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What Happens to Companies That 'Go Green'

     Have you heard the one about the company that “went green” and ended up actually saving money? Sounds great, doesn’t it?

 

     The problem is the connection between the two is less than certain.

 

     “[T]he mutual fund I manage, the Free Enterprise Action fund, we’re actually filing a petition with the SEC in the upcoming week to require these companies to disclose the business risk of global warming alarmism and global warming regulation,” Steve Milloy, head of the Free Enterprise Action Fund and webmaster of Junkscience.com, said on CNBC’s October 12 “Street Signs.”

 

     “You know, we’re seeing a lot of bad things come true, Milloy explained. “For example, Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) – they are lobbying for global warming regulation. At the same time, global warming regulation is going to harm their biggest customer – the coal industry.”

 

     Other industries have been hurt. One of the latest targets of global warming alarmism has been the bottled water industry – repeatedly attacked in the media throughout the summer.

 

     “We’ve also seen PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP), who is also lobbying for global warming regulation – their worst nightmares are coming true because now there is a backlash against bottled water,” Milloy added.

 

     Although a “green” company image has been a popular for marketing, Milloy warned that lobbying for regulation is not in the best interest of many companies’ shareholders.

 

     “Higher energy costs are also going to hurt their earnings. Higher raw materials costs – there are costs that are coming to these companies that are lobbying for global warming. If they haven’t realized yet – they have drank the green Kool-Aid and we need to force the SEC to require them to disclose the risks to shareholders.”

 

     However, “Street Signs” host Erin Burnett asked if it was a wise business decision for a company to be at the forefront of regulation, so that when regulation comes, they would be able to have a voice in what the regulations are.

 

     “We don’t know the regulation is going to happen,” Milloy said. “First off, we need to see some bills and find out who the winners and losers are. Number two – once these companies get the regulation boulder rolling downhill, we know those regulations are going to get more stringent, more expensive – they’re just going to get run over. These guys are being totally suckered by the greens and by Al Gore.”

 

     One of the myths spread by the soothsayers of global warming doom is that the solutions they propose are good because they are “market-based.” For example, liberal Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has stated she supported “legislation to establish a flexible, market-based system to combat global warming.”

 

     “[N]one of this is market-based,” Milloy said. “This is command and control with just a different dressing on it.”

 

     Milloy reiterated his skepticism that supposed “green” policies are good for shareholders. “You let me know when they make money,” he said.

 

     “And that’s a good question and I think it’s a fair one too, Steve,” Burnett replied.