Back to basics: "Green Electric" becomes "General Electric" again

Image representing GE as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

The president of General Electric slams his previous company green policy as being “too elitist”, vows to get back to “working”. Maybe this will mean no more “green sin week” on GE owned TV networks.

His quote is similar to the headfirst smack into reality experienced this week by über greenist George Monbiot:

From Reuters: The head of the largest U.S. conglomerate, who in January was named a top adviser on job creation to U.S. President Barack Obama, said on Tuesday that GE’s focus on the environmentally friendly aspects of its wind turbines and high-efficiency appliances might have led his critics to believe he was more interested in saving the planet than growing the company.

“If I had one thing to do over again I would not have talked so much about green,” Immelt said at an event sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Even though I believe in global warming and I believe in the science … it just took on a connotation that was too elitist; it was too precious and it let opponents think that if you had a green initiative, you didn’t care about jobs. I’m a businessman. That’s all I care about, is jobs.”

“I’m kind of over the stage of arguing for a comprehensive energy policy. I’m back to keeping my head down and working,” Immelt said.

h/t to junkscience.com

91 thoughts on “Back to basics: "Green Electric" becomes "General Electric" again

  1. We are surprised that they are jumping off a derailed bandwagon to jump on the next one in line?
    Crass commercialism, at its finest.

  2. “I believe in”……as opposed to “I understand….”
    All-too-common expression of uncritical thought. It’s a wonder he reconnected with the bottom line.

  3. Get back to being a company Jack Donaghy would run, not one Alec Baldiwn would run.

  4. GE purchased the Enron wind division. They inherited Enron’s cap and tax agenda. SOX, COX, NOX and MH4.

  5. Silly Putty theory:
    It stretches to conform to the ever-changing data, and when you apply it to print, it gives the opposite image after soaking up the dried ink.
    Global Warming causes Global Cooling means that AGW flopped, but we’d really like to continue our agenda with a paint job. This here Silly Putty impression proves it.
    Whoops, gotta stretch that to Climate Catastrophe.

  6. As some wag said, GE is a corporate welfare crack whore. I don’t buy any product made by it, and, being a foodie, I have noticed that whenever some chefs competing in a TV contest (e.g. Top chef, Chopped etc) run into trouble, it was usually because the GE appliances never got hot enough or were too slow.

  7. Except GE’s television networks are now owned by Comcast, who have promised to continue the “Green Week” practice.
    REPLY: Ah well must have missed that…but maybe Comcast will take a cue? – Anthony

  8. Well, a baby step in the right direction. That is as far as one can go, at first. Eventually, he may find out he was 180 degrees wrong about the biological effects of both carbon dioxide and warming. Both are beneficial to almost all living things.
    We do not know whether warming is still occurring. The earth entered the 20th century still warming from the Little Ice Age. The trends for the 21st century are uncertain, and data is contradictory.

  9. >> Mike Bromley the Kurd says:
    May 5, 2011 at 10:16 am
    “I believe in”……as opposed to “I understand….”
    All-too-common expression of uncritical thought. It’s a wonder he reconnected with the bottom line. <<
    At least he's honest about it being a religion.

  10. A lot of us (myself included,) think Global Warming is a bunch of nonsense, but are very amenable to “Renewable” energy Technologies. We believe that, maybe it’s okay to spend an extra two or three cents per kilowatt/hr, now, in order to prepare for the day when fossil fuels really do begin to “run low.”

  11. I trust Immelt as far as I can throw Obama… and that isn’t far. Based on the latest filings, GE all but owns a majority of congresscritters. GE will only change its course depending on changes in the political wind. And now that the House has started taking down the EPA, Immelt has seen the writing on the wall. It seems to me that he may be afraid all his windmill and solar subsidies are on the line and he’s attempting to placate the ‘pubs. Furthermore, the public has been boycotting GE consumer products so much, they have not been able to dump that division as planned.

