Another newspaper, the Charlotte Observer, in a story by Bruce Henderson, has noticed that shareholder activism seems to be coming from the right these days:
At their annual meeting Thursday, Duke Energy shareholders questioned CEO Jim Rogers about the company’s lobbying for climate-change legislation.
Shareholders voted down a proposal calling for a report on Duke’s climate-related lobbying, with 76 percent of proxy votes opposed.
But the questions marked a reversal of the company’s annual meetings, which in recent years have seen activists urging Duke to invest more heavily in green energy such as solar and wind technology.
Duke has spent more than $10 million to lobby Congress since 2008, the Observer reported last October. Much of its work was aimed at influencing measures to limit emissions of carbon dioxide, of which Duke’s fleet of coal-fired power plants are major sources.
About a dozen protesters from the conservative group FreedomWorks marched outside Duke’s uptown Charlotte headquarters during the meeting. They targeted Duke’s support of a trading system for carbon “credits,” or permission to release the greenhouse gas, that is envisioned in congressional energy bills.
“Energy costs are going to go up as a result, and we can’t afford to line Duke’s pockets,” said Joyce Krawiec of Kernersville.
Shareholder Tom Borelli of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank in Washington, said Rogers has “set our company on a risky course” by its advocacy.
The center asserts that Duke will net billions of dollars in carbon credits in exchange for its lobbying. It says climate legislation will raise energy prices and cost jobs…
Read the rest here.
On Thursday, the Charlotte Business Journal also ran a story noting the National Center for Public Policy Research and FreedomWorks activism, and the lack of any activity by environmental groups on the left.