Business & Technology

Discover Brilliant: Intro

I’m here at the introductory talk at the Discover Brilliant conference. The focus of the three-day event is on those areas where entrepreneurial energy and profit overlap with lower environmental impact. Everyone is here to figure out who’s making money, who’s investing where, and what the next big tech will be. The vibe is refreshingly different from the usual green conference — much more lively, lots more optimism, much less guilt. I’ll be posting updates periodically over the next three days. Update [2007-9-17 9:38:49 by David Roberts]: This is kind of interesting: she says that as of today, energy, building, …

Ecomagination and coal

As long as GE funds coal, its net impact is far from green

Let me pull a few excerpts from a recent WSJ story on the progress of GE’s much-touted "ecomagination" campaign: “I don’t want to change the economic flow of the company,” [CEO Jeffrey] Immelt says. So GE continues to sell coal-fired steam turbines and is delving deeper into oil-and-gas production. Meanwhile, its finance unit seeks out coal-related investments including power plants, which are a leading cause of carbon-dioxide emissions in the U.S. … Counting the emissions was a big challenge for a company with more than 3,000 facilities in 73 countries. One nettlesome question: How should GE count emissions from power …

Cuomo arigato!

New York attorney general subpoenas energy companies over disclosure of coal-plant risks

A new weapon has been brought to bear in the war on coal, and it’s aimed right at the corpulent industry’s soft underbelly: risk. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo just sent out a round of subpoenas to energy companies. He wants to see internal documents demonstrating that the companies — AES Corporation, Dominion, Dynegy, Peabody Energy and Xcel Energy — fully disclosed the financial risks of planned coal-fired power plants to investors. (This is Cuomo’s twist on a once-obscure statute — the Martin Act, a 1921 state securities law — that his predecessor Eliot Spitzer revived and used to …

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