There's a "crazy quilt of about 140 businesses and organizations that jumped into the climate change debate on Capitol Hill in the first quarter of this year," reports Marianne Lavelle.
First, it was British Petroleum. Then, after a multi-million dollar rebranding as "green," the oil giant renamed itself Beyond Petroleum, or simply BP. Now, BP says its "number one priority" is responsibility. BP spokesperson David Nicholas described the change as "an evolution and expansion of green as a brand value rather than a replacement. ... 'Responsible' encompasses BP's original aspirations towards the environment, in addition to ...
In May 2008, the major law firm Hunton & Williams launched the Water Policy Institute (WPI), a think tank-esque, industry-supported consortium formed "to address water supply, quality and use issues," according to its website.
The Canadian province of Alberta, which promotes the development of its tar sands oil, "has hired a team of consultants to improve [its] image in Washington ahead of climate-change talks." The lobbyists, who Alberta is paying $40,000 a month, include former Michigan governor James Blanchard and former U.S.
Wisconsin law sets two conditions that must be met before new nuclear power plants can be built in the state. One is that there must be "a federally licensed facility" for high-level nuclear waste. In addition, the proposed nuclear plant "must be economically advantageous to ratepayers."
It's a law that the nuclear power industry doesn't like. Given the near-death of the planned waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain, and the estimated $6 to $12 billion cost (pdf) of building one nuclear reactor -- not to mention the lack of interest from private investors and the tanking economy -- Wisconsin's law effectively bans new nuclear plants in the state, for the foreseeable future.
Earlier this year, the major U.S. industry group Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) registered four lobbyists in Wisconsin.