It is perhaps the most revealing ‘crony capitalism’ memo in American history–at least that is in the public domain. (I ask others to submit nominations for this (dis)honor to see if this memo does not take the prize.)
It was written from Kyoto, Japan in the afterglow of the Kyoto Protocol agreement by Enron lobbyist John Palmisano. The global green planners were euphoric that, somehow, the world had embarked on an irreversible course of climate control (and thus industrial and land-use control). Palmisano’s memo reflects that as well as the specific benefits for first-mover ‘green’ Enron.
Parenthetically, I was lucky to have received this memo back at Enron to share it with posterity. Palmisano had me in the “To” list but but purposefully did not email it to me (we were foes on ‘green’ energy issues).…
“This agreement will be good for Enron stock!!”
– John Palmisano, “Implications of the Climate Change Agreement in Kyoto & What Transpired” (1997)
The 219–212 passage of HR 2454 inspires another look at Enron’s infamous “Kyoto memo,” written almost 13 years ago by company lobbyist John Palmisano. Indeed, an Enron memo upon House passage of the Waxman-Markey climate bill would have been similar! Change the dates and some other specifics and the bottom line would be the same–potential gains for Enron’s profit centers in wind, solar, CO2-emissions trading, energy outsourcing, and natural gas.
One can imagine a quotation like this from Enron’s fabled public relations department, hyperbolizing a half-victory into something bigger in the attempt to create a bandwagon effect:
“This historic vote was heard ’round the world,” stated Kenneth L.