In yet another ploy to overcome opposition to their merger, Duke Energy and Progress Energy agreed with environmental groups last week to a few million more dollars in payoffs for “clean” energy schemes, and to implement energy efficiency programs that would reduce customers’ electricity use by seven percent of retail sales by 2018.
The deal has been planned for months, and when approved by state and federal regulators, will create the largest investor-owned electric utility in the nation. Combined the companies serve residents and businesses in Florida, the Carolinas, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Coastal Conservation League, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Southern Environmental Law Center all intervened in the hearings before the North Carolina and South Carolina utility regulatory commissions. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also must approve the deal.
NLPC reported in September that the environmental pressure groups – whose calling cards are … Read More ➡
Recently NLPC has reported about Coca-Cola’s holiday ad campaign to protect polar bears with donations up to $3 million to the World Wildlife Fund, which was a barely disguised effort to fund environmental pressure groups’ fraudulent global warming fight.
But Coke’s passion to avert climate catastrophism runs deeper than the Arctic ice. The company even has a position statement that says “the consensus on climate science is increasingly unequivocal,” that “global climate change is happening” (everyone agrees with that – it always has changed and always will), and that “man-made greenhouse gas emissions are a crucial factor.”
“Across the Coca-Cola system, we recognize that climate change may have long-term direct and indirect implications for our business and supply chain,” the company Web site says. “As a responsible multinational company, we have a role to play in ensuring we use the best possible mix of energy sources, improve the … Read More ➡
Last week Frito-Lay, the $12 billion snack foods division of PepsiCo, boasted it would add 10 all-electric delivery trucks in Orlando, Fla., as part of its plan to deploy 176 such vehicles in the U.S. and Canada by the end of year.
As is custom with corporate announcements that proclaim their eco-accomplishments, so as to pacify persistent climate alarmists, Frito-Lay said the vehicles would emit “zero” pollutants from tailpipes and release 75 percent fewer greenhouse gases than diesel. The ETs (electric trucks) can allegedly run 100 miles on a single charge, and Frito-Lay says the groundbreaking new haulers provide “a long-term economically viable solution” – apparently to solve global warming.
Regular readers of NLPC should know the Chevy Volt sticker price, before the $7,500 tax credit, is $41,000, and for the Nissan Leaf it’s $35,200. So the cost for an electric delivery truck must be somewhat higher, right? And … Read More ➡
NLPC readers by now have learned there is more than meets the media’s eye when it comes to the Obama administration’s “Green” initiatives, and specifically, the government-subsidized electric vehicle program. Particularly egregious might be how American taxpayers have helped save a troubled EV company in the United Kingdom for its burdened investors.
Under the surface in this case is Kansas City-based Smith Electric Vehicles Corp., a company that did not exist in its U.S. form until January 2009. The company does not make passenger vehicles, but commercial trucks. Once Smith-U.S. established itself in Missouri, somehow that was enough of a track record for the Department of Energy to award the company $10 million in August 2009, and an additional $22 million in March 2010, for an ET (electric truck) demonstration program.
The founders of Smith-U.S. did not come from the automobile or electricity businesses, or anything even … Read More ➡
It’s another day, and another round of layoffs by a recipient of millions of dollars under the Obama Administration’s renewable energy initiatives, administered by the mismanaged Department of Energy.
This time the Recovery Act largesse – taken out of the hide of taxpayers – went to A123 Systems, Inc. The Massachusetts-based energy storage company was given $249.1 million to help launch two battery-manufacturing plants in Michigan. A123 also received grants and tax credits from the state that could total more than $135 million. In a separate federal grant as a subcontractor for another grantee, A123 received nearly $30 million for a wind energy storage project.
In the Wolverine State, the company will lay off 125 employees at the two plants in Livonia and Romulus. Officials said diminished production by a top customer – Irvine, Calif.-based Fisker Automotive – led to the cutbacks. A123 had expected to deliver batteries for 7,000 … Read More ➡
Coca-Cola’s just-announced holiday campaign to supposedly protect Arctic polar bear habitat – highlighted by the company changing its iconic red cans to white – is ending, with the company killing off its new packaging two months earlier than planned.
No, Coke hasn’t seen the light on its disguised support for the global warming hoax. The images of polar bears will instead appear on redesigned red cans, after many consumers mistakenly grabbed the white cans believing they were selecting the silver-canned Diet Coke.
For example, the Wall Street Journal reported that in recent days about a half-dozen customers at an Atlanta deli returned their opened cans of “polar bear” Coke because they believed they had chosen Diet Coke. They were given the sugar-free colas without additional charge.
And other classic Coke drinkers said their sodas tasted differently in the white cans than they did in the red ones. The … Read More ➡
The competition in corporate America to show who is “Greenest” or “most sustainable” has spun out of control, with the Alinskyite effect that drives corporations to spend vast amounts of time and money trying to address the whims and requests of every Leftist niche group that waves some kind of scorecard in their faces.
Meanwhile customers pay for the lunacy in higher prices, and shareholders (those not in the Corporate Social Responsibility movement) bear the burden in diminished returns on their investments.
A Businessweek report from Thanksgiving Eve illustrated how unwieldy the demands of eco-graders and CSR activists have become, as “companies are buried in requests for data as groups jockey to be the arbiters of sustainability.” And you thought IRS and other government regulatory compliance was a headache.
The article explains how companies like Intel and Walmart are inundated by organizations who seek to rank their performances on … Read More ➡
In 2009 Google announced a project in which it would pursue a so-far elusive goal – to produce “Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal” (“RE<C” was Google’s acronym). Why the Internet search giant thought it could succeed where other more experienced and knowledgeable companies (like electric utilities and alternative energy businesses) have failed for many decades shows the level of arrogance reached at the upper management levels. Either that or it illustrated how much Google’s leaders sought to ingratiate themselves with the Obama administration by following its “Green jobs” agenda.
But last week the company announced it will end RE<C, as part of an effort under CEO Larry Page to eliminate a number of non-core projects, which it called “spring cleaning, out of season.”
“We’re in the process of shutting a number of products which haven’t had the impact we’d hoped for,” wrote Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President of … Read More ➡
Last week, the sequel to 2009’s Climategate scandal was introduced to the global Internet audience, and preliminary reviews show it to be potentially more explosive than the original. Gems include iconic Hockey Stick scientist Michael Mann advancing a “cause” and admitting “we certainly don’t know the GLOBAL mean temperature anomaly very well,” and University of East Anglia scientist Phil Jones advising colleagues involved in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “to delete all emails at the end of the process,” so to avoid being subject to any Freedom of Information Act requests.
And the Solyndra-splattered Department of Energy doesn’t come off too well either, with Jones warning:
Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden. I’ve discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and
… Read More ➡
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.
No less passionate an advocate for regulatory favoritism – especially in support of greenhouse gas regulations such as cap-and-tax and carbon (dioxide) taxes – is Exelon Corporation CEO John Rowe. While not as big a supporter of Democrats as Rogers, Rowe – like your typical corporate honcho – has thrown money to both Democrats and Republicans, most which have supported his GHG-restrictive policy beliefs.
Over the weekend National Journal published an … Read More ➡