Enron And BP Invented The Global Warming Industry

Just another Enron scam.

http://dailycaller.com/2010/12/15/lessons-from-the-global-warming-industry/

Enron, joined by BP, invented the global warming industry. I know because I was in the room. This was during my storied three-week or so stint as Director of Federal Government Relations for Enron in the spring of 1997, back when Enron was everyone’s darling in Washington. It proved to be an eye-opening experience that didn’t last much beyond my expressing concern about this agenda of using the state to rob Peter, paying Paul, drawing Paul’s enthusiastic support.

In fact, this case was not entirely uncommon in that the entire enterprise was Paul’s idea to begin with. Which left me as the guy on the street corner muttering about this evil company cooking up money-making charades, to nothing but rolled eyes until the, ah, unpleasantness and the opportunity it afforded to take a few gratuitous swings at George W. Bush. Buy me a beer and I will regale you with tales of reporters from Newsweek and the Washington Post desperately seeking assistance to spin, respectively, Enron as having urged Bush away from the Kyoto agenda as opposed to having crafted it, and Enron’s global warming activism as its one redeeming feature.

The basic truth is that Enron, joined by other “rent-seeking” industries — making one’s fortune from policy favors from buddies in government, the cultivation of whom was a key business strategy — cobbled their business plan around “global warming.” Enron bought, on the cheap of course, the world’s largest windmill company (now GE Wind) and the world’s second-largest solar panel interest (now BP) to join Enron’s natural gas pipeline network, which was the second largest in the world. The former two can only make money under a system of massive mandates and subsidies (and taxes to pay for them); the latter would prosper spectacularly if the war on coal succeeded.

Enron then engaged green groups to scare people toward accepting those policies. That is what is known as a Baptist and bootlegger coalition. I sat in on such meetings. Disgraceful.

Flashing forward in time, these companies’ flagship agenda item, cap and trade, has passed on to its final resting place. But the global warming industry presses on, joining President Obama in his call to find “other ways to skin that cat” (an inventory of which is found here).

Addressing such taxpayer-funded boondoggles bestowed by pals in government, Holman Jenkins has an item in today’s WSJ bringing readers’ attention to the substantive issues providing context for a prurient email scandal unfolding in Indiana. This involves cozy relations between Duke Energy and a state regulator cum Duke Energy executive, himself also briefly tenured thanks to said email revelations.

The following excerpt should remind us of the juvenile “inevitability” canard employed (by people like Duke’s Jim Rogers, a former Enron VP under Ken Lay who took the business plan to Cinergy and now Duke) to weaken what little principled opposition to cap and trade, etc., remained within the regulated community. It should also remind us of the folly of rent-seeking businessmen thinking they can finally be the ones to ride the political tiger of climate politics and not end up inside with the rest:

Hovering over all is Duke’s Edwardsport coal-gasification plant, whose high-tech white elephanthood is a direct product of Mr. Rogers’s attempt to position his company to prosper in the age of climate politics.

 

The plant, which is nearly $1 billion over budget, was always destined to mean higher prices for consumers compared to the low-tech coal plants it would replace. But it was sold to the locals as supplying not just electricity but a “clean coal” future for Indiana’s “dirty” coal-mining industry. More to the point, the plant’s economics were supposed to be rescued when Congress passed cap and trade, dramatically hiking costs for traditional coal power plants.

 

Mr. Rogers here was betting on Mr. Rogers, the closest thing to a celebrity CEO in the utility business, profiled in the New York Times magazine two years ago as a “green coal baron.” No executive has lobbied as noisily or consistently for a national price on carbon output. His wish seemed certain to come true after both major parties nominated climate worrywarts in the 2008 presidential contest.

 

But something about a 9.8% national unemployment rate has now made politicians less keen on imposing higher utility bills. Nor did Mr. Rogers count on what we’ll boldly call the public’s growing sophistication about climate science. Where the public was once prepared to believe in a pending climate meltdown because “scientists” said so, now it entertains the possibility that “scientists” are human, capable of mistaking theory for fact, of confusing belief with knowledge.


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36 Responses to Enron And BP Invented The Global Warming Industry

  1. Sense Seeker says:

    Wow, where do you get such a deceitful story?

