Victory! GE's Immelt surrenders on climate

General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt has finally renounced advocacy of global warming legislation… and we helped!

At an event at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Tuesday, Immelt said,

“If I had one thing to do over again I would not have talked so much about green… Even though I believe in global warming and I believe in the science … it just took on a connotation that was too elitist; it was too precious and it let opponents think that if you had a green initiative, you didn’t care about jobs. I’m a businessman. That’s all I care about, is jobs… I’m kind of over the stage of arguing for a comprehensive energy policy. I’m back to keeping my head down and working. [Emphasis added]’s Steve Milloy launched the campaign against Immelt’s lobbying for global warming legislation in 2005, including:

  • Drafting the first shareholder resolution attacking a CEO for global warming lobbying;
  • Defeating GE’s efforts to block the shareholder resolution for three years, a resolution that serves as legal precedent for ongoing/future resolutions filed with GE and other companies lobbying on climate;
  • Continually spotlighting Immelt’s lobbying at shareholder meetings and in the media;

Although Immelt retaliated against Milloy in March 2008 by banning him from appearing on GE-owned CNBC, Milloy’s point of view prevailed in the end.

Finally, Immelt’s about-face on climate lobbying cannot be a good omen for the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, the eco-industrial complex that led the charge for cap-and-trade and that Immelt helped co-found.

28 thoughts on “Victory! GE's Immelt surrenders on climate”

  1. Oh don’t worry… we won’t quit until a stake is driven in the heart of the green bloodsucker.

    The following is a reprint of a blog I wrote on My__ a few month back. I finally got tired of being accused of heresy:
    I’m 72 goin’ on 73 and I’ve heard the expression “this crazy weather” since I can remember. Before the atomic age it meant the “comin’ o’ th’ Lord was near.” The “old wives” along with their favorite preachers even had Bible verses to prove it. The most common quote was “there will be earthquakes in divers (sic) places”. I am a Bible fan and respect most religions that try to abide by it. I take exception to seeing it misquoted and blatantly misapplied. I wondered what the aforementioned quote had to do with rain, snow and wind, or lack thereof. It was a time when someone as young as I was not allowed to ask questions of my elders and betters, so I didn’t. One did not want to be accused of “backtalk” or “sass”.
    Of course, not everyone bought into it, but few of those who doubted thought it worth an argument. By the time I was 11 or 12 years old, “this crazy weather” was still around, but with a different cause. It was now all those Atomic bombs we were putting off. Soon it became Hydrogen bombs. Among the more reasonable newspapers, some effort was made to dispel the myth, but it was uphill all the way. My favorite protest was an editorial cartoon in the Wheeling News Register (I think). It showed a pair of old Indian Squaws; “We never had ‘this crazy weather’, one was saying, “until they started using those darn bows and arrows”.
    We still had “this crazy weather” in the 50s and 60s, but the Atomic argument was losing favor to flying saucers with their little green men. There was no use arguing with that. Way too many people had seen them and they knew all about the government’s attempts to cover it up. Little green men and flying saucers were still around in the 70s, but they no longer had any interest in causing “this crazy weather”.
    It was the 70s when all of the scientists, all of them, agreed that we were headed for another ice age and would have to plan for it with their help, of course and a well financed world government.
    It would be redundant to tell you what has happened since then. Global warming has been replaced with “climate change”, which is just another way of saying “this crazy weather.” There is no use arguing with this new religion. They call themselves scientists. I call them “Climatites.” Their zeal is that of Theocrats and they are determined to tax the very air we breathe. Carbon Dioxide is now declared by our government a pollutant. No matter that we create it when we exhale. No matter that neither we nor plants would exist without it. The Climatites eagerly point out that too much of it could kill you. “And how is that different from water?” I ask.
    Oops!! Sorry!! I know better than to argue. After all these years, it’s probably not worth it anyway. As a Christian, I need to accept that I am saved by grace through faith. I find that believable and comforting. As a Climatite, I would have to stop breathing. Screw that!!
    Recently, in my barber shop that subject came up. I had come for a quiet hair cut because it’s cheaper than buying myself a dog license. I held my tongue until time to leave then blurted, “I blame the Indians for it”. They all looked at me. “We never had this crazy weather until they started using those damn bows and arrows.”

