GE Brings Good Things [Your Dollars] To Life [Its Bottom Line]

H/T Cooler Heads Digest, The Competitive Enterprise Institute

General Electric Corporation has strategically positioned itself to be a prime beneficiary of The New Green Economy, under Obama’s Prime Directive #1.

As Timothy Carney points out in a washingtonexaminer.com opinion piece, not only does GE own the manufacturing technologies (high tech batteries and windmills) to benefit from the Big Green Push, it is positioning to make a market in carbon credits, too. It wraps all this in a fuzzy Green blanket it calls “Ecomagination”, then “works with government” (i.e., a massive lobbying effort) to use a Government Club insure a market for all those Green products.

GE also controls the message through its ownership of the media. That includes NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Universal Studios, 10 major-market NBC affiliate stations, 16 Telemundo stations, plus many of the popular cable TV networks: A&E, History Channel, Sundance Channel, Weather Channel, Bravo, USA Networks, on and on. Have you noticed how hard the Green Agenda is being pushed in all the media?

A savvy capitalist hedges his bets. GE is one of the biggest players in the high-return business of energy lending — financing the capital needs of oil and gas firms.

“Subsidymagination:” GE’s regulatory robbery

Imagine a salesman comes to your door peddling composting barrels. You tell him that while composting would offer some benefits—good for the environment, free topsoil—you don’t think it’s worth the cost.

He replies, “Oh, sir, but I’m afraid you don’t really have a choice. You see, the county government just passed a law requiring everyone to use a composting barrel. I should know—I’m also a lobbyist, and I helped write the law.”

You’d call that a racket. On a far larger scale—peddling “greenhouse gas credits” and windmills instead of composting barrels—General Electric calls it “Ecomagination.” Author Steve Milloy has come up with another apt name for much of GE’s business “Subsidymagination.”

Ecomagination turned four years old this month, and GE’s annual eco-report described it as “a business initiative to help meet customers’ demand for more energy-efficient products….” This charming description omits the relevant fact that this “demand” is often created by government mandates and regulations—for which GE lobbies heavily.

GE’s high-tech battery business—aimed at creating battery-powered cars—relies on federal policy. The annual report cites “increases in the cost of fuel and other drivers to reduce emissions.” Those “drivers” are federal and state emissions restrictions—covering both pollution and greenhouse gases—for which GE has lobbied.

GE is a major investor in windmills, which business [Ecomagination boss Steven] Fludder described as “handsomely profitable.” Wind power, of course, is heavily subsidized at the state and federal level, as well as internationally. Fludder said, however, he doesn’t like to talk that way. “I’d prefer not to think of words like ‘subsidies’ and that type of a construct. I think it is more supporting the creation of scale.”