    “Enron, joined by BP, invented the global warming industry.”

    What a blatant attempt to connect a scientific finding to two robber companies! And who pays Mr Horner? The Competitive Enterprise Institute, funded by the likes of the Koch Industries, Texaco, Amoco, etc. (Which happen to be competitors of BP – what a coincidence?)

    Sure, Enron might have wanted to profit from green investments, but it certainly didn’t invent global warming.

    • James Mayeau says:

      Sure, Enron might have wanted to profit from green investments, but it certainly didn’t invent global warming. ~~~~

      except that’s not what he said. He said Enron and GE invented the global warming industry, and by industry he means the twenty four seven AGW media blitz, the “green” product lines, “green” consulting firms, dubious online entities promoted as authority (grist, Real Climate, Joe Romm, Sciblogs, Desmog), and lobbiests, and in this he is 100 % correct.

    • Lazarus says:

      Actually it makes sense Sense Seeker. The science of global warming was well established by 1997. So companies whose dependence was on fossil fuels may well have seen it as a sensible business decision to diversity into the alternative energy market.

      Unfortunately when this chap claims that ‘Enron then engaged green groups to scare people toward accepting those policies’, he only cites his own book that he just happens to be selling. There is plenty of evidence, without buying someone’s book, that fossil fuel companies have engaged/funded think tanks and policy foundations to delay any ‘green’ policies which also makes sense because that is still their biggest source of revenue.

    • “Global Warming Industry”

    • Craig Goodrich says:

      It is typical of the doublethink (or perhaps non-think) that characterizes climate hysterics that when a skeptical writer is hired by a free-market think tank, it is his paycheck that determines his opinion, while countless millions in grants conditioned on confirmation of the silly CO2-driven catastrophic warming hypothesis produce completely objective scientific research.

      Enron’s frantic push for Kyoto and its plans to game CO2 regulation (as it gamed California’s electricity regulation) is well-documented; see for example the articles at http://www.masterresource.org/category/enron-corp/ and http://www.masterresource.org/category/enronken-lay/ .

      The fact, now obvious to everyone who actually looks at the science, that the whole Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming issue is due to purely politically-motivated promotion of an absurd fringe theory from an incompetent astronomer who totally misunderstood the physics of the atmosphere of Venus. Enron saw an opportunity and eventually many other companies did, too.

      And for this we have wasted $100 billion in tax money and utterly devastated millions of acres of countryside and wildlife habitat worldwide. Climate hysterics are fond of threatening Nuremberg, but it must be obvious by now that if there ever is a climate Nuremberg, it will be the likes of Al Gore, Jim Hansen, Joe Romm, and David Suzuki who will be at the dock.

      • suyts says:

        “if there ever is a climate Nuremberg, it will be the likes of Al Gore, Jim Hansen, Joe Romm, and David Suzuki who will be at the dock.”

        One day, soon, I hope.

    • Justa Joe says:

      Don’t forget GE.

      Seek, Before you knee jerk nay say what Chris Horner has to say maybe you should do a little research on what the man has say. He’s written several books, and there are interviews of Horner on, for example, Blogtalk radio.

      Horner was there in the belly of the beast. He was employed by Enron as a lawyer when these schemes were hatched.

    • Justa Joe says:

      And another thing ‘Investing in green’ nobody would have a beef with people investing in “green” energy or what have you. If ‘green investing can produce a legitimste product and/or service that can compete in the market place fair and square more power to them.

      …but that’s not what happens with these rent seeking ‘green’ outfits. Any profits they make are due to their manipulation of the system to tax payer subsidize their profits, Screwball Carbon trading scams. government regulations to force the use of their products. GE. who bought Enron’s wind ‘turbine’ business has pushed Cap & Tax and other such garbage have more lobbiest than any other energy related company.

  2. Layne Blanchard says:

    “Where the public was once prepared to believe in a pending climate meltdown because “scientists” said so, now it entertains the possibility that “scientists” are human,

    …….capable of mistaking theory for fact, of confusing belief with knowledge.”

    ….or of converting to a psychotic eco cult bent on economic destruction.

  3. John Silver says:

    And now the Obama government is suing BP, How things change.

