Only a month ago BP – which not long ago promoted itself as “Beyond Petroleum” – released an “energy outlook” video that projected 99 percent of America’s energy will be supplied domestically by 2030, in part because it says the U.S. will grow production from renewable sources 202 percent by that time.
Just don’t expect BP to participate in the alleged alternative energy “boom.” The London-based petroleum producer announced last week it would dump its investments in U.S. wind energy projects, which were said to be worth $3.1 billion. It’s hard to believe they’re really worth that much, however, especially without government subsidies – not to mention the fact that BP is so easily discarding “assets” that are supposed to hold great value. The move follows a December 2011 announcement that the company would exit the solar business.
Then Duke’s board immediately pulled a fast one and fired the man they said all along would be the joint entity’s CEO, Bill Johnson, who would have continued from the same role he had with Progress. Instead leading the new combined company will be Duke’s current CEO, James Rogers. Throughout the merger approval process everyone understood he would abdicate that role to Johnson while remaining as company chairman.
NLPC has piled pixels in reporting the crony capitalism and gaming of government regulations by Duke Energy CEO James Rogers, who has favored a political engagement approach to the conduct of business rather than the delivery of services to consumers at affordable prices. That’s how the electricity business works: when you have monopoly control and are guaranteed a profit by your regulators, then you don’t have to worry about besting your competition to earn your customers.
The latest pressure tactic engaged in by global warming activists is to crank out their own journalism, then get an allegedly objective news organization to run their stories. Such was the case recently with the group SolveClimate and the Reuters news agency, when they co-published an article that attempts to pressure corporations to adopt climate mitigation and adaptation initiatives.
Free-market minded grassroots activist group FreedomWorks has set up an online petition that calls upon Duke Energy's board of directors to fire CEO Jim Rogers:
Due to ethical and business issues that have damaged the reputation of Duke Energy and put shareholders and ratepayers at risk, we urge you to exercise your fiduciary responsibility as board members and dismiss Jim Rogers from his position as chief operating officer (Rogers is actually CEO).
Politicoreported yesterday that "it's not easy being green anymore," allegedly because of environmental groups' failure to score political victories even when news events are in their favor, such as the BP Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and the Japan nuclear reactor drama. And initiatives such as cap-and-trade failed despite the environoiacs' having a Democrat-dominated Congress and executive branch in 2009 and 2010. From the news story:
If you think environmentalist shareholder tactics like those employed by Rockefeller descendants on Exxon – which push their agenda via resolutions at annual meetings rather than promote company profitability – then you haven’t seen anything yet, according to a Marketwatch report yesterday. After the BP oil leak disaster and the Massey Energy coal mining accident that killed 29 workers, green activists are expected to increase pressure on corporate executives next year:
NLPC is sponsoring a PepsiCo shareholder proposal asking for a report on the company’s lobbying priorities. At the PepsiCo annual tomorrow in Plano, Texas, I will argue that the company’s lobbying priorities are seriously out of whack.
I will cite PepsiCo’s membership in U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a coalition of corporations and environmental groups. USCAP’s mission is to “quickly enact strong national legislation to require significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.” The House of Representatives has obliged in the form of the Waxman-Markey bill that would destroy over 1.1 million jobs, hike electricity rates 90 percent, and reduce the U.S. gross domestic product by nearly $10 trillion over the next 25 years.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ruled that PepsiCo may not exclude a shareholder proposal filed by NLPC that asks the company for a report on its lobbying priorities. PepsiCo is a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a coalition of corporations and environmental groups that lobbies for the disastrous cap and trade legislation.
Our resolution will appear in PepsiCo’s proxy materials, and I will speak in its support at the company’s annual meeting this spring.
By trying to preclude a shareholder discussion of this and other issues, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi seems unwilling to publicly defend the company's controversial public policy positions, which is exactly the point of our resolution. Maybe the company should change its positions on cap and trade, and other issues where it sides with anti-business activists.