Saturday, January 27, 2007

Big CarbonCap

The politics and economics of global warming is getting warmed up back in the hottest political climate in the world.

If the Cap Fits
Why our CEOs are warming to Kyoto.

Friday, January 26, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

(Editor's note: We reintroduce today the Potomac Watch column from Washington. It will appear on Fridays and be written by Kimberley Strassel, a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board. She joined the Journal in 1994 and has worked as a reporter in Europe and as an editor and editorial writer in New York.)

Washington this week officially welcomed the newest industry on the hunt for financial and regulatory favors. Big CarbonCap may have the same dollar-sign agenda as Big Oil or Big Pharma, but don't expect Nancy Pelosi to admit to it.

Democrats want to flog the global warming theme through 2008 and they'll take what help they can get, even if it means cozying up to executives whose goal is to enrich their firms. Right now, the corporate giants calling for a mandatory carbon cap serve too useful a political purpose for anyone to delve into their baser motives.

The Climate Action Partnership, a group of 10 major companies that made headlines this week with its call for a national limit on carbon dioxide emissions, would surely feign shock at such an accusation. After all, their plea was carefully timed to coincide with President Bush's State of the Union capitulation on global warming, and it had the desired PR effect. The media dutifully declared that "even" business now recognized the climate threat. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who begins marathon hearings on warming next week, lauded the corporate angels for thinking of the "common good."