  12. I take some stock holders weren’t too happy about his recent performance and the image he’s been giving the company.

  13. “…I’m a businessman. That’s all I care about, is jobs.”
    What a load! Don’t even get me started on this guy.
    Well…
    We were trying to keep our soldiers from being killed by IEDs and he’s doing business with Iran who are supplying parts for the construction of IEDs. He has no honor and the backbone of a slug. IMHO

  14. GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt emits some fine sounding words. But the April 25, 2011 issue of Forbes puts Immelt in second place for “WORST CEOS FOR THE BUCK.” He gets a $12.2 million pay packet.
    Instead of concentrating on its core businesses and quality, GE’s business plan seems to be to chase the latest fads, suck up to politicians, and finagle ways to completely avoid paying taxes.
    I bought a GE refrigerator at Lowes less than 3 years ago. After five repairs, including replacing the compressor, two heat exchangers, the sensors and other parts, Lowes declared it “unrepairable,” and credited me with the full original cost. My GE dishwasher works, sort of, but one glass will come out clean, and another will still be dirty.
    No more GE junk for me.

  15. Slightly off topic but “Obama’s administration floats draft plan to tax cars by the mile” article attracts 2000 angry commenters in a few hours who think different to the green hippy President who wants to invade our privacy,our lives, by tracking where we go, when we go and what we should and shouldn’t be doing. How long before our cars are advising us that “the last trip you made was unnecessary, pay an extra co2 fee”. “that trip to McDonalds is melting icebergs” “going out on that last date was totally unnecessary as you do not need to get married and procreate anyway” . Why does Oblunder want to destroy the freedom that was/is America?
    http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/159397-obama-floats-plan-to-tax-cars-by-the-mile?page=1#comments

  16. Ah, the use of ‘precious’. It’s a delight.
    I’ve used ‘The precious conceit of a Western elite’ to describe CAGW for years, but suffered for my art because both ‘precious’ and ‘conceit’ are used in a somewhat archaic manner. Now here’s ol’ Jeffy using ‘precious’ like I would.
    The Chinese caught on to this well before Copenhagen, and their behaviour there could have been predicted. It was. By me.
    ================

  17. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:
    May 5, 2011 at 10:16 am
    “I believe in”……as opposed to “I understand….”
    All-too-common expression of uncritical thought. It’s a wonder he reconnected with the bottom line.

    You beat me to it, Mike. I suspect that the truth is that he doesn’t necessarily believe any of it, but as with most big business reps he feels pressure to pander to the alarmist bullies, rather than to stand up and be counted. And that is one of the biggest challenges for the sceptical community: convincing the cowards who pander, to… well, stop pandering and get some balls.

  18. Very common for a CEO of such a behemoth to forget that he’s playing with someone else’s money and that his public statements need to represent the entire enterprise and its hundreds of thousands of stakeholders – not just his own personal beliefs and pet causes.
    Sounds like certain significant shareholders may have reminded him……

  19. It’s just a “trick to hide the decline”
    (or maybe to reverse the decline in the confidence in him)
    He believes in it but ………. I can’t for the life of me understand how any person with a reasonable level of smarts could trust the science after reading the emails and the harry read me file.
    Until climategate is settled there is no “settled science”

  20. > Mike Bromley the Kurd says: May 5, 2011 at 10:16 am
    > “I believe in”……as opposed to “I understand….”
    Nail meet hammer. Well said. The fact that he uses a sentence that partly reads “I believe in the science” is just too much of a George Carlin moment for me. Maybe he should look up oxymoron sometime and think about the words “belief” and “science”.

  21. Both Warren Buffett, and Jeff Immelt are betting the same way – that fossil fuels will get a lot more expensive. “Morality, and Ethics,” aside, I would feel uneasy betting against them.

  22. Since when do businesses care about jobs? Well, unless it is jobs done by the cheapest possible labor or robot. The fewer people they have, the better for them. I’m not being critical, that’s just the way it is.

  23. Immelt and GE are rent-seeking bastards. Please boycott GE. The same for Siemens and the rest of their ilk.

  24. As a former GE employee I can tell you that GE cares about nothing except the bottom line. “Green” is only useful if it helps the bottom line. Period. If it starts to hurt thr bottom line, it will be thrown out faster than a speeding GE Hybrid Locomotive.

