Corporate Integrity Project
Bob Rubin: Citi's $ 100 Million Man
Comment by Tom Borelli:
Citi Director Bob Rubin (second from right) is taking heat for being richly rewarded while watching the company fall to the brink of bankruptcy.
Despite his spin, Rubin is responsible for sitting back while Citi lost billions of dollars.
Because of his incompetence and the subsequent government bailout we are all involuntary shareholders in Citi. As shareholders, we should exercise our rights and demand Rubin's immediate dismissal.
In a Wall Street Journal story, Rubin, Under Fire, Defends His Role at Citi, he tries to defend his lavish pay "Mr. Rubin said his pay was justified and that there were higher-paying opportunities available to him" while blaming the company's problems on executives that did not conduct proper risk management.
Importantly, the story notes Rubin encouraged the bank to take more risk to increase its profit growth while at the same time he was saying in speeches "the only undervalued asset class in the world is risk."
According to the story Rubin made"$115 million in pay since 1999, excluding stock options."
Read the full story (subscription required)
In The News
Comment by Tom Borelli: ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva's push for global warming legislation is putting his company at risk.
For additional information:
Read the transcript of my dialogue with Mulva from the 2008 ConocoPhillips shareholder meeting
Listen to our exchange at the 2008 shareholder meeting on youtube
and read my commentary below!
ConocoPhillips' Push for Global Warming Regulations Could Lead to the Next Government Takeover
Bad decisions by CEOs are at the core of our economic crisis.
Throwing caution to the wind, chief executives in the financial industry took enormous risks by placing huge bets on financial instruments based on mortgages. Abandoning common sense and basic economic principles, CEOs failed to execute proper risk management by contemplating the consequences of a downturn in the housing market.
The harm caused by incompetent CEOs extends well beyond shareholders – it also threatens the conservative principles of limited government and free markets.
Failures of this magnitude frequently result in calls for increased government control. This crisis has led to a huge expansion of government through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which allows the Secretary of Treasury to purchase up to $ 700 billion of distressed assets from banks. Read more
Comment by Tom Borelli:
Let’s add Exelon John Rowe (see picture) to the rankings of questionable CEOs. Exelon is one of the companies seeking to take advantage of possible cap-and-trade regulations to boost its profits.
As a leader in nuclear power, Rowe is banking on having excess carbon credits that Exelon can sell to companies burdened with high carbon dioxide emissions.
Rowe, however, is missing two key points.
First, cap-and-trade will result in slower economic growth and reduce the ability of his customers to pay their electricity bills. In fact, Exelon’s third quarter earnings were negatively impacted by an increase in unpaid bills.
Second, as reported in the Chicago Tribune, if Exelon acquires NRG – another utility – Rowe will also be obtaining NRG’s coal fired power plants. Increasing Exelon’s carbon emissions will jeopardize the company’s commitments to reduce its carbon footprint and also decrease its profit motive via cap-and-trade.
At some point Rowe will realize his global warming policy conflicts with generating profits.
Read the Chicago Tribune Article
Public Employee Pensions Endangered by State Officials Playing Global Warming Politics
Washington, DC - Already at-risk public employee pension funds are being placed at further risk by state officials who are lobbying for global warming regulation and by state officials who are ignoring the risks posed by such regulation, says a new report, "Pensions in Peril: Are State Officials Risking Public Employee Retirement Benefits by Playing Global Warming Politics?," by the National Center for Public Policy Research.
The report found that:
1. Global warming regulation is a key portfolio risk for state and local pension funds.
2. A substantial minority of state and pension fund administrators (15 states and local governments managing about $1.21 in assets or 45% of all actuarial assets of state and local pension funds) are actively promoting regulation that is likely to adversely impact their portfolios and beneficiaries. These states and local governments include: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York City, New York state, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
The report is available at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA575.html
Comment by Tom Borelli:
A new documentary "Blocking the Path to 9/11" describes how leading Democrats and left-wing activists successfully launched an intimidation campaign against the Disney/ABC miniseries "The Path to 9/11." (Watch the YouTube video trailer)
The following story "Who was blocking 'The Path to 9/11'?" by Jeffrey Ressner of Politico describes the controversy.
