Friday, September 21, 2007

Ex-Enron boss seeks $210m for ethanol plantations

I know I've pointed out some of the Enron tie-ins to climate change, there are so many and they seem to keep on coming: big business rent-seeking by pushing certain laws; agreeing to a 1990 baseline in return for carbon trading in the Kyoto negotiations; G.E. buying Enron's wind biz; the "dash for gas" and J-block & Teeside; USCAP founder, The Pew Center on Global Climate Change greenwashing Enron and Ken Lay*.

In so many cases it's just greed. Gussied up in green.

From the New Zealand Herald:
A former Enron executive is tapping investors for US$150 million ($210 million) to help Brazil to produce enough biofuels to power the world's cars.

Vehicles running on ethanol made from Brazilian sugarcane emit up to 95 per cent less in carbon emissions compared with conventional petrol. But United States and European corn-based ethanol, which is heavily subsidised, cuts emissions by as little as 5 per cent and is much less energy efficient.

Last week, a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) criticised the distorting effect of subsidies in promoting the least-efficient biofuels. It also warned that government targets on biofuel use were hastening deforestation and pushing up food prices....

*Here's one example:
...the Pew Center on Global Climate Change also is publishing a special supplement on climate change in tomorrow's Washington Post. Significantly, the piece includes statements by 13 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of some of the world's leading companies, all members of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change's Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC), acknowledging that climate change is a real problem that demands action by the public and private sector.

Among these statements are:

"Enron supports market-based initiatives that create efficient, cost-effective and environmentally sound energy systems," says Dr. Kenneth L. Lay, Chairman and CEO, ENRON. "As a company, we are taking steps to provide the world with clean energy solutions and implementing systems to manage greenhouse gas emissions. Our belief in the synergies between state of the art energy management practices and sound environmental policies have translated into effective pre-construction measures for our new headquarters building, which we expect will save $10 million and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34,000,000 lbs (or 17,000 tons) per year."