  25. GE’s focus on the environmentally friendly aspects of its wind turbines and high-efficiency appliances might have led his critics to believe he was more interested in saving the planet than growing the company.
    Someone can see which way the wind is blowing!
    This has nothing to do with saving the environment and everything to do with the fact that companies spending their time saving the environment no longer get the public Kudos needed to make it worth wasting their time and effort on this green nonsense.

  26. Translation: “Hey, we just realized that some of the things that will be done in the name of global warming would actually hurt our profitability.”
    You’re not the first CEO/politician to figure that out Jeff.

  27. Don’t worry, there is a new guy on the horizon. He will take GE back into products people want.
    Mr Immelt is over.

  28. Maybe his believe correlates with the success of the wind turbine business… Vestas approaches its 5 year low… probably prices are under heavy pressure.

  29. Speed says:
    May 5, 2011 at 10:34 am
    “She’s goin’ down. Abandon Ship!”
    Better yet, She’s going down. All you rats abandon ship!
    Immelt, the king of government corporate welfare, what a low down, dirty four flusher.

  30. woodNfish says:
    May 5, 2011 at 11:22 am
    “Immelt and GE are rent-seeking bastards. Please boycott GE. The same for Siemens and the rest of their ilk.”
    That leaves you with no applicances. Well, you could buy Bosch, but Bosch bought Ersol, a solar company so they’re probably out as well… Have fun washing your cloths by hand.

  31. “Even though I believe in global warming and I believe in the science…”
    GE: “Imagination at work.” Only appropriate they should believe in imaginary climate change.
    I recently bought a new washing machine. GE was my last choice. I asked the salesman for “the one with the biggest carbon footprint.” Unfortunately, I ended up with the GE. Hmm.
    I believe in Global Warming! BRING IT ON!!! I hate snow.

  32. Kum Dollison says:
    May 5, 2011 at 10:37 am
    A lot of us (myself included,) think Global Warming is a bunch of nonsense, but are very amenable to “Renewable” energy Technologies. We believe that, maybe it’s okay to spend an extra two or three cents per kilowatt/hr, now, in order to prepare for the day when fossil fuels really do begin to “run low.”
    Not I, and I say no a thousand times no to paying extra for the inefficiency that is renewable energy (wind/solar).

  33. What a heretic. Doesn’t he know that Green Energy means ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’?
    Can’t let China get the jobs, jobs, jobs, Jeff, so suck it up and practice before the mirror a little more, before the EPA gets on your butt.
    ============

  34. The Board of Directors should use this opportunity to get rid of Immelt and change course toward real capitalism. He just admitted that what he was doing was the wrong thing. Any bozo can make bad decisions and would do it for much less $.
    The fact that GE paid no income tax last year is a good indication where their efforts have been. They got enough special write-offs for their enviro shenanigans that they were able to hide billions of profits, thus in effect legally confiscating billions in taxpayers money. I object.
    The cratered price of GE stock has been a disaster for thousands of GE employees who were paid in options. Immelt was largely responsible for the drop in stock value, yet still gets paid his outrageous salary. That just plays into the hands of socialists and other anti-capitalists, and is frankly hard to justify.
    In the meantime, another trainload of BS (aka ethanol) just spilled it’s taxpayer funded load of misplaced environmentalism and is burning happily.

  35. One appliance sales guy I talked said that every big-box store brand (GE, Kenmore, Electrolux, etc) are basically all the same Chinese crap with different names and features slapped on them. There are exceptions, but those exceptions are usually 3x as much.

  36. It will take a lot more than this to convince me the corporatists at GE have given up their policy of making themselves rich by manipulating green hysteria. i.e. carbon markets.