Over the past few years, perhaps no film controversy has inspired more outrage from conservatives than the Walt Disney Company’s handling of the ambitious 2006 miniseries “The Path to 9/11.” In the wake of Michael Moore’s 2004 anti-Bush documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” and the 2003 CBS biopic “The Reagans,” the Disney censorship fiasco has been a frequent bone of contention on right-wing blogs, AM talk radio and other media outlets. In addition to making cuts in its ABC-TV telefilm after complaints from political forces, the company also shelved plans for a subsequent DVD release.
The miniseries, a $40 million dramatization of events leading up to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was set for its network debut when several members of President Bill Clinton’s administration, including former National Ssecurity Adviser Sandy Berger and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, insisted that several scenes were inaccurate or fictitious, and Clinton himself demanded the program be corrected or pulled. Five Democratic senators even sent a letter to Disney CEO Bob Iger that appeared to threaten the company’s broadcast license over the issue. Edits were made, a...
Comment from Tom Borelli:
A news report from Reuters says GE is not going to sell its NBC Universal business unit.
Some investors are calling for GE to sell the news and entertainment business because they don't see the synergy between GE's infrastructure business that sells wind turbines and jet engines and the news and movie industry.
These investors don't see the synergy because it is largely invisible. CEO Jeff Immelt shrewdly uses his NBC network to promote GE's products. For example, during the July 20th broadcast of NBC's "Meet the Press," Al Gore used almost the entire hour to blast oil and tout his idea to generate the country’s electricity needs from carbon free sources in 10 years.
Carbon free energy would be a boon to GE's investment in wind power.
Cloaking advertising as news illustrates the synergy but it's something GE can't publicly acknowledge.
Here is the Reuters story:
BEIJING (Reuters) - General Electric Co (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) has no plans to sell its NBC Universal media unit and is on track to double its China annual revenue to $10 billion by 2010, a top executive said on Monday.
Some investors have said they would like Chief Executive Jeff Immelt to consider selling NBC after the Olympics because it is growing more slowly than GE's infrastructure businesses.
But Beth Comstock, GE's chief marketing officer, told Reuters: "I think Jeff Immelt has been very clear ... saying to the media, to internal audiences and to investors that he sees NBC as a part of GE's future."
Read full story
Comment by Tom Borelli:
Paul Gigot's The Fannie Mae Gang in the July 23rd edition of the WSJ is a MUST read. (Picture of Senator Dodd, former Countrywide CEO Mozilo and Senator Conrad)
Gigot explains how blending the liberal goal of home ownership, Wall Street profits and lobbying influence bought political and media protection for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In this symbiotic relationship everyone wins - except the taxpayer.
What Gigot describes with Fannie and Freddie also applies to other public policy issues including efforts to control global warming. In this instance, once again, we find liberal goals meshing with corporate interests and Wall Street.
This also explains why T. Boone Pickens is now the hero of liberal politicians, the mainstream media and companies pushing wind power like General Electric.
There is nothing more precious to the Left than a convert from the Right.
For almost four years, the Free Enterpirse project has been battling corporations to break this cozy alliance and we're thrilled that Gigot gave this issue national prominence.
For the sake of liberty we must break the liberal industrial complex!
Here are the key quotes from Gigot's piece:
Their unique clout derives from a combination of liberal ideology and private profit. Fannie has been able to purchase political immunity for decades by disguising its vast profit-making machine in the cloak of "affordable housing." To be more precise, Fan and Fred have been protected by an alliance of Capitol Hill and Wall Street, of Barney Frank and Angelo Mozilo.
The abiding lesson here is what happens when you combine private profit with government...
Comment by Tom Borelli:
After years of poor leadership GE CEO Jeff Immelt (see picture) is having a fire sale of company assets including its Consumer & Industrial business. Since Immelt took over the helm from Jack Welch in 2001 the stock is down about 30%.
