Political Contributions Proposal to Be Voted on at PG&E Annual Shareholder Meeting; Concerns over PG&E Lobbying for Cap-and-Trade Spurred Investor Action

Washington, DC
The fate of a Political Contributions Shareholder Proposal being offered by Shelton Ehrich at the PG&E shareholder meeting Wednesday is being carefully monitored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, which applauds efforts to bring greater transparency to the issue of corporate political giving.

Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project, says, “All Americans would benefit from greater transparency regarding corporate political giving. According to the proposal, in 2008 alone, PG&E spent over $27 million lobbying for such things as cap-and-trade, an expensive global warming-related policy scheme that would enrich a handful of corporations while raising consumer prices and driving our jobs overseas.”

PG&E is a member of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) – a lobbying coalition of corporations and environmental activist groups who are seeking a national law to limit carbon dioxide emissions. USCAP played a key role in passing the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill in the House of Representatives last year. Other USCAP members include troubled companies such as BP, GM and Chrysler.

Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) are expected to introduce a Senate version of a cap-and-trade bill this week.

“With California’s unemployment rate at 12.5 percent, the state can’t afford cap-and-trade. Tragically, PG&E is trying to bring President Obama’s cap-and-trade dream to reality, despite the economic cost. Recall Obama said during his presidential campaign, ‘Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,'” said Deneen Borelli, full-time fellow of Project 21.

Economic studies on cap-and-trade have consistently found this regulatory regime would result in higher energy prices and slower economic growth. Because of these economic concerns, a ballot initiative is being proposed for this November that would suspend California’s cap-and-trade law.

PG&E’s annual shareholder meeting will be held May 12 at 10:00 AM PT at the San Ramon Valley Conference Center, 3301 Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon, California.

Mr. Ehrlich is expected to present the proposal at the meeting.

The National Center For Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, and receives less than one percent of its revenue from corporate sources.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.