Recently a guy who is trying to sell a book about Wal-Mart’s supposed “Green” heroism, Edward Humes, has written in various places about the giant retailer’s eco-friendly innovations and efficiencies. The tone has been, “Hey, believe it or not, this mass merchant practices sustainability!”
For example, in an op-ed last week for the Los Angeles Times, he wrote:
This isn’t Al Gore saying green is good for the economy; it’s Wal-Mart, which puts the discussion in a very different place. Yet progressives so revile the retailer, and the idea of a greener Wal-Mart generates so much skepticism among environmentalist organizations and their donors, that they have failed to capitalize on this golden opportunity to push through a green agenda for America. They’d rather lose the battle, it seems, than say something positive about their traditional enemy, even though Wal-Mart is using its vast scale and power to
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A report on the Businessweek Web site Thursday illustrated how Chevrolet, General Motors’ subsidiary which gets most of its media love these days over the hyper-sensationalized electric Volt, is building its “Green-cred” in ways other than by the vehicles it manufactures.
But just as with the tax credit program for the Volt, in which dealers were discovered to be selling the vehicles to other dealers who then claim the $7,500 credit for themselves, all is not what it appears to be.
The story is about a program Chevy announced late last year, in which the company promised to purchase carbon dioxide offsets that would fund “environmentally-friendly” projects, which would counterbalance the emissions created by the 1.9 million vehicles the company expects to sell in 2011. Among the projects Chevrolet said would be funded were forestry projects, methane capture from landfills, wind farms, solar farms, and energy efficiency projects and … Read More ➡
According to a report in USA Today, venture capitalists are throwing tons of money into clean and “Green” technology companies. In fact, investor Alan Salzman of VantagePoint Capital Partners says, “It’s not alternative: We think of it as mainstream.”
How mainstream? The newspaper says:
Several venture capitalists interviewed say it could be hundreds of billions of dollars — if not more — when adding up various slices, such as wind (estimated $60 billion) and solar ($20 billion to $30 billion).
There is little doubt what VCs think: They poured $4.9 billion into domestic start-ups last year, up 40% from 2009, says market researcher Cleantech Group.
The numbers suggest “strong long-term VC interest,” says Sheeraz Haji, an analyst at Cleantech Group who notes that an increase in the average size of deals shows a “continued bias towards later-stage deals.”
Wow. And the evidence just flows and flows … Read More ➡
Last month NLPC reported that Duke Energy CEO James Rogers faced increasing questions about his leadership, in part because of conflicts of interest with top company officials and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Now the state’s Ethics Commission has fined a former top lawyer at IURC because he discussed a potential job with Duke while he participated in cases that would determine cost recovery for the utility’s controversial Edwardsport coal gasification plant.
The Indianapolis Star reported that the lawyer, Scott Storms, committed three violations of state law in the scandal, and the Ethics panel fined him $12,120 and barred him from future state employment. From the report:
In a six-page ruling, the ethics commission said Storms, while general counsel and chief administrative law judge at the IURC, was negotiating for a job or “had an arrangement” concerning prospective employment with Duke as he took part in cases involving the company’s
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Rankings, ratings and scorecards are often only vehicles for environmental groups to draw attention to their cause (as with Greenpeace), and more often than not they are given legitimacy – even when they conflict with other likeminded groups – since a sympathetic media likes to amplify their agenda.
And then there are the operatives who just want to make a buck off the “Green” scam with the creation of faux rankings. Such appears to be the case with GreenBusiness Works, which last week published its 2011 “Southeastern Corporate Sustainability Rankings.” The Atlanta-based group is the creation of a marketing and communications guru named Stephanie Armistead, who years ago converted her agency to one that focuses on the liberal priority of “Corporate Social Responsibility.”
The rankings showered love on companies that any business consultant like Armistead would want as clients. GreenBusiness Works pegged United Parcel Service as the top … Read More ➡
Greenpeace, which has been blown off by one of its co-founders because of its radical behavior, often leaves itself open to easy ridicule – for example, by the promotion of dirty energy sources. Now they’ve done it again.
Only 1½ years ago Greenpeace cheered Apple Computer for its departure from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its disagreement on cap-and-trade and federal climate change policy. With Al Gore on the board of directors, you understand what side of the issue the company is on.
So imagine everyone’s surprise when Greenpeace this week slammed Apple in a report on the electricity sources (coal, nuclear, gas, renewables, etc.) technology companies use for their “cloud” computing offerings. Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon provide many of their services (like searches, social interaction, product sales, email, and in Apple’s case, iTunes) from servers based at massive data “farms,” located at various … Read More ➡
On Monday Walmart, which has been the subject of much criticism from the National Legal and Policy Center for kowtowing to liberal causes such as cap-and-trade and Obamacare, announced it is going to “reinforce its commitment to deliver low prices.”
No seriously. They really mean it. This time.
A mistaken premise started by PajamasMedia’s Richard Pollock is circulating on some conservative blogs. Pollock postulates that the announcement, after seven straight quarters of same store sales declines (not the same as “losses,” as Pollock reports), means that Walmart has repudiated its efforts to “go green” and is “ending its era of high-end organic foods,” in which they attempted to appeal to wealthier shoppers. In a misrepresentation of a Wall Street Journal article, Pollock asserts that the company has realized a “green” strategy failed, when in fact all Walmart has said is that it made mistakes in … Read More ➡
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).
FreedomWorks identifies four reasons why Rogers should be dismissed. He has grown quite cozy with the Obama administration and the Democratic Party, to the point where he used Duke resources to back a $10 million loan for the organizers of the party’s 2012 National Convention in Charlotte, NC, which the National Legal and Policy Center reported about a couple of weeks ago.
Another reason cited is Rogers’s passionate support for the failed (nationally) cap-and-trade policy, also favored … Read More ➡
Politico reported 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:
“I don’t understand how these guys, the funders, don’t ask for their money back or start suing for political incompetence,” a longtime Democratic strategist said of the Washington-based environmental movement. “You’re judged by how many campaigns you win, lose or come damn close. They haven’t gotten anywhere with that.”
I guess the EPA’s implementation of a greenhouse gas regulation structure under the Clean Air Act doesn’t count. Nor does the fact that the Obama administration severely curtailed leasing for oil and gas drilling … Read More ➡
McDonald’s Corporation is no stranger to threats from the Left, especially environmental activist groups. The nanny-state obesity fighters’ attacks (think Super Size Me) are well-documented, and Green groups like Rainforest Alliance, Greenpeace and Environmental Defense have extracted their pound of flesh over things like coffee bean suppliers, Amazon rainforests, and styrofoam packaging.
Now comes the latest pressure tactic aimed at the Golden Arches by a group called Climate Counts, which has initiated a “Green Watching” campaign against the fast food giant. Last week Climate Counts conducted a “dialogue” with McDonald’s vice president for sustainability, Bob Langert, while supporters were “sending e-mails and tweets to McDonald’s encouraging them to take more climate action and to be more actively engaged with fast-food consumers on corporate climate responsibility.”
McDonald’s isn’t the only company to come under scrutiny; it’s just the most recent. Climate Counts has evaluated several companies and assigns them … Read More ➡