  37. Maybe that’s why they had no money left to invest in customer service.

  38. When I began working on farms, it was pointed out to me that successful farmers never chased the latest farming fad and generally epitomised the term ‘conservative’ with a very small and nonppolitical ‘c’. One old hand explained that his own generally-acknowledged success as a farmer was down to doing the same things every season, but finding ways to do them better was always a challenge..
    “Good farming is actually pretty dull – just the same old hard work every year!”
    Many businesses are similar to farming; I guess Immelt forgot that and is paying the price for chasing irrelevant novelty.

  39. He looks like a liar to me since the bottom line should have been that all along because the reason for business is to make money. Given his job it can be assumed that is the reason he was hired. if the company is successful the jobs will follow.
    How many have got religion on the gallows? How does he feel about those mercury loaded light bulbs he so eagerly promoted and is now mandatory because of his efforts without any consideration of what the population prefers and he had no problem forcing the US population into buying an unwanted product and ignoring the value of good will?

  40. Back in the day, long, before GE went ballistically green, they produced one of the best high def projectors worth having at half the cost ten years before EU even got HDTV.
    Now they produce crap of absolutely no use like propellers, literally, bending to the wind, with shorter lifespan than the older, way more complex hardware, that GE Imager projectors was.
    What was it that really happened? Do they ponder today: Yay we got rid of all the pesky engineers, just like NASA, and look at us today . . . we’re ever so hip(pie).

  41. Immelt only understands one kind of green and it’s not related to science. That said, I do wish GE well for selfish reasons. Still, I don’t support bailouts in general.

  42. “Both Warren Buffett, and Jeff Immelt are betting the same way – that fossil fuels will get a lot more expensive. “Morality, and Ethics,” aside, I would feel uneasy betting against them.”
    When an administration basically says that there will be no new drilling and there’s chaos in the old places, it’s no longer speculation that prices will rise it’s a license to print money.

  43. Abandon ship !!!! AGW is going down.
    This are warning signals for the rest of the pack. They will follow suit quickly now.
    The game is over.
    But it will last 5 to 10 years before we stop hearing this carbon tax bullshit from the most stupid politicians on this planet.
    The politicians in Norway.

  44. Considering the size of GE and considering that I paid more in taxes than GE last year, why would they want to change?

  45. Chameleons are such fascinating creatures. This one won’t be looking Elite Green again. He is swearing it off for Head Down Business Bluedog.

  46. Kum Dollison says:
    May 5, 2011 at 11:18 am
    Both Warren Buffett, and Jeff Immelt are betting the same way – that fossil fuels will get a lot more expensive
    Warren Buffet’s railroad hauls 2.5 million rail cars of coal per year. I don’t think he believes his railroads biggest customer is going away anytime soon.

  47. Instead of concentrating on its core businesses and quality, GE’s business plan seems to be to chase the latest fads, suck up to politicians, and finagle ways to completely avoid paying taxes.
    Can’t argue with that.

  48. If this trend continues…
    April 11, 2011
    “Wal-Mart Goes ‘Back to Basics’: A Cautionary Tale for the Left
    Leslie Dach, former senior aide to Al Gore, was the impetus behind Wal-Mart’s failed shift to “green,” upscale items that fit the progressive agenda for what Americans should be buying.”
    “After suffering seven straight quarters of losses, today the merchandise giant Wal-Mart will announce that it is “going back to basics,” ending its era of high-end organic foods, going “green,” and the remainder of its appeal to the upscale market. Next month the company will launch an “It’s Back” campaign to woo the millions of customers who have fled the store. They will be bringing back “heritage” products, like inexpensive jeans and sweatpants.”
    “The failure, in large part, can be pinned to Leslie Dach: a well-known progressive and former senior aide to Vice President Al Gore. In July 2006, Dach was installed as the public relations chief for Wal-Mart. He drafted a number of other progressives into the company, seeking to change the company’s way of doing business: its culture, its politics, and most importantly its products.
    Out went drab, inexpensive merchandise so dear to low-income Americans. In came upscale organic foods, “green” products, trendy jeans, and political correctness. In other words, Dach sought to expose poor working Americans to the “good life” of the wealthy, environmentally conscious Prius driver.”
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/wal-mart-goes-back-to-basics-a-cautionary-tale-for-the-left/

  49. Jim G says: May 5, 2011 at 11:51 am
    “She’s goin’ down. Abandon Ship!”
    Better yet, She’s going down. All you rats abandon ship!

