Environmental Mafia Intimidating Again

by Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent on June 3, 2009

As if using the EPA to browbeat and frighten corporate America and its investors isn’t enough, environmentalist thugs now want other government regulators to get into the act, even though they have no authority to do so:

The groups that released the studies called on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to respond to investor requests for guidance on climate-related disclosures for companies to put in securities filings. The SEC did not immediately respond (why should they?) to questions about the studies.

“As the nation responds to the challenges of global warming, investors have a right to know which businesses are forging innovative solutions for the 21st century and which are lagging behind,” Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp said in a release.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tracks emissions of carbon dioxide from industry, but investors say they want to know more about corporate strategies to reduce pollution from other planet-warming gasses as well as carbon dioxide.
Reuters, the news org behind this article, apparently believes greenhouse gas regulation is a foregone conclusion in the U.S., despite what Sen. James Inhofe said yesterday at the International Conference on Climate Change:
“I want to tell you what’s going to happen from this point forward in my opinion. First of all, the House will pass anything. Nancy Pelosi has the votes to pass anything. Don’t be distressed when you see the House passes some kind of cap-and-trade bill. And you know it could be worse [than the proposed bill] and she could still pass it, so it’ll pass there….

“The EPA has threatened to regulate this through the Clean Air Act. That isn’t going to work in my opinion because we can stall that until we get a new president – that shouldn’t be a problem….

“While the House will pass the bill … in the Senate, they’re not going to be able to pass it. You guys – it’s just not going to happen. Now we have a history of what’s happened in the Senate. We had the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Remember that’s where we passed by a 94-1, I think it was, saying we don’t want to ratify any treaty – the Senate doesn’t – that doesn’t include developing nations with developed nations. Well, that stuck with us.”
Meanwhile, I’ve got a suggestion for Krupp, who collects somewhere in the neighborhood of a half-million dollars annually in salary and benefits: How about divulging for us the carbon footprint of Environmental Defense, and what its “innovative strategies” are to address its impact as an organization on global warming.
For example, according to EDF’s tax return for Fiscal Year ending in Sept. 2007 (the most recent available on Guidestar), the organization spent $3.5 million for travel. Undoubtedly that paid for a lot of plane trips, vehicle rentals, etc. Got a breakdown of that for us, Fred? What kind of carbon offsets are you buying to cover that?
And according to the 2007 annual report, EDF has 10 offices throughout the U.S. and one in Beijing. Can you provide a carbon impact assessment for us? You’ve got three offices in California, and three in the Northeast Corridor of the U.S. (four if you add Raleigh). No opportunities for consolidation there to minimize greenhouse gas impact? And are you mostly served by coal-burning utilities or something else?
And finally, what mode of transportation are your 318 employees and 43 voting board members using to get to work every day? Any SUVs? Pick-up trucks? Other gas guzzlers? Or are they buying into the EDF vision and riding mass transit or driving hybrids? With more than $85 million in revenues in 2007 alone at your disposal, I’m sure you can take care of these little things for your people as you practice what you preach.
Or are you “lagging behind,” Fred?

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