Protocol include 132 mayors:
The mayors, from cities as liberal as Los Angeles and as conservative as Hurst, Tex., represent nearly 29 million citizens in 35 states, according to Mayor Nickels's office. They are pledging to have their cities meet what would have been a binding requirement for the nation had the Bush administration not rejected the Kyoto Protocol: a reduction in heat-trapping gas emissions to levels 7 percent below those of 1990, by 2012.
Meanwhile, The Economist (subscription needed) reports that U.S. CEOs -- including energy executives -- are taking environmental issues seriously. Why would Jim Rogers, CEO of Cinergy (which is being acquired by Duke Energy), attend an environmental conference that featured Al Gore as keynote speaker?
Mr. Rogers adds a key motivation: both he and Paul Anderson, Duke's boss, believe that government policies “will inevitably lead to a carbon-constrained world.” Cinergy has many old and dirty coal plants, which emit vast amounts of carbon. The deal will help him retire many of them sooner, in favour of Duke's clean natural-gas plants.
Mr. Rogers was not the only unlikely corporate figure to tackle carbon this week: so did Jeff Immelt, boss of GE. In a speech in Washington, D.C., on May 9th, he committed GE to a set of green goals going far beyond any current government regulations. He vowed that by 2012 GE would boost its energy efficiency by 30%, and cut its greenhouse-gas emissions from over 40% above today's level if nothing is done, to 1% below. By 2010, he said, GE would double its annual investment in clean technology to $1.5 billion.
Mr. Immelt denounced America's “do-nothing” policy on climate change: “We are living in a carbon-constrained world where the amount of CO2 must be reduced.” The Bush administration has challenged whether CO2 can even be regulated as a pollutant, and opposes mandatory carbon caps. Bemoaning the resulting uncertainty for investors, Mr Immelt concluded: “America is the leading consumer of energy. However, we are not the technical leader. Europe today is the major force for environmental innovation.”


Blogger Coeruleus said...

They even had Robert Kennedy on Fox earlier today (on one of the "cost of freedom" shows) and they didn't attack him! Times they might be a changeing--let's hope.

1:49 PM, May 14, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

132 mayors may support Kyoto, but 96 senators voted against it. President Bush didn't kill the Kyoto Treaty, the US Senate did (under CLinton). W just acknowledged it publicly.


4:51 PM, May 16, 2005  

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