The Climate-Industrial Complex, or Green Energy Whores

I am RedState’s self-described energy whore. My life and my livelihood are wrapped around the oil and gas industry. With that fact fully disclosed, a reader can consider the possibility that Vladimir’s opinions may be influenced by self-interest.

When it comes to energy policy, the industry voice (and that of anyone with an industry connection) is deemed by the current Administration to be tainted and untrustworthy. They prefer instead the counsel of Socialist-leaning lawyer-environmentalists, dotty academics and liberal think-tankers to that of informed energy industry insiders.

Why is the energy businessman a greedy cheat, while the Greens are principled and altruistic? Filthy lucre is filthy lucre, whether or not it sports a green tinge.

Bjorn Lomborg, the “Skeptical Environmentalist”, examines self-interested businesses in a Wall Street Journal editorial (May 22). The entire column should be read by anyone with an interest in energy and climate policy.

The Climate-Industrial Complex

Some businesses see nothing but profits in the green movement.

Naturally, many CEOs are genuinely concerned about global warming. But many of the most vocal stand to profit from carbon regulations. The term used by economists for their behavior is “rent-seeking.”

The world’s largest wind-turbine manufacturer, Copenhagen Climate Council member Vestas, urges governments to invest heavily in the wind market. It sponsors CNN’s “Climate in Peril” segment, increasing support for policies that would increase Vestas’s earnings. A fellow council member, [Al] Gore’s green investment firm Generation Investment Management, warns of a significant risk to the U.S. economy unless a price is quickly placed on carbon. …

American electricity utility Duke Energy, a member of the Copenhagen Climate Council, has long promoted a U.S. cap-and-trade scheme. Yet the company bitterly opposed the Warner-Lieberman bill in the U.S. Senate that would have created such a scheme because it did not include European-style handouts to coal companies. The Waxman-Markey bill in the House of Representatives promises to bring back the free lunch. …

There would be an outcry — and rightfully so — if big oil organized a climate change conference and invited only climate-change deniers.

The partnership among self-interested businesses, grandstanding politicians and alarmist campaigners truly is an unholy alliance. The climate-industrial complex does not promote discussion on how to overcome this challenge in a way that will be best for everybody. We should not be surprised or impressed that those who stand to make a profit are among the loudest calling for politicians to act. Spending a fortune on global carbon regulations will benefit a few, but dearly cost everybody else.

H/T Cooler Heads Digest