Friday, January 19, 2007

Another Coalition

Emissions controls are always a great thing to get worked up about if you own something in the industrial sector. The New York Times is reporting a coalition of industry head honchos fighting for federal emissions regulations.

Sounds nice, doesn't it? Industry looking to get laws passed that will hold it to certain standards. But wait, might there be an ulterior motive?

"This comes close to a rejection of almost all new coal-fired power plants on the drawing boards, including the 11 plants recently proposed by TXU, a Texas utility." Hmm. TXU isn't one of the companies in the coalition, nor are any members of the coalition planning any coal-fired power plants (as far as I know). It's pretty easy, if you are the big dogs, to force regulations that mirror your own current standards. And it really hinders competitors who may not meet those standards without some serious investment.

Do I think that these companies might be willing to buy out a few up-and-coming competitors? Yes. Will this make those competitors cheaper? Probably. Would the left be okay with an industry group pushing for legislation on other subjects? I doubt it. This is a smart move by the coalition, since it looks benevolent, hurts competition, and caters to a party who wouldn't agree to anything else from them.

No comments: