Ten of the nation’s largest companies, including Caterpillar and former Global Climate Coalition member, Duke Power, say they now want Congressional legislation to limit climate change--including at least a 10 percent annual national decline in carbon dioxide emissions.
Voluntary carbon trading markets in the United States have doubled in volume over the past year, demonstrating that companies and consumers increasingly seek to offset their role in creating greenhouse gasses by fostering reductions in carbon elsewhere. But the market lacks quality control and a reliable referee. Some companies may take more interest in pushing brand identity than good works.
As a reporter for Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T), a small industry trade publication, Paul Thacker discovered an entire industry built around spinning science for the purpose of confusing the public while benefiting big business. He wrote exposés documenting the tobacco and oil industry ties of Steven Milloy's junkscience.com, which purports to debunk bad science about issues such as global warming.
"With congressional Democrats readying probes into oil companies' profits and eyeing legislation aimed at curbing global warming, the American Petroleum Institute and its K Street allies are looking to assemble a $100 million war chest to rally policy makers and public opinion to their side," reports Peter Stone.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) is planning to launch a major "educational advocacy" program in January 2007 to influence the incoming Congress. The API represents 400 major oil and gas producers. According to PR Week, the program will include increased television advertising, speeches by economists and industry executives and tours of oil and gas operations for think tank staff and politicians.
Jim Rogers, the Chief Executive of Duke Energy, a power company that is keen to build nuclear power plants in North and South Carolina, told reporters at an energy conference that he was "cautiously optimistic on nuclear, but public opinion turns on a dime." The nuclear industry faces considerable hurdles.