Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Backlash at GE

Immelt and his company have become the unlikely darlings of the environmental movement, attracting jeers from conservatives.


“In the last year or so, Immelt and GE have become the unlikely darlings of the environmental movement. GE promotes solar and wind power and it agreed, at long last, to clean up toxic chemicals that it dumped into the Hudson River years ago. The company has also pledged to curb its emissions of greenhouse gases, aligning itself with those who argue that the problem of global warming is real, important and caused by man-made emissions.


So now, along with cheers from the tree-huggers, Immelt is attracting jeers from conservatives who say he has gone too far. A political activist named Steven Milloy, who runs a small mutual fund called the Free Enterprise Action Fund (FEAF), has filed a shareholder resolution asking GE to justify its policy on global warming.


The backlash against GE comes from a controversial source. Milloy is a lawyer, a columnist for and former adjunct scholar at the libertarian Cato Institution who has battled environmentalists for years. He has run nonprofit groups that attack environmentalists and have received funding from Altria, parent company of Philip Morris, and Exxon Mobil, according to The New Republic magazine. Without disclosing his support from business, Milloy has written about smoking research and global warming on his Web site”

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