August 22, 2019

Big Business Supports Regulations that Increase Profits, But Kill Jobs

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Cynical Power Company Supports Regulations that Will Increase Its Profits, But Harm the American People

Shareholder Activist Asks Exelon CEO How He Can Support Federal Regulations that Will Kill 500,000 Manufacturing Jobs, Half of All Jobs in the Coal Industry and Raise Energy Prices on American Families

Chicago, IL / Washington, DC – Challenged over its support of proposed Obama Administration regulations that could cause the price of power to skyrocket and put hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work, the president and CEO of the energy giant Exelon reiterated the company’s support for this flawed regulatory policy when challenged by a free-market shareholder activist with the National Center for Public Policy Research.

National Center for Public Policy Research Executive Director David W. Almasi questioned Exelon President and CEO Christopher M. Crane on proposed EPA regulations designed to reduce carbon emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. This policy is expected to have a devastating economic effects. According to a study by the Heritage Foundation, the imposition of this regulatory control on emissions could reduce the personal income of all Americans by $7,000 each and destroy 500,000 manufacturing jobs and 45 percent of all coal-mining jobs. The regulations also will raise the price of electricity for U.S. consumers and is expected to cause electricity shortages in some areas.

“While it’s not surprising that Exelon’s CEO didn’t offer an immediate mea culpa for the company’s potentially hurtful policy position, to dig the company further into a risky regulatory scheme that will only destroy jobs and drive up energy costs for the poorest of Americans was a shock,” said David W. Almasi, executive director of the National Center. Almasi was representing the organization’s Free Enterprise Project at Exelon’s annual meeting of shareholders today in Chicago.

Exelon has a majority of its power-generating capacity in nuclear power, while most of its fossil fuel capacity comes from natural gas. It also uses alternative energy sources such as wind and solar. As such, the Obama Administration’s policy, while harmful to the United States and the American people, is expected to be lucrative for Exelon.

Almasi said to Crane:

Even President Obama’s Harvard Law School professor and one-time legal advisor, Laurence Tribe, whose political views are known to align very much with those of President Obama, has written that, in executing its plan, the EPA “is asserting executive power far beyond its lawful authority.”

Is Exelon in the habit of supporting laws that potentially violate the rule of law and contravene the U.S. Constitution?

Furthermore, the EPA’s attack on coal risks the future of America’s largest energy source, raising the possibility that, during the next cold winter, Americans in some regions will simply have to do without reliable access to electricity. This sort of thing happened in Great Britain not long ago, causing some elderly Britons to freeze to death…

Now I know Exelon doesn’t have a large coal portfolio, but why does Exelon support an almost-certainly unconstitutional power grab by the executive branch that would kill hundreds of thousands of jobs in manufacturing, nearly half of all jobs in the coal industry, harm America’s national wealth significantly, and raise energy prices, which would disproportionately harm the poor, who are disproportionately black or Hispanic?

In response, Crane chose to “respectfully disagree” with the National Center’s concerns while claiming the company wanted an “all of the above” energy policy. He also stated “society deserves a clean energy stack that minimizes the impact on society,” and used the assertion to justify effectively setting the bar higher for the coal industry – forcing it to adopt new technologies that may be too costly for some companies and in any case would raise consumer costs. Crane declared:

So our position is don’t pick winners and losers, set the standards that are best for society and allow the free market to operate as it’s designed.

“Generations from now, we will likely still be feeling the repercussions of the politically-driven decisions made by corporate leaders today who are either unwilling to stand up to the Obama Administration or see a chance to artificially get a competitive edge. It’s happening in health care, energy and elsewhere,” said Almasi. “What makes this bad situation worse is that the leadership of an energy company such as Exelon should understand and be able to articulate the clear and present danger not just to their own existence but to the livelihoods of their industry, coworkers and customers.”

Almasi added: “In the case of Exelon, they say they don’t want to pick winners and losers and want the free market to prevail, but they seem to want the process to begin only after regulations skew the playing field. Exelon has a significant investment in nuclear power, and it was clear at the meeting they are worried about regulation and public opinion that may affect this investment in this controversial means of energy production. So it appears Exelon is more concerned about whose ox is being gored and that it never be theirs.”

“In a perfect world, corporate CEOs would defend the free market and believe in a level playing field for all companies,” added Almasi. “And corporate CEOs would not lobby for nor support government regulations that artificially give one company an edge over other companies. But as Exelon CEO Christopher Crane demonstrated when he spoke to me this morning, we don’t live in a perfect world. Big Business is perfectly happy to be regulated by Big Government if the result is more money for Big Business, even if the American people and other businesses unfairly suffer.”

David Almasiā€™s full question, as prepared for delivery, is available here.

Under the EPA’s proposed policy, states are expected to create plans to enact their own regulations in compliance with the federal mandate by June 30, 2016 or risk having a regulatory agenda imposed on them through the EPA.

