Climate change cronyism: Big businesses tailor policy to benefit themselves at your cost

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An association of CEOs of large, U.S.-based corporations has joined the global warming bandwagon, releasing a new policy document, “Addressing Climate Change. Is this move by the Business Roundtable “a sea change in corporate attitudes on climate action,” as the Wall Street Journal’s Greg Ip called it?

Maybe. The statement really seems crafted to cover the collective backsides of association members and companies regardless of who ends up controlling Congress and the White House and to reduce exposure to financial risk. Not exactly a sea change. And not likely to garner the environmental halo they covet. ExxonMobil, for example, has been moving closer to the supposedly enlightened position on climate change for years yet still remains the top corporate target of public relations attacks and grandstanding lawsuits.

In coming out in favor of increased regulation, the Business Roundtable is doing what many big companies have done for decades: appear to support altruistic goals while using public policy to advance their own interests.

So, while they acknowledge that climate change “poses significant environmental, economic, public health and security threats,” they want to make sure that new policy is “maximizing compliance flexibility and minimizing costs” for themselves. They want the government to “support both public and private investment” in low-carbon technologies, which likely means giving more taxpayer handouts to firms adept at lobbying executive branch officials. No doubt this will enable 100 new Solyndras to bloom.

The Business Roundtable statement also calls for “regulatory certainty,” which in the world of special interest lobbying often translates into locking in a good deal for oneself against competitors. The statement says current federal and state climate policies have “negatively affected the long-term investment strategies of many U.S. companies.” Rather than calling for the repeal of those policies, they want the law rewritten to benefit them.

Continue reading the article at the Washington Examiner.