  3. I don’t know Steve, I wouldn’t turn my back on him. It sounds more like he’s taking his global warming battle underground. He didn’t say what he was keeping his head down and working on.

  4. Interesting that he says that he is abandoning his green agenda to focus on building the business. There is nothing that says the two are mutually exclusive …. or is there?

    Of course there is within the current green meme. Non-economic, non-stable technological fixes to non-problems take jobs and the practice of good business (not just good government) off-track. Reasonable behaviour as a businessman is not contradicted by the needs of good business success. Raping the environment is not necessary to profit from the environment, though it does increase profits bypassing on costs to future consumers. But necessary? No. So why does he say this? Because what he was trumpeting was foolish, and now he wants his words to go away.

  5. don’t you know? .. hell’s fires are fueled by dead liberals .. the more that die , the hotter the earth .. we should have cooling soon…

  6. Remember GE made a $14 billion profit in 2010 and paid no income taxes on it to the U. S. government. They have a lot of their profits stranded overseas for investment and job creation overseas. Immelt’s loyalty is to himself.

    Great work Steve Milloy!

  7. What’s the old saying about “just because you have silenced a man does not mean you have converted him?” Clearly, what Immelt is saying here is, “I still believe in the green nonsense, I’ve just learned to shut up about it.” Forcing an opponent underground is not a victory; in fact, he just becomes more dangerous than he was previously.

  8. “Although Immelt retaliated against Milloy in March 2008 by banning him from appearing on GE-owned CNBC…” Why would he want to go on there anyway? No one would have seen the interviews.

    Keep up the great work, Steve. Yes, I did buy the book….

  9. A real businessman cares about profit. Jobs are secondary and will come with the profit.

  10. Thank you, Steve, for not giving up under pressure. Congratulations for “winning” this particular battle. But we can’t give up until the entire CO2 fairy tale is erased from the worldview of millions of people.

  11. Wow it’s great to hear Immelt throw in the towel on ACC. GE would have been one of the biggest benficiaries of climate legislation. The guy always gave me the creeps for his left leaning bias and reliance on future profits generated through legislation, legislation that he was influential in getting written, legislation that never got passed. Thank god for that.

    I have been an environmentlist since 1970 and ultimatly ACC will destroy the environmental movement in the end. We’re seeing it now.

  12. Sure, all he cares about are JOBS. Right. That’s why he closed the incandescent light bulb plant in the US and moved production of those mercury filled bulbs to China.

  13. Well Done!
    Next up, a GE specialty: Watts, Anthony. “Do CFL twisty bulbs explode?” Scientific. Watts Up With That?, April 20, 2011.

    Here’s a story that suggests that they can. Like any poorly manufactured or quality controlled product, failures can occur. But with CFL bulbs, there’s additional things that can go wrong over the simple and century long proven incandescent bulb.

  14. Robert:
    If you want to know where a political party’s money comes from, look where our money goes to.
    If Obama fired Imelt, he’d be kissing millions good bye from his re-election coffer.

  15. Congratulations Steve. You prove that an individual or small group can, if they are in it for the long haul, take on and beat city hall.

  16. Immelt needs to be Fired from GE. Since this clown took over Gee my stock has dropped $30.00 a share. That’s a 200 billion dollar loss of capitalization,,,and he still has a job. I wonder why Obama did not fire his sorry arse when things got tough.. I guess if you lick enogh boots you can get anthing.

  17. I trust GE in general, and Immelt in particular, as far as I can throw Obama. Immelt – as he stated – is out to make a buck. And in my opinion after observing this clown for several years, he could care less if that comes at the expense of the United States. Our economy be damned… if he can increase his annual bonus, that’s all that counts. Immelt can change like a chameleon depending on how the political winds blow. Hell, he appears to owns most of the Congresscritters, why should he let a little thing like ordinary Americans stand in his way!

  18. If Milloy is a shareholder, can he be banned from shreholder’s meetings? Censorship and bullying if you ask me!

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