  4. PhilJourdan says:

    The story has legs. It now appears that besides being in bed with big government (to the tune of 312 billion dollars worth of money), they are in bed with Big oil and Big Energy as well. No wonder they can waste millions on stupid commercials! The spigot has no off switch!

  5. Ahhh, come one, there’s no global warming industry. No one is making money from global warming. It’s all motivated by altruistic benevolence, a concern for our grandchildren.

    sarc off

  6. suyts says:

    Hmm, I think my post went to the nether world.

    At any rate. For our alarmist friends, the article written only touches on the real issues. It is my hope, you’ll come to realize what team you’re really on. I can attest(first hand) to Duke’s advocacy for alarmism. Anyone who still seriously believes big oil, and large companies are funding skeptics, please go to and read the links provided. First go here, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704804204575069440096420212.html

    Please read the article in full. Once you do, one of the obvious questions you’d have is, who are what is USCAP?

    “United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) is a group of businesses and leading environmental organizations that have come together to call on the federal government to quickly enact strong national legislation to require significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”

    But that doesn’t really tell us who they are. If you read the above link, you’d see that BP PLC and ConocoPhillips and heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. have withdrawn from that group. Usually, when that kind of money leaves an organization, it would end the organization. In reality, though, those guys were small potatoes.

    Current members……

    * AES
    * Alcoa
    * Alstom
    * Boston Scientific Corporation
    * Chrysler
    * The Dow Chemical Company
    * Duke Energy
    * DuPont
    * Environmental Defense Fund
    * Exelon Corporation
    * Ford Motor Company
    * General Electric
    * General Motors Company
    * Honeywell
    * Johnson & Johnson
    * Natural Resources Defense Council
    * NextEra Energy
    * NRG Energy
    * PepsiCo
    * Pew Center on Global Climate Change
    * PG&E Corporation
    * PNM Resources
    * Rio Tinto
    * Shell
    * Siemens Corporation
    * The Nature Conservancy
    * Weyerhaeuser
    * World Resources Institute

    I’ve emboldened “environmental” groups that some of our alarmists friends should recognize. This is the team our alarmist friends are playing on. They don’t know it, which makes it very ironic, but it turns out, that they are shills for GE, Shell, and DuPont and the like.

    Skeptics long ago realized it wasn’t about science or warming. Its about money and power. Its well past time alarmists came to the same realization. Now, someone tell me again how this isn’t a globalist conspiracy.

    http://www.us-cap.org/

    • Paul H says:

      Here is what the chairman of Exelon has to say :-

      “Yet Rowe says Exelon (EXC), the company created out of a merger a decade ago, will ultimately prevail because its nuclear energy is far cleaner than coal, which provides 56% of the USA’s electricity.”

  7. suyts says:

    Dang, that’s twice. Steve! My posts, apparently are going to the trash bin!

  8. suyts says:

    Hmm, I think my post went to the nether world.

    At any rate. For our alarmist friends, the article written only touches on the real issues. It is my hope, you’ll come to realize what team you’re really on. I can attest(first hand) to Duke’s advocacy for alarmism. Anyone who still seriously believes big oil, and large companies are funding skeptics, please go to and read the links provided. First go here, http://online.wsj.com/article /SB10001424052748704804204575069440096420212.html

    Please read the article in full. Once you do, one of the obvious questions you’d have is, who are what is USCAP?

    “United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) is a group of businesses and leading environmental organizations that have come together to call on the federal government to quickly enact strong national legislation to require significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”

    But that doesn’t really tell us who they are. If you read the above link, you’d see that BP PLC and ConocoPhillips and heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. have withdrawn from that group. Usually, when that kind of money leaves an organization, it would end the organization. In reality, though, those guys were small potatoes.

    Current members……

    * AES
    * Alcoa
    * Alstom
    * Boston Scientific Corporation
    * Chrysler
    * The Dow Chemical Company
    * Duke Energy
    * DuPont
    * Environmental Defense Fund
    * Exelon Corporation
    * Ford Motor Company
    * General Electric
    * General Motors Company
    * Honeywell
    * Johnson & Johnson
    * Natural Resources Defense Council
    * NextEra Energy
    * NRG Energy
    * PepsiCo
    * Pew Center on Global Climate Change
    * PG&E Corporation
    * PNM Resources
    * Rio Tinto
    * Shell
    * Siemens Corporation
    * The Nature Conservancy
    * Weyerhaeuser
    * World Resources Institute

    I’ve emboldened “environmental” groups that some of our alarmists friends should recognize. This is the team our alarmist friends are playing on. They don’t know it, which makes it very ironic, but it turns out, that they are shills for GE, Shell, and DuPont and the like.