In explaining the sale Immelt said "As we explored our options for Appliances, it became clear that the fastest, most efficient step we could take in completing the transformation of our Industrial portfolio would be to focus on a possible spin-off of the entire unit… This is consistent with the strategy we have been executing to transform the GE portfolio for long-term growth and makes sense for GE shareholders."
Immelt is also selling GE's credit card division.
The timing could not be worse for shareholders. In the midst of the economic turndown, these businesses are worth substantially less than if Immelt had recognized earlier that the conglomerate model he cherished was outdated.
Immelt might have anticipated the impact of the housing crisis on GE had he spent more time thinking about economics than lobbying for global warming regulations in Washington D.C.
The only green shareholders are seeing is in the GE logo…
Comment by Tom Borelli:
Today's front page story in the Washington Post shows the environmental movement and the beverage industry are on a collision course.
With the planet in "peril", activists view bottled water as a luxury that could easily be sacrificed for the common good.
As the story points out, global warming concerns and plastic disposal are the primary reasons to limit bottled water sales:
"Tons of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere each year to produce and transport a product thousands of miles from Place A to Place B, when an identical product is already available in Place B in a form that is typically much cheaper, rigorously tested and sometimes safer. And afterward, millions of plastic bottles end up in landfills."
Clearly, efforts to make friends with the activists including lobbying for global warming regulations has backfired on PepsiCo - the maker of Aquafina - the leading bottled water brand.
The beverage industry must soon realize that the environmental movement and in particular global warming alarmism should be feared and not embraced.
Read the entire article
Comment by Tom Borelli:
The NY Times Magazine published an in-depth article on Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers’s failed effort to have Congress legislate limits on greenhouse gas emissions via a cap-and-trade regulatory scheme.
The article is important because it serves as a case study illustrating the pitfalls of the so-called “seat at the table” rationale for justifying company participation in supporting legislation on a contentious issue.
Rogers, who is given credit for selling cap-and-trade to Congress, had to lobby against the legislation after the elements of Warner-Lieberman bill were found to harm Duke Energy's business.
It’s amazing to observe how clueless a CEO can be when it comes to public policy.
Rogers really thought his coal dependent company would be treated fairly by left-wing Democrats and environmental activists.
For his unvarnished idealism Rogers deserves the Don Quixote Award for chasing legislative windmills.
The following is a segment of the article:
"Even in this era of green evangelism, Rogers is a genuine anomaly. As the head of Duke Energy, with its dozens of coal-burning electric plants scattered around the Midwest and the Carolinas, he represents one of the country’s biggest sources of greenhouse gases. The company pumps 100 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, making it the third-largest corporate emitter in the United States.
Yet Rogers, who makes $10 million a year, is also one of the electricity industry’s most vocal environmentalists."
Read the full article
Comment by Tom Borelli:
Oil executives faced another grilling in Congress this week. The Senate Judiciary Committee wanted to flex its muscle by conducting another show trial targeting oil company leaders – all because gasoline prices are hitting new highs. I can’t think of a more deserving crowd to feel the heat because of their failure to understand and manage public policy risk.
Oil executives’ enemy is high gasoline prices not global warming. Like it or not, they are the fall guys when gasoline prices go up. Instead of trying to avoid this risk by aggressively encouraging and promoting public policy to increase domestic supply of oil and natural gas, many of these companies are supporting global warming legislation that will only lead to higher energy prices.
By advocating for global warming legislation they are actually lobbying for further embarrassment at the hands of headline seeking Congressman.
The following NY Times story describes yesterday’s hearing:
"WASHINGTON — Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee vented their fury over high gasoline prices at executives of the nation’s five largest oil companies on Wednesday, grilling the oilmen over their multimillion-dollar pay packages and warning them that Congress was intent on taking action that could include a new tax on so-called windfall profits." Read article
Comment by Tom Borelli:
The Wall Street Journal's Environmental Capital blog has an excellent summary on the debate surrounding the Warner-Leiberman Climate Change Bill. Check out the links - especially the link to the WSJ's editorial "Climate Reality Bites."