    Yep! It’s gone down!
    Just been told that if you google UK news for “global warming” and “peak oil”, that “peak oil” now has more news hits than global warming.
    So guess where all the rats are heading?
    How long before Mann, Hansen, Jones et al, find a way to link their work with peak oil?
    How long before gorebals is castigating the “peak oil deniers”?

  50. Charlie Foxtrot,
    You say GE should get back to ‘real capitalism’ but then slam them for obtaining ‘special write offs’ and taxpayers money.
    Real capitalism takes the money from wherever it is available. You need to go and think things through a bit more.

  51. doesn’t pass the sniff test…..
    They sold TV to Comcast…..
    His shareholders did the math and realized without all that government stimulus money and tax rebates, it was going to bankrupt them all……
    This is just a result of no more liberal feel good money.
    And Canada just went conservative! LOL

  52. Jim says:
    May 5, 2011 at 11:20 am
    Since when do businesses care about jobs? Well, unless it is jobs done by the cheapest possible labor or robot. The fewer people they have, the better for them. I’m not being critical, that’s just the way it is.

    And indeed that’s the way it should be. Businesses are not charities; they work to make money to survive and prosper, as we all do. A person employed unnecessarily (e.g. where a robot could just as easily perform the same role) is a person – with all the skill and experience attached – who could be employed elsewhere in the market where there is a need. And paying an employee more than the minimal requirement is an unnecessary cost that must always be passed onto the consumer if the business is to survive. That’s why socialism is such a negative force; it demands jobs for the sake of jobs, rather than for the sake of fulfilling a genuine need, and robs areas of human resources where a genuine need does exist. It tries to create false value, where value does not exist, with subsidies (paid for by the hard-working taxpayer) to support jobs that the free market would never support and that society does not want or need. This amounts to redistribution of wealth (otherwise known as “theft”) and it’s what “Green” jobs and social sector jobs are all about.
    So think on, next time you feel like bemoaning how private businesses use cheap labour or robots.

  53. Oh thank God! I was holding my breath till he turned. He must have seen me turning blue.
    /sarc
    What % of GE stuff is made in China? What major GE stock holder group said, “Isn’t it hypocritical to be preaching “green” in the US when GE’s factory’s in China are a major source of climate change pollution?” AND, question Mr. Immelt, “Are you going to now stop producing those dangerous mercury laden CFLs, or have you truly seen the light?”

  54. Well, he may be tight with the political left, but he’s also got shareholders to answer to, and they’re probably tired of this.
    Also, since the news stories on how many jobs GE has outsourced to China, including their fluorescent light bulb factory, I doubt many care about their “Green” approach. Considering they paid 0 federal taxes on huge profits.

  55. Meanwhile in Britain: UK ‘MUST RETHINK ENERGY TARGETS’
    The Government should renegotiate “hugely and unnecessarily expensive” EU targets to boost renewable power by 2020, a think tank urged today.
    A study by Policy Exchange suggested that trying to meet the European goal, which requires the UK to deliver 15% of all its energy from green sources by the end of the decade, will actually damage efforts to cut emissions.
    http://www.utilityproducts.com/news/2011/05/1411257965/uk-must-rethink-energy-targets.html
    Going green is proving to be the first guaranteed way to creating a self inflicted recession. The best and brightests of the worlds ill considered big costly “save the planet” projects are folding one after another.

