alien & sedition.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
  Enlightened Self-Interest: A Global Conspiracy?

Kevin Drum points out this WSJ piece, which discusses moves by American energy trade associations to get behind the idea of some sort of carbon emissions limits:
The shift by the groups, which include the Edison Electric Institute and the American Gas Association, underscores their belief that Congress is in a mood to pass some form of mandatory emissions controls, perhaps before the next election in 2008. "We want to be at the table" during the debate, said Paul Wilkinson, a vice president of the American Gas Association, which represents 200 utilities that distribute natural gas throughout the U.S.
Drum calls this "good news" but points out that it mainly indicates that energy companies are "tacking in the wind," given the multiplicity of bills in Congress - as well as state-level efforts - to limit emissions. Industry leaders realize they need to be on board with the idea of emissions limits if they are to have any hope of keeping them relatively watered-down.

Interestingly, the energy associations don't seek to challenge the "cap-and-trade" approach planned by almost all of the various bills - despite the advice of some conservative intellectuals. They do, however, seek to include "safety valve" provisions that would set limits on the cost of emissions credits.

Meanwhile, some conservatives are crying betrayal over such moves. See for instance Mike Franc of the Heritage Foundation, who is shocked at the idea that businesses may be acting out of financial self interest:
Conspiracy theorists believe those splits aren't accidental and point to efforts by left-leaning foundations such as the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, which has convinced 42 large corporations -- including Intel, Alcoa, Georgia-Pacific, Sunoco, Lockheed Martin, Weyerhaeuser and Toyota -- to embrace ambitious global-warming legislation. Pew's president, Eileen Claussen, has even boasted about this divide-and-conquer strategy: "The whole objective was to split the industry so you could get people who were progressive to begin to do something" to advance global-warming legislation.

But the companies climbing aboard are hardly motivated by altruism. "We also believe," Pew's website states, "that companies taking early action on climate strategies and policy will gain sustained competitive advantage over their peers."

Indeed, some of these companies want to force their competitors to shoulder costs they have already borne.
Thus is revealed the Pew Center's secret plan for total world domination.

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