Here is part of the blog:
"It’s shaping up to be a Dickensian summer on the Hill. What seemed just a few months ago like the best of times to pass ambitious climate-change legislation has suddenly turned into the worst of times. Nobel-prize momentum has given way to hand-wringing over the economy.
That makes the difficult balancing act of crafting politically palatable but still effective climate laws even tougher. The big worry now? By trying to sugarcoat the Lieberman-Warner bill enough to garner a fillibuster-proof majority in the Senate, proponents of climate-legislation run the risk of making the new law a paper tiger." Read full article
All in the Anti-Capitalist Family (picture includes Neva Rockerfeller, CT State Treasurer Denise Nappier and Peter O'Neill - great grandson of John D. Rockefeller)
The heirs of the Rockerfeller family are working with state pension funds and left-wing shareholder groups to split the role of chairman and chief executive at ExxonMobil. They feel current CEO Rex Tillerson should be doing more investments in alternative fuels and cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions.
It's interesting to note that Tillerson refused to get involved in biofuels like ethanol "I am not an expert on farming. I don't have a lot of technology to add to moonshine" and he recently called for more domestic drilling for oil.
This serves as an excellent example regarding the way the Left uses shareholder activism to advance their agenda. If fact, the Left has filed 15 shareholder resolutions at Exxon to intimidate the company.
Exxon is holding the line while other major oil companies like BP and ConocoPhillips caved under pressure. Recall that politically correct business strategies proved a disaster at BP.
GE is taking well deserved heat for selling infrastructure equipment to Iran. Monday's front page story in the Washington Post describes the media family feud between MSNBC - a GE company - and Fox News.
The real story is why isn't there more outrage about GE CEO Jeff Immelt (see picture). Under his leadership GE stock has declined and now he is trading with a state sponsor of terror.
Let's not forget that Immelt is lobbying real hard for cap-and-trade legislation to address global warming concerns. Immelt is an enemy of the free-market and a friend of Iran. With these accomplishments Immelt is the leading candidate for the Benedict Arnold CEO Award for 2008!
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 19, 2008; Page A01
Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News star, is mounting an extraordinary televised assault on the chief executive of General Electric, calling him a "pinhead" and a "despicable human being" who bears responsibility for the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq.
On the surface, O'Reilly's charges revolve around GE's history of doing business with Iran. But the attacks grow out of an increasingly bitter feud between O'Reilly and the company's high-profile subsidiary, NBC, one that has triggered back-channel discussions involving News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, NBC chief executive Jeff Zucker and General Electric's CEO, Jeffrey Immelt. Read more
Aaron Barnhart's blog TV Barn discusses Clinton in Exile a new book that among other things talks about how Clinton and his gang tried to block the broadcast of the ABC miniseries "The Path to 9/11"
Here is part of the blog:
"But the really eyebrow-raising story, and the one that may have legs if the primary battle between his wife and Barack Obama stretches into the summer, is how Team Clinton worked hard to kill off the "Path to 9/11" miniseries on ABC in 2006. Though even close advisors to the Clinton Administration have conceded shortcomings in their response to al-Qaeda — so well laid out in Lawrence Wright's magnificent account The Looming Tower — they all went into attack mode after some FOBs saw a preview of the first night of "Path to 9/11." Even though the script was from a veteran TV docudrama writer who had no real axe to grind, and had been reviewed carefully by 9/11 Commission icon Tom Kean, he was quickly demonized as a right-wing hack by Clintonites and their amen corner in the blogosphere. Read More
GE Bringing Terrorism to Life
GE is selling equipment to Iran and keeping the country's infrastructure intact. In a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, GE lists its customers as the “Government-owned electrical utilities and the Ministry of Oil.”