  56. kwik said:
    May 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm
    ………
    But it will last 5 to 10 years before we stop hearing this cabon tax bullshit from the most stupid politicians on this planet.
    The politicians in Norway.
    —————————————————————————
    That’s a bold claim. 😉

  57. harrywr2 says:
    May 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm
    Kum Dollison says:
    May 5, 2011 at 11:18 am
    Both Warren Buffett, and Jeff Immelt are betting the same way – that fossil fuels will get a lot more expensive
    Warren Buffet’s railroad hauls 2.5 million rail cars of coal per year. I don’t think he believes his railroads biggest customer is going away anytime soon.
    ==============
    From:
    http://www.getransportation.com/rail/rail-products/locomotives/overview.html
    “Right now, around the world, locomotives designed and built by GE are on the move, transporting products and people. At any one time, thousands of our locomotives are operating in more than 60 countries, from Australia to Zaire.”

  58. coaldust says (May 5, 2011 at 11:24 am): “As a former GE employee I can tell you that GE cares about nothing except the bottom line. “Green” is only useful if it helps the bottom line. Period. If it starts to hurt thr bottom line, it will be thrown out faster than a speeding GE Hybrid Locomotive.”
    If only that were true. I inherited some GE stock from my sainted mother back when it was trading in the 50’s. Wish I’d sold it the next day. Now this clown is renouncing the “green” religion for the “jobs” religion. Gimme a break.

  59. “Even though I believe in global warming and I believe in the science …”
    Science??? He sounds more like some guy proclaiming his devotion in church because he is worried that that the preacher might not think he has the faith. I would question his intelligence but I suspect he needs to act that way to keep his company out of the cross hairs of leftist politicians. It is the same with Big Oil Chevron and and recent idiotic commercials. If they don’t push the religion, the zealots will come after them with even more vigor and some of them have the actual political power to harm them. They will never be respected by anti-capitalists that make up the green movement so they might as well stop pretending to support the cult.

  60. A few years ago I spoke to a GE engineer at a dinner meeting. I asked him “Why does GE hype wind turbines so much, as we, as engineers know, that they don’t make sense. Why not push nuclear power plants, which GE also used to make?”
    The answer was:
    “Simple business. In the olden days GE would sell a gas turbine peaker plant to the utilies every once on a while”.
    Note: Those plants run only a few times in the year when demand peaks because they are expensive to run (fuel efficiency) and don’t last that long.
    He continued:
    “With the renewable mandates, the utilities are forced to utilize wind turbines, which we supply. To cover the continuously changing and uncontrollable output of those, the utilities need also a fast reacting gas turbine plant for every few wind turbines. And they still need the original peaker plant as well. So we sell three turbines instead of one. With a nuclear plant you sell one, and that one will run for 60 years with nary a hitch. Not a good business for a manufacturer.”

  61. GE = Government Electric, guaranteed money at the tax trough. The companies’ innovation is now in its political partnerships. Inspiring American technical leadership has evolved and is taking its direction and decisions from superior intellectual political czars, its the new age. Our future is secure.

  62. Rent seeking hasn’t paid off too well for GE shareholders, who are very unhappy with the stock continuing to languish at 20 compared to close to 50 when Immhelt took over. We can guess that Immhelt’s musings aim to defuse shareholder wrath. The previous CEO, Jack Welch, had built the company into a profit-making dynamo based on real value delivered. Mr. Welch could be very unhappy with what has happened to GE since he left the scene.

  63. I don’t trust them. I don’t trust GE. I don’t trust the “Team”. I don’t trust President Obama, I don’t trust our “Elected Elite”. All they have shown is more regulations and new hidden taxes. The CO2 battle will not be over until Congress declares CO2 a non pollutant.

  64. Immelt isn’t nearly as important as this:
    “raised the hackles of some shareholders.”
    Share price is the ONLY THING THAT COUNTS in America. If pseudo-science is no longer a magic way to raise your share price, pseudo-science will disappear. This is definitely good news.

  65. Immelt must be feeling some pressure otherwise he wouldn’t be saying what he just did. The truth for GE is that as long as Immelt in at the helm, the ship will never reach a profitable port.

