Thursday, March 13, 2008

Immelt on Hell

Very interesting comments from GEs leading man. Since we are talking about energy policy I thought this might interest all of you.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Environmental Economics at its finest, If government intervention can cut down on pollution and businesses can make money by follwing these implementations then everyones a winner...Am I right?

Cliff Dupree

mgraham said...

Emmelt is right with his comment “The government has its hand in every industry. If we have to have them, I’d prefer they were productive rather than destructive.”
If the government subsidizes industries they should be able to encourage how it can perform in an enviroement that contributes to society in different ways. Oil companies get subsidies they should have a provision for the conservation of the areas they destroy...or do they. Another point was, it is better to be part of a change than stay in the limelight and only complain. You can be part of the decisions made.

Ross Davidson said...

I agree that the government needs to come up with a set policy. Once this occurs then people will know what kind of stance our country is taking and what kind of emission standards our businesses need to meet. Once this happens i think investors will be more likely to invest in alternative technologies. It kind of takes away some of the risk of investing.

Drew Moxon said...

I know it seems horrible, but I think we *need* a catastrophe so that we can move toward more environmentally and economically sound forms of energy. Whether that means coal-related deaths from health problems (highly publicized of course), blackouts from too much power usage, or deaths from poisoned water sources from mining of resources. These are things that get peoples', specifically Congress', attention. The hole in the ozone with all the skin cancer patients did the job last time and it just might take another problem like that to get people to come around (as depressing as that is).

Brett Cottrell said...

Drew has the right idea!! Maybe... I'm not so sure that I want to see people die to make the point, but you're probably right that it would make a big impact in the public eye. I like how GE is using their hungry capitalist attitude to turn something as wholesome as saving the earth and the people that live on it into a money making opportunity. It seems like that is probably the only way to do it. It would be hard to convince people to spend money to save a planet that they are only going to live on for the next 80 years, but when they see the possibility of profiting, then the whole ordeal changes. It's pretty disgusting really, but I guess that at least the hungry businessmen like those at GE are willing to do something. His attitude of not wanting to have it shoved down his throat may end up making him incredibly wealthy. Hopefully other firms will see the potential here to get ahead of the legislation so that they don't have to scramble with the rest of the herd. I suppose that in the grand scheme of things, I don't care what has to go through people's heads to get them moving on the climate change issue, just so long as they get moving! Wouldn't it be great to see the market take of the problem without government intervention?!? But who actually thinks that would happen...

Drew Moxon said...

I think the profitability comes back to the consumer though. The reason oil companies aren't spending significant resources (I don't consider BP's 1% "significant"...) on alternative energy is because the market still has booming demand for oil. In the long run, it would be a wise idea for these companies to invest in alternative sources, but only to a mild extent while demand is where it is. Sadly, with this high oil demand, BP is probably right where it should be; dipping their toes into the alternative energy water just enough so they're not caught by surprise when the demand starts to shift. I do believe it would probably take government action to make this shift sooner in order for people and firms to realize the social cost in time for it to make the necessary difference.

Anonymous said...

Immelt is smart. He is trying to predict and influence a market that is currently stagnant (renewable energy) in order to make a profit for his company and shareholders. I like it. It's a good thing that someone is taking the initiative to work with the standing system. The wallet is the most sensitive of issues when it comes to public policy change. Heres to hoping that he starts a trend, change from the inside.

Carol Anne Watts

Anonymous said...

I find it very interesting that the leader of one of the most powerful corporations in the world is calling out our government. Its about time someone spoke up. I like how he touches on nuclear power, clean energy, wind turbines....He is basically saying that his company would love to make America a more environmentally sound, but much like everything else in the U.S., if we don't act soon then prosperity will be sold to someone else across the pond while the problem only grows.

-james roten

Kiersten Weissinger said...

While Immelt is wise in his tactics to make a profit for his company, it seems that there is a lack of concern for the general wellbeing of the planet and its people. Environmental stewardship is not codeword for economic downfall. The health of both the environment and the global economy are unquestionably linked. Having said that, if steps can be taken to improve environmental quality, regardless of motive, they are steps taken in the right direction. Perhaps industry is the new face of the environmental movement.

Logan Clark said...

I agree that it may take a large catastrophic event to convince the government to implement legislation and make changes, because of the "stagnant" point we are at right now. Maybe we need more companies to step up to the plate like GE and call out the government, because it seems like we are seeing at least some initiative from big companies to become more clean and now we need to the government to see this and make changes.

Catherine said...

It sounds like Immelt is one step ahead of the game. I'm not sure that he has wholesome motives for saving the planet, but at least his capitalist attitude will have a positive effect on the environment. Hopefully the government will take note of the business side of climate change and carbon emissions and implement a stable policy.

Ian Cronogue said...

Its amazing that people, even educated people, assume that just because something is environmental it is not profitable. I really think that in these coming years, assuming the us economy recovers, there could be a hype in the clean technology sector that could rival the internet bubble of the 1999-2000.

Tearpock said...

I agree that Immelt is an extremely powerful and intelligent businessman. He's preparing his company for future success and giving our country the option of becoming more environmentally sound. I think it's amusing how confident Immelt is about GE. He states that if the US will not buy from him, then he will simply turn elsewhere.

chris mobley said...

I feel personally that there could be something done in the area of subsidization. this would involve government intervention. With their help, economic incentives, and pollution or emission taxes, we could cut down on the amount of pollution. If these industries were subsidized by the government it would solve many problems and make a big difference for people that will be around long after we are all gone.

jonathan ziemba said...

I agree with catherine that even though Immelt may not have the best environmental incentives, the topics discussed will help the environment. It would be nice for these politicians to go greener even if they are for reasons like money. I think that Immelt is very knoledged and he understands how things will work in the future to help make the environment cleaner. Lets hope his predictions and observations are correct

lauren fields said...

I agree that there is seemingly less risk involved in investing when you feel like youre pulling for a team thats backed by the gorvenment. as long as the environment remains an on again off again commitment in the legislature, it will be more difficult to get businesses involved in it in any big way.if they feel like their efforts wont be in vain and may in fact be rewarded by the federal government, then we could see a great deal more improvement in our options...

Darrel Bright said...

It's all about money. Just as it should be in a capitalistic society. A carbon tax will increase the cost of fossil fuels to the point where wind and nuclear can compete or have an advantage. GE is already heavy into these areas with huge amounts of growth in Technology and efficiency still left to be discovered. They are betting that these discoveries will be easier than discovering new oil fields.

Anonymous said...

who knew?...sometimes what helps the environment can help the economy at the same time- I hope to see other firms join in on this-even if driven by money.

-Rachel Bisesi