CEO Jeff Immelt defends this business decision by stating ". . . to conduct business in certain countries is complex – we must take into account not only the views of the U.S. Government but all relevant stakeholders.”
Only on planet Immelt does U.S. interests take a backseat to Ahmadinejad's "stakeholder" status.
The Wall Street Journal makes it clear that Iran is transporting weapons to Iraq.
By supporting Iran, GE is bringing terrorism to life.
U.S. Says New Find Shows
Iran Still Sends Arms to Iraq
By YOCHI J. DREAZEN
April 25, 2008; Page A1
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. military says it has found caches of newly made Iranian weapons in Iraq, leading senior officials to conclude Tehran is continuing to funnel armaments into Iraq despite its pledges to the contrary.
Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger is blocking the sale of the DVD of the Path to 9/11 - the ABC miniseries based on the 9/11 Commission report.
Brit Hume of FoxNews covered the controversy in the Political Grapevine.
Click to read more about Iger and The Path to 9/11.
An editorial in the New York Times blasts compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) because they contain mercury.
After polluting the Hudson River with PCBs GE is now repeating the same mistake: by selling CFLs the company is polluting millions of homes with mercury.
GE's Ecomagination marketing strategy has blinded CEO Jeff Immelt to the business risks of riding the green wave.
Here is the editorial:
That Newfangled Light Bulb
February 17, 2008
Across the world, consumers are being urged to stop buying outdated incandescent light bulbs and switch to new spiral fluorescent bulbs, which use about 25 percent of the energy and last 10 times longer. In Britain, there is a Ban the Bulb movement. China is encouraging the change. And the United States Congress has set new energy efficiency standards that will make Edison’s magical invention obsolete by the year 2014.
Now, the question is how to dispose of these compact fluorescent bulbs once they break or quit working.
Unlike traditional light bulbs, each of these spiral bulbs has a tiny bit of a dangerous toxin — around five milligrams of mercury. And although one dot of mercury might not seem so bad, almost 300 million compact fluorescents were sold in the United States last year. That is already a lot of mercury to throw in the trash, and the amounts will grow ever larger in coming years. Read more
The Wall Street Journal summarized the state of BP following the failed leadership of its former CEO John Browne.
On Reducing Its Risks,
Fixing U.S. Troubles
By MATTHEW DALTON
January 2, 2008
BP PLC is hoping to reach operational health in 2008, but questions remain about whether problems within U.S. operations could undermine its turnaround.
The oil giant's two largest U.S. refineries and its oil field at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska are expected to operate at capacity for most of the year for the first time since 2004.
But the main issue isn't whether the London-based company has fixed problems that several investigations said caused a deadly March 2005 explosion at its refinery in Texas City, Texas. The question is whether BP has diminished the risk of catastrophic events that all companies engaged in the exploration, production and processing of hydrocarbons face.
The refinery blast was the first and most serious in a string of disasters that included oil spills from BP's pipelines on Alaska's North Slope, costing billions of dollars in profit. Read more
The following are The Five Worst CEOs for 2007. The "winners" have allowed the liberal social agenda to drive their business decisions.
BP's John Browne. Browne resigned this year partly because his global warming strategy failed miserably.
GE's Jeff Immelt. "GE's Environment Push Hits Business Realities" -- a front-page Wall Street Journal story in 2007 -- highlighted the downsides of its "Ecomagination" marketing campaign.
Wal-Mart's Lee Scott. Scott's global warming strategy has the company appealing to the liberal elite while selling out shareholders and low-income customers.
PepsiCo's Indra K. Nooyi. The company sponsored Al Gore's Live Earth concert to appear in sync with the environmental generation." Bottled water, however, is the focus of activists and politicians seeking to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Caterpillar's James Owens. The construction and mining equipment company's global warming strategy is jeopardizing its future earnings by working against its customers in the coal industry.
Read our press release
PepsiCo is actually lobbying against its own earnings!
PepsiCo's Aquafina is the leading brand of bottled water but its promotion of global warming hysteria is backfiring on its product line.