  66. Shareholders: GET RID OF THIS ALBATROSS !!!
    1. I believe in Gore, the Warmer almighty, creator of an Inconvenient lie.
    2. I believe in Michael Man, his only Prophet, our Gorebull warming Lord.
    3. He was conceived by the power of the almight Hansen and born of the CRU.
    4. He suffered under McKyntre, was found out, that he lied, and but was brought forth again and again.
    5. He descended to the insignificant. On the 3rd month he rose again.
    6. He ascended into the Nobel Peace Prize and is seated at the right hand of the Paccurri.
    7. He will come again to judge the GW Believers and the evil deniers.
    8. I believe in the IPPC,
    9. the holy catholic consensus, the communion of the climate saints,
    10. the granting of carbon credits, of sins,
    11. the resurrection of the CRU and IPPC,
    12. and of strife everlasting.
    Amen.
    Sound familiar? Well, I am one that says the “Original” at my CHURCH when participating in “Holy Communion”
    All the rest, I take facts, data, equations. I make judgments made on NUMBERS and good engineering understanding and principles.
    When it comes to “Global Warming”, I don’t do “Belief”. Anyone that does, shows them selves slightly above a Neanderthal.
    Just remember GE stockholders, you have a Neanderthal running your company.
    Good luck, and good grunts.

  67. If GE wants to come home, they would have the American Lighting Industry pretty much to themselves.
    No more “Made in China” on the box and watch them line up for the Edison.

  68. polistra says:
    “Share price is the ONLY THING THAT COUNTS in America.”
    Correct. Those who expect companies like GE to be ‘socially conscious’, or whatever the term du jour is, fail to understand that maximizing shareholder profits isn’t just a nice idea – it’s the law.
    Public, for-profit companies have a fiduciary duty to make as much money as legally possible for their shareholders. To the extent that they waste shareholders’ money on “stakeholder” demands from outside NGOs, or on money-wasting ‘green’ schemes, the corporate officers may be personally liable for action by shareholders.
    Immelt claims he’s doing his fiduciary duty. He’s either incompetent or lying. Certainly in either case, he is not worth $12 million a year for his wretched performance.

  69. The appropriation of environmentalism in the form of AGW by those who consider themselves an elite, either for financial gain a la GE, or personal aggrandisement and the pushing of a political agenda a la sanctimonious tribalistic automatons like Monbiot and Flannery will do untold damage to genuine environmental concerns, not to mention the perception of science in the future. Most of the public don’t take kindly to being crudely manipulated, and will most likely throw the baby out with the bathwater as regards the damaging and real things we can do to our planet.

  70. CEO’s are glorified managers beholden to and concerned about stock holders. The stock holders are concerned about their dividend check. Everything else can barely be detected far to the rear.
    Workers seek to rise up from where they come from and will work tirelessly to do so, if that goal is attainable. Unfortunately, large and small businesses sometimes put up roadblocks to that goal, getting richer themselves while leaving the workers languishing in the same place they started from. Unions came to the forefront of that endeavor because disorganized workers could not speak with any kind of power.
    My point is this: when the focus becomes blurred looking towards and into the business, and starts looking away and outside itself (IE to stock holders), workers, jobs, and products deteriorate.

  71. Everyone, Reuters, Milloy, this Post, the commenters seem to have missed the non-issue here.
    Immelt is responding to critics of his appointment by The President and saying he cares about jobs and running a business to appease them. Nothing substantial or real has changed. There will be no policy changes. GE will continue to game the system wherever they can (rent seeking). They will continue to be a drain on the US economy. There is no great change in direction either contemplated or being implemented.

  72. To all of those stating or thinking “It’s Over!”, your verbal ejaculations of success are premature! This is only the beginning of the end… and only if we keep the honest science pressure hard on our politicians, religious leaders, product and service providers, and (most importantly) our children.
    We are engaged in a protracted battle with the AGW Armada. Many fussilades have been exchanged and the AGW Armada is the worse for the it. They are taking on water… but they are not sunk. They are well funded, well equipped, can still maneuver, and their cannons have not been silenced. Now is the time to redouble our efforts and repeatedly shell them at every jibe and turn of their deceits , with reason, data, and good cheer! Give them no quarter! If we do that well, the day may come when we can sound the ‘cease fire’ and watch their tattered ships slip beneath the waves. But that day is not today. We have much hard work to do before that day arrives.
    Soooo….. Take heart, WUWT freebooters! Then pour it to every dreadnought and dinghy of AGW, me Lads and Lassies! Blast their masts and rip their rigging! Rend their sails and shot rake their decks! Warm their globes in ways they never wished for! Then, when their ships are heeling and reeling, bring all guns to bear at their exposed waterline and send them to the depths that await all such failed philosophies. Take no prisoners….. AAHHRRRR!
    (I love a good ‘swash buckler’, don’t you? };>)

