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Texas Windpower: EU Energy, Enron LegacyBy Josiah Neeley -- February 9, 2012 14 Comments
Texas and Europe don’t have a lot in common. But when it comes to government support for renewable energy, the Lone Star state has followed the same course as many European nations.
In the late 1990s, while the European Union was urging member nations to adopt targets for the percentage of their energy produced from renewable sources, Texas enacted a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) mandating that the state’s competitive electric providers buy a minimum 2,000 MW of qualifying renewable energy by 2009. The purchase mandate was part of a broad electricity restructuring bill sponsored by Enron Corp., parent of Enron Wind Corporation, a story detailed elsewhere at MasterResource.
The Texas Legislature, with the support of Governor Rick Perry, later increased the RPS to 10,000-MW by 2025. Texas met this target for installed wind capacity in 2010, a full fifteen years ahead of schedule.…Continue Reading
Governor Rick Perry (R-TX), T. Boone Pickens, and the Enron Legacy of WindpowerBy Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 24, 2009 15 Comments
Last December, Texas governor Rick Perry, speaking at a Houston fundraiser, sadly noted how President George W. Bush had lost his way in Washington, D.C. His good friend had compromised his principles and left the nation in a lurch, however unintentionally.
But then the governor launched into his Texas-is-great stump speech that included kudos to windpower, a new large industry (no) thanks to a legislative mandate requiring that Texas electricity retailers purchase qualifying renewable energy. (Wind is the most economical of the qualifiers.) The 1999 mandate, enacted with the crucial help of Enron lobbyists, was increased in 2002 with a powerful wind lobby at work. And so at the point of a gun, Texas became the leading windpower state in the country, passing California along the way.
So it was not surprising that last Saturday night Gov.…Continue Reading
Woke SVB: Remembering Woke EnronBy Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 22, 2023 No Comments
The demise of the “Climate Bank” SVB makes a look back at ‘Woke Enron’ timely. This post is an excerpt from Robert Bradley, Jr. Capitalism at Work: Business, Government, and Energy (2009), pp. 309–310.
In the fall of 2001, Ken Lay set the tone for what would be Enron’s last Environmental, Health, and Safety Management Conference:
We believe that incorporating environmental and social considerations into the way we manage risk, govern our projects, and develop products and services will help us maintain our competitive advantage. As we move forward, we will leverage our intellectual capital and innovative capabilities to promote sustainable business practices around the world.
At this meeting, Enron’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) task force listed its “Accomplishments to Date,” which were:
- Secured board oversight of social/environmental performance
- Expressed support for Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Completed corporate responsibility task force
- Developed and pilot-tested human rights audit
- Developed security and human rights guidelines
- Established formal partnerships with WBCSD [World Business Council on Sustainable Development], IBLF [International Business Leaders Forum], and CI [Conservation International]
- Identified language to strengthen code of ethics
- Providing project support—Calypso, Transredes, Dabhol and Cuiabá
- Responding to stakeholder concerns on an ongoing basis
The goals for 2002 included:
- Formally adopt CERES Principles
- Complete indigenous peoples’ policy
- Specify social/environmental expectations in formal relationships with vendors and contractors
- Review results of stakeholder survey and develop strategy to address outcome
- Create awareness of social/environmental trends among [Enron’s] origination and investment groups
- Add corporate responsibility performance attribute to PRC [Performance Review Committee] process
- Present task force recommendations to Dr.
“THIS AGREEMENT WILL BE GOOD FOR ENRON STOCK!!” (Enron’s Kyoto memo turns 25)By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 12, 2022 2 Comments
This week, a Hall of Shame business memo turns a quarter-century old. Dated December 12, 1997, it was written from Kyoto, Japan, by Enron lobbyist John Palmisano in the afterglow of the Kyoto Protocol agreement.
Global green planners were euphoric that, somehow, someway, the world had embarked on an irreversible course of climate control (and thus industrial and land-use control). But Kyoto predictably failed, and the Paris climate accord of 2015 teeters, with COP27’s recent failure making COP28’s prospects look grim.
Palmisano’s memo cites the benefits for first-mover ‘green’ Enron. Enron, in fact, had no less than six profit centers tied to pricing carbon dioxide (CO2)–and seven if CO2 were capped and traded. The story of Enron as the darling of Left environmentalists has been well told elsewhere.…Continue Reading