PepsiCo sponsored Al Gore's Live Earth concert and it is part of a lobbying group seeking regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions.
Cities across the nation are looking for ways to limit bottled water consumption to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Here is the story:
Our guilty gallons
BOTTLED WATER'S IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENT
By Mark Boslet
Article Launched: 12/16/2007 01:42:59 AM PST
Drinking a bottle of water might seem innocent enough, but each bottle has a downside many people overlook - a contribution to global warming.
That's because bottles create carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas, when they are made, trucked to a store and disposed of in a landfill or recycled. Their impact can quickly add up.
"Bottled water is an energy-intensive luxury for Americans," said Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, an environmental think tank in Oakland. "It's certainly much less necessary than the other things we use energy for."
Last year, Americans consumed 8.3 billion gallons of bottled water, or the equivalent of 27.6 gallons a person, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp., a New York-based market research firm. Just making the bottles to hold all the water produced more than 2.5 million tons of CO, the Pacific Institute calculates. Read More...
Cap-and-Trade Could Cost Average Family $10,800 in Lost Income
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A cap-and-trade scheme for controlling greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) would impose significant economic costs on the U.S. economy and is not a sound policy response to current concerns about global warming, says renown economist Arthur Laffer in a new study released today.
"Dr. Laffer's analysis is another death knell for the cap-and-trade approach to addressing concerns over carbon dioxide emissions," said Steven Milloy, executive director of the Free Enterprise Education Institute (FEEI), the nonprofit group sponsoring the study.
"The Department of Energy, Congressional Budget Office and, now, Dr. Laffer have all concluded that cap- and-trade would be disastrous for the U.S. economy," added
Laffer's analysis, entitled "The Adverse Economic Impacts of Cap-and- Trade" concludes that:
-- Cap-and-trade may reduce U.S. economic growth by 4.2 percent -- even to achieve the comparatively modest GHG reductions of the Kyoto Protocol i.e., GHG emissions 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-2012).
--The cost to reach the ultimate goal of some GHG control proponents (e.g., reducing GHG emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050) would be significantly greater. Moreover, these estimates may underestimate
the actual cost as they assume the government would auction the rights to emit greenhouse gases -- as opposed to simply giving them away, which is the approach often discussed in the Congress.
Read the study...
Lights Out for Old Bulbs?
When you play with activists --- you are going to get burned. This is the lesson that GE's CEO Jeff Immelt is learning. For years, Immelt has been teaming up with environmental activists to whip up global warming fears in the hopes of financial and reputational gains. Now this strategy is backfiring on his business.
Congress wants to phase out the incandescent light bulb(see Thomas Edison picture) and mandate the use of the more energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs to save the planet. According to the article "manufacturers will have to scrap new multimillion-dollar investments in equipment and employees to meet 2012 standards."
The WSJ reported on this topic today:
WASHINGTON -- The House and Senate are working on legislation that over the next seven years would phase out the conventional light bulb, a move aimed at saving energy and reducing man-made emissions believed linked to climate change.
General Electric Co., Philips Electronics NV of the Netherlands and other manufacturers have been meeting with conservation and environmental groups and say they are close to agreement on the general terms of a phaseout. Bipartisan coalitions in Congress are likely to add these terms to a broad energy bill expected to be voted on next month.
While manufacturers voiced some concerns about producing enough bulbs to meet the new deadlines, they emphasized that they want prompt federal legislation that would prevent states from setting their own standards, creating a patchwork of differing requirements. Nevada has already set its own standard, and California is considering one. Read more...
Comment by Tom Borelli:
Because of $ 4 gasoline, consumer backlash has some elected officals calling for more domestic drilling for oil. The following LA Times story shows how some elected officials are beginning to recognize the downside risk of being "green." Ironically, the success of environmental activists (see picture) in blocking natural resource development in the U.S. may have backfired.
"With gas above $4, some who previously backed the longtime ban say it's time to start exploring."