    Skeptics long ago realized it wasn’t about science or warming. Its about money and power. Its well past time alarmists came to the same realization. Now, someone tell me again how this isn’t a globalist conspiracy.

    http://www.us-cap.org/

    • suyts says:

      Please note, I had to break the first link for the post to get here, copy the whole link and remove the space between “article” and “/SB…”

  9. suyts says:

    ahahaha, dang it! I knew that would happen! Sorry about the double posting.

  10. Andy Weiss says:

    There wouldn’t be this whole propaganda game without the blessing of “Big Oil”. They aren’t ever going to be left out in the cold (literally).

  11. T G Watkins says:

    Interesting and revealing; I had heard of the Enron previously.
    Some excellent comments, especially suyts which I read twice!

    BTW lots of white global warming in Wales – Nadolig Llawen

  12. anon says:

    Global Warming was in Civilization II, released in 1994… Hold up their cowboy.

    • Kevin says:

      Something that spoilt Civ (the original) for me was that the game designers seemed to confuse ‘history’ and ‘progress’, for example ‘monotheism’ was an advancement from ‘polytheism’ or that ‘philosophy’ had to proceed ‘science’ or somesuch nonsense.

  13. Cara Ellison says:

    There was no fraud or conspiracy at Enron Corporation.
    Enron did not “invent” the Global Warming industry.

    • peterhodges says:

      Cara Ellison says:
      December 18, 2010 at 3:03 am

      There was no fraud or conspiracy at Enron Corporation.

      LOL. you forgot your /sarc tag

  14. co2hound says:

    All that is said and done as described above, there is still one question. What are we going to do with the increasing concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere? You can dismiss it outright … that’s always an option I guess. If you dismiss it and you are scientific you have to give your error margin. Will it be 90%? You dismiss it and say there is a 90% chance you are correct? So you can be wrong 10% of the time. If you say there is no risk that excess CO2 will cause nasty problems for mankind, you are saying you are 100% right. Being 100% correct does not happen in the real world.

    So in evaluating the harm that excess CO2 will bring upon us; dismissing it completely is absurd and admitting that there is an error bar means that there exists a non-trivial probability that we as a species are in for a very rough ride going forward.

    And please remember it’s not so much about our species as the other species we need and depend upon to survive. In short, if they go, we go. Yet in this whole argument I never hear about them and their survival … its always about us, us, us.

    • Are cows and chickens threatened?

    • suyts says:

      The earth’s flora and fauna have been through much more than few degree change in the climate. There is no reason to believe their adaptability has changed in any manner.

      More, you state, So in evaluating the harm that excess CO2 will bring upon us; dismissing it completely is absurd and admitting that there is an error bar means that there exists a non-trivial probability that we as a species are in for a very rough ride going forward.”

      The absurdity is the premise that increases in atmospheric CO2 is harmful. It hasn’t been demonstrated. In fact, I find this to be the weakest part of the CAGW argument. While I don’t hold much credence in the CO2=warming theory, even if we presuppose that is does, so what? Mankind has always thrived better in warmer places than cold. Lately, the discussion has been altered to Climate Disruption, again, this theory hasn’t been demonstrated, in fact, one can say it was invalidated as soon as it came to common vernacular. In the 30+ years of predicting climate calamity by increases of atmospheric CO2, nothing has happened.

      Excuse the punny, but the alarmism of doom and gloom appear to be somewhat anti-climatic.

      • peterhodges says:

        some times i can’t tell if these people are serious.

        i mean, even when i accepted the general AGW narrative, i did not buy more co2 or warmth being bad, or dangerous. that is just plain silly.

        and AIC was just laughable propoganda.

  15. Pingback: One Blogger’s Opinion – CAGW is an Enron Scam « pdx transport

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