Archive for March 30th, 2009

‘Green’ NBC saves $2 million; Execs go thirsty

March 30, 2009

NBC Universal announced today that it saved $2 million in 2008 by going green — that is, reducing power use and reducing bottled water consumption by executives.

So how much water do NBC execs drink? And how do we know that NBC’s power savings aren’t more appropriately attributed to 2008’s poor business climate.

Of course, NBC Universal had 2008 revenues of almost $17 billion — so the alleged savings, if they’re even true, hardly qualify for significant digit status.

A more effective cost-saving strategy for NBC’s parent company, the global warming-lobbying General Electric, saved $12 million by forcing its disastrous-for-shareholders CEO Jeff Immelt to waive his 2008 bonus.

$8,000 for a 200-year green door?

March 30, 2009

From an article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle entitled, “Not enough green for green living,”

… “So how much do [the eco-friendly windows] cost?” I asked, while Barry gave me an overview of the various windows that she sells, often at trade shows on green building.

“A lot,” Barry said in her lilting South African accent, demonstrating how one particular brand of window makes a complete seal when closed.

“OK, how much?”

“Well, like this big sliding glass door costs $8,000,” she said, slowly sliding a massive glass and wood door shut. One can buy a cheap door in similar dimensions at Home Depot for $500.” I raised my eyebrow.

“The wood is Forest Stewardship Council certified,” she added. “It was made to last 200 years!”

Green dishwasher soap doesn’t work; Encourages soap smuggling

March 30, 2009

The Associated Press reports that,

The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don’t work as well. Spokane County became the launch pad last July for the nation’s strictest ban on dishwasher detergent made with phosphates, a measure aimed at reducing water pollution. The ban will be expanded statewide in July 2010, the same time similar laws take effect in several other states.


Real estate agent Patti Marcotte of Spokane stocks up on detergent at a Costco in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and doesn’t care who knows it.

“Yes, I am a smuggler,” she said. “I’m taking my chances because dirty dishes I cannot live with.”

(In truth, the ban applies to the sale of phosphate detergent — not its use or possession — so Marcotte is not in any legal trouble.)

Marcotte said she tried every green brand in her dishwasher and found none would remove grease and pieces of food. Everybody she knows buys dishwasher detergent in Idaho, she said.

Supporters of the ban acknowledge it is not very popular.

“I’m not hearing a lot of positive feedback,” conceded Shannon Brattebo of the Washington Lake Protection Association, a prime mover of the ban. “I think people are driving to Idaho.”

As the American Thinker put it,

It’s not easy being green.

From the dishwasher soap industry,

We’ve tried to market no-phosphate dishwasher detergents, but consumers flatly rejected them.”

Cap-and-Trade War

March 30, 2009

From today’s Wall Street Journal editorial page:

One of President Obama’s applause lines is that his climate tax policies will create new green jobs “that can’t be outsourced.” But if that’s true, why is his main energy adviser floating a new carbon tariff on imports? Welcome to the coming cap and trade war.

Click here for the full column.

Obama backs off Bush mileage standards

March 30, 2009

Citing economic concerns, the Obama administration has issued federal gas mileage standards that are less stringent that those proposed by the Bush administration.

As reported by Carbon Control News,

The combined standard for vehicles and light trucks will be set at 27.3 miles per gallon (mpg) and the passenger vehicle standard is expected to be set at 30.2 mpg. The Obama administration standard will strengthen the combined vehicle and light truck standard from the current 25.3 mpg, as well as the current passenger vehicle standard of 27.5 mpg. But the final standard is weaker than what the Bush administration proposed last year—a combined 2011 CAFE standard of 27.8 mpg and a passenger car standard of 31.2 mpg.

Carbon Control News reports that the greens are unhappy with the decision but that they have

refrained from faulting the decision too harshly.

A spokesman for the Union of Concerned Scientists told Carbon Control News that,

“The Obama administration had its hands tied. The 2011 rule is based on fundamentally flawed methodology and data held over from the Bush administration, so it’s no surprise that it isn’t that much of a boost.”

The greens hope that Obama will issue a “more robust” standard in future years.

Click here for the final rule.

Citigroup challenged for stigmatizing coal

March 30, 2009

The Free Enterprise Action Fund has challenged Citigroup regarding the bank’s support for the so-called “Carbon Principles” — a green-inspired effort to deny financing to the coal industry and electric utilities that burn coal.

The Fund’s challenge is in the form of a shareholder proposal that appears in Citigroup’s 2009 proxy statement and that will be voted on at the bank’s annual shareholder meeting on April 21. The proposal requests that Citigroup,

… describe the environmental impacts of its implementation of the Carbon Principles so that shareholders can determine for themselves whether such impacts are worth the reputational damage being inflicted on the source of 50 percent of the
U.S. electricity supply.

Take action:

1. Shareholders of Citigroup should vote “FOR” Proposal 9.

2. Attend the Citigroup meeting in New York City so that you can personally tell CEO Vikram Pandit that America needs coal-fired electricity not green oppression.