By Richard Simon and Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
June 18, 2008
WASHINGTON -- The environmental movement, only recently poised for major advances on global warming and other issues, has suddenly found itself on the defensive as high gasoline prices shift the political climate nationwide and trigger defections by longtime supporters.
Opposition to offshore drilling -- once ironclad in places like California and Florida -- has begun to soften. Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida on Tuesday eased his opposition to new energy exploration off the coast.
"Floridians are suffering, and when you're paying over $4 a gallon for gas, you have to wonder whether there might be additional resources that we might be able to utilize to bring that price down," said Crist, a Republican.
At the same time, pressure to drill is mounting.
President Bush today is expected to call on Congress to lift the ban on new offshore drilling, and a House committee will consider a proposal to relax the moratorium. Read more...
Comment by Tom Borelli:
My commentary posted on Townhall.com describes why we need to fear CEOs as much as left-wing politicians. This is especially true when they work together to loot us of our money and liberty. (Picture GE CEO Jeff Immelt on left)
"Last week’s Senate debate over Lieberman-Warner – the America’s Climate Security Act – brought to national attention an under-recognized yet rising threat to liberty and limited government: corporate America. Several of the largest corporations worked with environmental special interest groups and left-wing politicians to pass so-called “cap-and-trade” legislation to address global warming concerns.
By pushing for the legislation, these companies hoped to get revenue in the form of government subsidies plus accolades from the media for taking measures to “save the planet.” Never mind the impact on the everyday citizen, who pays for it all with higher taxes and increased energy prices, a loss of liberty, a reduced standard of living and fewer consumer choices." Read more...
Comment by Tom Borelli:
Tim Carney has a fantastic commentary on Lieberman–Warner - the climate change bill - that was debated in the Senate this week.
Carney exposes GE as “a regulatory robber baron” by pointing out that “General Electric has created a new business called GHG Services, which plans to pick up Enron’s CO2-dealing business, including winning free allowances through lobbying efforts.”
Read Carney’s commentary: Enron’s favorite bill gets its day in the sun
It’s GE and other rent seeking companies that are driving Lieberman-Warner.
On planet Immelt (see photo with Al Gore) GE increases its profits by increasing the size of government so it can leverage its huge lobbying budget to its advantage.
While GE gets free carbon credits from the government, we get higher energy prices and reduced economic growth.
In our view, Immelt is a threat to liberty, limited government and national security. This week we called for the board of directors to dismiss Immelt because:
- GE's stock price is lower today than it was when Immelt became Chairman and CEO in 2001;
- GE continues to do business with Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism;
- GE supports Lieberman-Warner
Read our press release: GE's Board of Directors should dismiss CEO Jeff Immelt
Fox Business Channel interviewed us on our call for Immelt to go! Watch the video
Comment by Tom Borelli:
It's climate change week as the Warner-Lieberman bill is going to be debated on the Senate floor. The legislation is the biggest threat to limited government and liberty since the Clinton Administration proposed universal government funded health care.
Lobbying efforts from companies like General Electric (see picture of GE CEO Jeff Immelt with Al Gore) is the driving force behind the legislation - environmental special interest groups can't get it done without corporate money and influence.
To learn more about the consequences of the bill read the summary by the National Center for Public Policy Research.
The following is a story in today's Washington Post on the bill:
By Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, June 1, 2008; A12
When the Senate takes up landmark climate legislation this week, its backers can be sure of just one thing: The obstacles they face show how hard it will be to enact a meaningful cap on greenhouse gases -- probably under the next administration.
The next administration, not this one, because even supporters of the complex, extensively negotiated 494-page bill say that there is little chance that it will win Senate approval, less chance that the House will agree on a similar measure and perhaps no chance that President Bush will sign it if it reaches his desk. Read Article
Comment by Tom Borelli:
Quote of the day by Czech President Vaclav Klaus (see picture) on Climate Alarmism:
"Like their (communist) predecessors, they will be certain that they have the right to sacrifice man and his freedom to make their idea reality," he said. "In the past, it was in the name of the Marxists or of the proletariat -- this time, in the name of the planet," he said.
