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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tree huggers go corporate with Eaton spokesman

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 5:28 AM

Remember the good old days when green activists were hemp-wearing hippies who enjoyed getting tear-gassed at WTO meetings? It was a time Kevin O'Brien would have loved, the days when few believed in global warming because it occasionally got cold outside. Environmentalists who spread the message of doom and gloom had to employ nuns just to get heard in corporate board rooms. But times are changing. The Environmental Defense Action Fund, a D.C. lobbying group, has officially gone corporate. Its website brags of partnerships with the likes of DuPont, Wal-Mart, and McDonald’s. Call it a beautiful episode of pragmatism… The organization is even launching an ad campaign this week that features Cleveland’s own Sandy Cutler (click video above), CEO of Eaton Corp. He and other industry titans are lobbying for Congress to pass caps on greenhouse gas emissions. They argue that going green will create jobs. “If we build clean energy technologies in America, we’ll generate the jobs that’ll power the 21st Century,” the ad says. Granted, the Senate bill they’re pushing has been criticized by more lefty tree-huggers, who say it gives industries too many “carbon credits”— permits allowing them to pollute. It may also be the easiest global warming bill the coal and gas companies could hope for. Businesses are supporting it because they fear tougher sanctions after November’s elections, according to the website But compared to a decade ago, at least the debate has gone beyond if we should do something. Now it’s turned to what. – Lisa Rab


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