07 May 2010 Duke Energy CEO Asked to Disclose Amount of Company Support for Global Warming Activist Groups and Dollar Amount It Expects from Cap-and-Trade; Shareholder Activists Now Set to Attend Goldman Sachs Stockholder Meeting Friday in New York
Washington, DC – The National Center for Public Policy Research’s Tom Borelli, Ph.D. and Deneen Borelli will continue their barnstorming tour of Fortune 500 shareholder meetings Friday when they attend the annual shareholder meeting of Goldman Sachs in New York to warn the company’s CEO of the danger to America posed by the creation of a new “carbon bubble” through cap-and-trade legislation.
On Thursday the Borellis had three lengthy rounds with Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers in Charlotte, beginning when Tom Borelli presented a shareholder proposal on behalf of Shelton Ehrlich, an individual shareholder, to require Duke Energy to disclose to shareholders the extent to which it works with, and provides financial support to, non-profit organizations lobbying for restrictive and expensive global warming-related policies.
Duke Energy CEO Rogers appeared in an TV ad produced by the liberal green group “Environmental Defense” calling for global warming regulation.
Both Tom Borelli and Deneen Borelli also pressed Rogers to disclose the amount of money Duke Energy expects to receive if cap-and-trade becomes law.
“Originally Obama was going to auction off carbon credits for cap-and-trade,” Deneen Borelli asked Rogers, “and the revenue would have gone to the government, but under the Waxman-Markey legislation, the utilities sector stands to gain 35-40 percent of carbon credits. Can you explain to me what the dollar value means to Duke?”
Tom Borelli further pressed the question, saying, “The Heritage Foundation… says the electric utilities, just in the year 2012, is going to get almost $50 billion dollars. So my question is, out of that fifty billion, how much is Duke Energy going to get?”
The National Center for Public Policy believes the adoption of cap-and-trade would not only push jobs overseas and raise domestic energy prices, but could cause yet another bubble, like the recent housing and tech bubbles, that cause significant economic harm when they burst.
“CEOs haven’t learned their lesson [from those bubbles],” Tom Borelli wrote last year.. “Instead of returning to selling good products at market prices, they want to go back to the craps table. They’re lobbying Congress to create yet another ‘bubble’ in which government regulatory policy creates artificial value in a ubiquitous gas, carbon dioxide. Call this forthcoming disaster the ‘Green Bubble,’ for it’s based on the notion that fortunes can be made buying and selling something for which there is no real-world market: greenhouse gas emissions credits.”
“A business plan built on a carbon dioxide bubble will surely burst,” Tom Borelli warned Rogers Thursday, adding, “We’re dealing with a high degree of uncertainty, which is frightening, not only from a shareholder perspective, but a political perspective. My God, how can you trust those people in Washington? Look what they’re doing to Goldman Sachs. Do you think you’re going to be any different? Really, do you think you’re going to be any different when energy prices go up?”
Throughout April, jointly with FreedomWorks, the National Center for Public Policy Research ran a “Backroom Deal” TV ad campaign in Moline, Illinois and Waterloo, Iowa on Fox, CNN, HLN and the History Channel to warn John Deere employees there that passage of cap-and-trade would likely result in the export of their jobs abroad. John Deere has lobbied heavily for cap-and-trade’s passage.
Tom and Deneen Borelli have in recent weeks personally pressed the CEOs of GE (where they were joined by National Center Vice President David A. Ridenour), Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and John Deere over the cap-and-trade issue, in addition to Duke Energy and their plans for the Goldman Sachs meeting today.
Tom Borelli is director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project and Deneen Borelli is full-time fellow of the National Center-sponsored Project 21, an African-American leadership group. She is also a Fox News Contributor.
Another press release, “Duke Energy’s Support of President Obama’s Cap-and-Trade Policy to Be Challenged by Stockholders at Company Shareholder Meetings Thursday,” was issued on the Duke Energy stockholder meeting May 6, and it contains additional information.