Klaus is promoting his book: "Blue Planet in Green Shackles -- What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?"
Also check out the press release "Overwhelming Majority of Americans Oppose Lieberman-Warner Global Warming Proposal, New Poll Suggests" Read More
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review printed a story on Klaus and his willingness to debate Al Gore.
WASHINGTON -- Czech President Vaclav Klaus said Tuesday he is ready to debate Al Gore about global warming as he presented the English version of his latest book that argues environmentalism poses a threat to basic human freedoms.
"I many times tried to talk to have a public exchange of views with him, and he's not too much willing to make such a conversation," Klaus said. "So I'm ready to do it."
In a front page story, the Washington Times reports on Disney's failure to sell the DVD of "The Path to 911."
Investor: Disney shelved 9/11 film
By Christian Toto
March 22, 2008
Tom Borelli is so sure the Walt Disney Co. is suppressing the DVD release of the 2006 miniseries "The Path to 9/11" for political reasons that he is ready to put up money to prove the point.
Mr. Borelli, a Disney shareholder, accused Disney CEO Robert Iger at a March 6 shareholders' meeting of blocking the release of "Path" in order to protect Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the legacy of her husband's administration. Read more...
WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should take immediate steps to require publicly-owned corporations to reveal the potential harm caused by global warming regulations on earnings and shareholder value, concluded a study released today by the Free Enterprise Education Institute (FEEI).
The report, "Failure to Disclose: Businesses Lobbying for Global Warming Regulation Keep Shareholders in the Dark," finds that many corporations supporting greenhouse gas regulations have failed to warn
shareholders about the harmful consequences these regulations pose to future earnings.
Surprisingly, only five of the twenty-one members of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a lobbying group supporting global warming regulation and cap-and-trade schemes, have disclosed in their annual SEC
filings that limits on greenhouse gas emissions pose a business risk.
Read the study...
Cap and Trade: A Bad Trade-off for the Economy and Company Earnings
The Free Enterprise Education Institute released a report on the cost of global warming regulations. The report reviews a study conducted by the EIA during the Clinton-Gore administration that analyzed the economic impact of a cap and trade system to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Click to read report...
Under the best scenario a cap and trade system will:
• Raise gasoline prices by nearly 53 percent
• Raise energy prices by more than 86 percent
• Reduce economic growth by 1.9 percent, which is $256 billion of 2006 GDP
• Reduce economic activity across most industries including the construction, manufacturing, transportation and finance industries
• Raise interest rates because higher energy prices will exert upward pressure on overall prices and contribute to inflation
Companies In The Spotlight
It sure looks like Walt Disney has become an extension of the Democratic Party. Under the "leadership" of liberal CEO Bob Iger the company is burying the DVD of the ABC TV miniseries "The Path to 9/11" because the Left complained the program was biased. Because of Iger's decision shareholders are being denied an opportunity to generate revenue and the public is being denied an opportunity to learn about the events that led up to the terrorist attack on Septermber 11, 2001.
Under the leadership of group chief executive Lord Browne, BP leveraged an in-vogue liberal movement called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in addressing the public’s unease with oil companies and their affect on the environment. BP sought to re-position itself as a “green” and “socially responsible” company by distancing itself from its petroleum roots and its competitors.
We Applaud GE's Vision to Develop Efficient Products: Condemn Their Support of Excessive Greenhouse Gas Regulation. General Electric is seeking federal regulation on global warming. With energy prices at an all time high, regulations seeking for carbon dioxide emission limits will drive energy prices even higher. Additional energy price shocks will cause significant economic damage harming future earnings of both GE shareholders and businesses throughout the United States.
We just love the money making machine of Goldman Sachs. Yet the Chilean land deal ocherstraed by former CEO Hank Paulson looted shareholders of a good source of revenue only to service his hobby. Making matters worse, the company has not disclosed important details surrounding the land donation including the fair-market value of the 680,000 acres of land.