Appearing on General Electric’s conservative-skewing business network, CBNC, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) argued that carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas, is not a “real pollutant.” In an interview with right-wing economist Larry Kudlow on Thursday, Inhofe repeated lies about the cost of climate legislation. Kudlow, praising Inhofe for telling Americans about this “very scary story,” attacked the prospect of global warming regulation as a “backdoor energy tax” that “can drive stocks into the ground.” Inhofe claimed that President Obama wants to “intimidate Congress” into passing “$300 to $400 billion a year” in taxes, so that the American people will blame Congress instead of him:
The reason why I don’t think they’ll try to do that through regulation is because certainly this president, President Obama knows that once the American people find out that they’re going to pay about $2,000 a year in taxes for something that doesn’t do anything, there’s going to be an outrage. And they want to be able to say, “Oh, no, that was Congress that did it.” My feeling is they’re using this for intimidation purposes and they’re going to try to intimidate Congress to do this.
CNBC’s promotion of right-wing fantasies originating from polluter-funded think tanks and conservative bloggers is nothing new. Energy and media multinational General Electric is often portrayed as a climate-friendly corporation which influences American politics to the left, primarily because of the presence of Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, and Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s afternoon programming. On Fox News, Glenn Beck rants that GE is going to get “all kinds of contracts from the government on green energy” because it is “in bed with Obama.” The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Steve Milloy claims the new Kerry-Boxer clean-energy jobs act is larded with “payoffs to GE.” Bill O’Reilly claims GE “is also pushing for the proposed cap-and-trade program” and “using its power and the airwaves to influence politics” so that it can “reap billions of dollars if the Feds OK the carbon deal.”
Not only does GE attack climate action through its CNBC network, it also supports several national lobbying campaigns against clean-energy legislation, through its membership in the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (GE Energy), the American Petroleum Institute (GE Oil & Gas), and the National Association of Manufacturers (GE Enterprise Solutions). Unlike GE, companies such as Duke Energy have abandoned NAM and ACCCE for their retrograde position on climate change.
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