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group focusing on corporations. In 2014, Free Enterprise Project representatives participated in 52 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and many other important public policy issues.

Today’s appearance at Exelon’s annual meeting of shareholders meeting marks the 13th shareholder meeting for the National Center in 2015.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here.

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Remarkable: Someone Believes WWF Owned By Big Business

“WWF International, the world’s largest conservation group, has been accused of “selling its soul” by forging alliances with powerful businesses which destroy nature and use the WWF brand to “greenwash” their operations.

The allegations are made in an explosive book previously barred from Britain. The Silence of the Pandas became a German bestseller in 2012 but, following a series of injunctions and court cases, it has not been published until now in English. Revised and renamed Pandaleaks, it will be out next week.”<<<Read More>>>

The book!

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On Immigration, Big Business Ducks Key Question

Marriott Chairman J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr. Ducks Key Question on Immigration at Company Shareholder Meeting

Declines to Explain Why Big Companies Supporting “Path to Citizenship” Don’t Lobby to Secure Southern Border First to Help Build Public Support for the Immigration Law Changes Big Business Wants

Washington DC – Justin Danhof, director of the National Center for Public Policy Research‘s Free Enterprise Project, today asked J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman of Marriott International, about the company’s push for immigration reform at the company’s shareholder meeting in Washington D.C. today.

Danhof, in his question, noted that 57 percent of the U.S. public supports the border fence and 69 percent supports using the U.S. military to keep Mexican drug violence out of the U.S. There is strong support for border security, and strengthening border security would increase public support for legalization of illegal immigrations already here. Therefore, given that the company has pushed for immigration reform for years without success, why does it not push for completing the fence and then push for legalization, as doing the former would make the public more agreeable to the latter?

“In his response, Mr. Marriott started by explaining that Marriott does very much support the idea of border security but, at the same time, he explained that many of the company’s employees that are here legally and work using green cards deserve a path to citizenship,” said Danhof. “That was really the entire crux of his answer. He did not say a word directed at the central point of my question, which was, ‘why doesn’t the company publicly support building a border fence and then engage in comprehensive immigration reform?’ It was as if I hadn’t asked that.”

“The company’s position is clearly to continue to push for legal status and border security at the same time,” Danhof continued. “As I plainly articulated, this approach has failed in the past and could also fail going forward. Either way, it is a method that does not have the broad backing of the American public, and the company is risking its strong reputation with this approach.”

“It is incomprehensible that a business such as Marriott that is heavily involved in the immigration debate cannot answer a simple question: why not build a secure border fence first, and then engage in the other dynamics of reform? If Marriott were to publicly endorse this approach, the company would align itself with a large block of the American public that is genuinely concerned about border security and continued illegal immigration from Mexico,” continued Danhof.

“When big businesses and politicians converge to write sweeping legislation, be it on energy, health care or immigration, the lone voice in the wilderness, that is all too often ignored, is the American people. Today, Marriott signaled that it is perfectly willing to ignore the public and engage with the political class in Washington, D.C. to overhaul America’s immigration system. As a hospitality company, Marriott relies on branding and customer service to drive success. It is incomprehensible that Marriott would take such a dramatic risk with the company’s reputation by ignoring the public,” Danhof concluded.

“Big business is its own worst enemy when it comes to so-called ‘immigration reform,'” added Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research, and also a Marriott shareholder. “If our southern border were secured, the public would be far more willing to support legislation to grant legal status to those who are here illegally. But Big Business wants the ‘reform’ of granting legal status, as well as other legal changes to let in more immigrants with certain skills, without first closing the border. Has Big Business gotten what it wants? Not since 1986. So why doesn’t Big Business push for border security as a tactic to get broad public approval for the legal changes it wants? That’s the mystery, and we’re sorry Mr. Marriott chose not to explain it. Unfortunately, we’re left to speculate that the reason may be that Big Business really does not want the supply of immigrant labor from across our southern border to dry up, so it pushes to grant legal status and even citizenship to illegal aliens already here while doing little to stop continued illegal immigration.”

“Immigration ‘reform’ advocates keep calling for a ‘compromise,'” concluded Ridenour. “Here’s a compromise: We enact legalization without border security in 1986, and border security without legalization in 2014. If someone wants to do something else about immigration after that’s done, we can discuss it.”

Justin Danhof also asked Marriott executives about immigration at the company’s 2013 shareholder meeting. A detailed write-up of that exchange, including an audio recording, is available here.

The full text of Danhof’s question to Mr. Marriott, as prepared for delivery, is here.

Marriott International said it would be posting an audio recording of the shareholder meeting on its website sometime this afternoon, but it had not been posted at the time this release was completed.

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is a leading free-market corporate activist program. In 2013, Free Enterprise Project representatives attended 33 shareholder meetings advancing conservative and free-market principles in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, media bias, gun rights and many more important public policy issues. The National Center has participated in 30 shareholder meetings so far in 2014.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, three percent from foundations, and three percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.Contributions are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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