Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gore, Buffett Take Sides in Tug-of-War Over Climate Change Bill (BRK.A)

From Bloomberg:
Al Gore and Warren Buffett joined the fray over a bill that would limit greenhouse gas emissions, with each taking opposite sides as a legislative battle over the measure entered its final hours.

Gore, the former vice president who now focuses on environmental issues, is set to appear today on Capitol Hill to endorse the bill. Buffett, the chairman and chief executive officer of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., took to the airwaves yesterday to call the legislation “regressive.”

The measure got a boost earlier this week as its backers reached an agreement with agricultural and rural lawmakers to give farmers and coal-fired electric utilities added benefits. Democratic House leaders plan a floor vote on the bill tomorrow.

About 100 environmentalists and labor leaders rallied on Capitol Hill yesterday in support of the legislation. They were joined by venture capitalist Sunil Paul of Spring Ventures in San Francisco and Bill Keith, founder of St. John, Indiana-based SunRise Solar, who praised the measure....

...Some investor-owned utility companies, including MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., a company controlled by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, have objected to the bill’s formula for distributing carbon dioxide permits.

Even with changes that would give more free allowances to coal-fired utilities, the bill is “unworkable, and we continue to urge a no vote,” MidAmerican spokeswoman Ann Thelen said in a phone interview....MORE

We've previously posted on Warren's (and Charlie's) thinking in:

Warren Buffett on Cap-and-Trade (BRK.A)

Berkshire Hathaway's Munger on Cap-and-Trade ("Monstrously Stupid Right Now...Almost Demented"); Warren and Charlie on Wind and Solar (BRK.A)

We linked to David Sokol's 'cap-and-(no) trade' opinion piece in the Washington Post a few weeks ago:
Berkshire Hathaway's MidAmerican Energy on Waxman-Markey: "We Don't Much Care For It" (BRK.A)
and the hubbub around his testimony before Mr. Markey's committee in:
UPDATE-- "Sokol: Markey seeks to intimidate" (BRK.A)