  73. Immelt took GE’s stock from over $70 a share to where it has been for around a decade at around $10. He has sold to Iran and other shady countries, and moved profits off shore to avoid taxes. The guy’s a piece of work and obviously only does what he has to do to keep his job. Last time I knowingly bought anything made by GE was 2 decades ago. I’ll live in the dark before I’ll buy a GE light bulb.

  74. he believes in global warming….
    You only believe in things you can’t prove to be fact

  75. “….it was too precious and it let opponents think that if you had a green initiative, you didn’t care about jobs. I’m a businessman. That’s all I care about, is jobs.”
    Flag down on this play! Is Immelt running for office or somehow occupying a political position? He’s the CEO of a conglomerate. The stockholders and Board of Directors care about one thing – creating value which translates into greater income.
    There is some weird synergy going within the “upper crust” so-called of our industry. I know subsidies (aka corporate welfare) and other creative financing by government social engineers are a powerful draw, but they have a shelf life.
    Immelts shelf life is probably close to expiration too – he has not been good for GE.

  76. As “Andrew30 ” points out something similar happened at Walmart but they dropped the greenie strategy much quicker than GE because thanks to better management.

  77. There are options. I recommend Vestfrost for refrigerators. We’ve been using one for 14 years with no trouble. And it is well enough insulated so everything doesn’t melt when the power goes down.

  78. Smokey said: “My GE dishwasher works, sort of, but one glass will come out clean, and another will still be dirty. No more GE junk for me.”
    I second the notion that GE makes junk; I have not consciously bought a GE product in more than thirty years. Unfortunately, they are such cheap junk that it’s hard to find a house, new or used, that doesn’t have that flaw.
    As for dirty dishes, state and federal lawmakers are also to blame. There are no phosphates in dishwasher detergent any more. But you can still buy TSP. Add a very small amount of TSP (plus a small amount of Lemi-Shine if you have hard water) and even a lousy GE dishwasher will do a better job – until it breaks down again.

  79. As I understand it, GE used to do engineering and manufacturing, but now days they just do advertising and distribution. A “Brand” with no responsibility for manufacturing or design. And, consequently, not that much control over quality.
    Yeah, I prefer to buy products with more connection between manufacturer and brand.

  80. DirkH says: May 5, 2011 at 11:53 am “That leaves you with no applicances. Well, you could buy Bosch, but Bosch bought Ersol, a solar company so they’re probably out as well… Have fun washing your cloths by hand.”
    My washer and dryer are Samsung. I don’t have a single GE appliance in my kitchen. The $150 I just spent stocking up on incandescent bulbs did not include a single GE product.
    I also don’t believe anything the scumbag Immelt says. He has been busy destroying industry and working to raise our costs to live in this country for years. He’s no better than a traitor, and I think traitors should be shot.

  81. I commented on Reuters the moment Steve Milloy first posted about this. That perhaps I would need to reconsider my self-imposed boycott of any and all truly evil “Big Green” rent seekers. That perhaps Immelt would consider competing on a level playing field without taxpayer assistance, or that I might even consider buying stock in GE one day. My comment wasn’t posted, of course.
    While Jeff’s comments are a welcome revelation, I see no indication he can meet his lofty (presumably evil capitalist) goals without rent-seeking. Until this cycle is broken and smashed on the ground for all to see, until pure unrestrained capitalism is restored, there is really no hope of an American recovery.

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