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The Forum > Article Comments > Say 'yes' to clean coal, but say 'no' to General Electric > Comments

Say 'yes' to clean coal, but say 'no' to General Electric : Comments

By Jonathan J. Ariel, published 12/8/2008

Politicians must consider carefully if they want to be in partnerships with companies which prop up our enemies in the Middle East.

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When a community allows control of a utility to pass to a board room outside the consuming area then that board will make decisions that are not in the best interests of their consumers, the board will make decisions to maximise the shareholder returns.

For example the State Electricity Commission power generation palnt was sold to Texas Utilities, then on sold the on sold. The power generators used to take on apprentices, in fact a CountryWest ad said that in a comparable period CountryWest had trained 700 apprentices and Victoria had trained 7 apprentices. Victorians have been told to expect power black outs as the plant hasn't been maintained.

In Montana residents ound that control of their waterways was sold to a company headquartered in New York. The company restricted supply in Montana so it could be sold in California where it receievd more money.

The La Paz, Bolivia water supply is controlled by a multinational called SUEZ that charged twice the annual salary to connect to the water then failed to provide potable water.

Australians should develop and own their power generation plant, there is plenty of money swimming around in superannuation funds looking for a safe investment that will yeild long term returns that would be ideal for investment in utilities.
Posted by billie, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 9:37:48 AM
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This article is itself an improvised explosive device with unproved allegations. However I agree that IGCC plant is really a form of blackmail by the Qld govt against the Feds. The gasification part will work OK with CO2 savings per kilowatt hour better than 10% but somehow the deep burial won't work out. Whaddayaknow they'll get a permanent exemption because at least they tried.

I wouldn't single out Iran because several countries in the Middle East have talked about going nuclear for electrical power and desalination with no mention of weapons. They can see oil and gas running out even if others can't. If I recall those countries include Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. No doubt GE and Westinghouse will help them. Did those US companies help build Israel's reactor?
Posted by Taswegian, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 10:13:50 AM
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Yesterday a gold medal winning Russian kissed a bronze medal winning Georgian and said. Instead of making wars the Governments should get together and talk.Politicians make wars not people.

Same goes for Iran and the so called Axis of Evil. If anyone buys George Bush's rhetoric they are fools. We are letting politicians create a climate of fear in which they are the saviours. If there was a 9/11 every month the told would still be lower than the US road toll and it would still be safer to fly than drive!.

Fear exists because we let it exist. Let's show these "evil" people that we are people too all with the same human frailties. I hear people talk about Hitler Allies created the environment in which he thrived. Just another war mongering politician plahying on peoples fears!

GE is doing the right thing helping these people have a better life.

Rick
Posted by RickS, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 2:52:58 PM
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Mr. Ariel,

With all due respect to your thoughtful post, there are some important facts your readers should know.

1. GE does not conduct business in Iran: http://www.ge.com/news/our_viewpoints/iran.html

2. GE does not conduct business in Syria.

In light of reputational and business risks associated with doing business with these countries, the company will not accept business in these countries except activity that is authorized by the U.S. Government for humanitarian or public policy purposes.

GE's policies go beyond what current laws require. And when the company was exiting existing contracts, its policies were fully compliant with all applicable laws at all times.

GE does not conduct business in Iran or Syria.

Thank you,

Jeff DeMarrais
GE
Posted by Jeff DeMarrais, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 1:02:02 AM
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I get the feeling that Mr Ariel would like his enemies to be our enemies but I think many Australians are now handing back their nose rings.
Posted by csteele, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 1:28:58 PM
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Dear Mr. DeMarrais,

You claim that:

1. GE does not conduct business in Iran; and that

2. GE does not conduct business in Syria.

We both know thatís not strictly true.

What may be true is that GE no longer trades with Teheran and Damascus. But did trade as recently as June 2008.

After all, your firmís own web site (undated page but clearly post June 2008) confesses to trading with an Axis of Evil partner.

It also admits to sales to Syria of 'non-U.S. origin power, oil and gas' equipment. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that Ďnon-US originí is code for GE owned (in whole or in part) but manufactured outside the US.
http://www.ge.com/citizenship/performance_areas/public_policy_concern.jsp

Thank you,
Posted by Jonathan J. Ariel, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 11:00:54 PM
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