New York City is swarming with global leaders, progressive thinkers, and business executives this week for an annual meeting hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). Beginning in 2005, CGI is Clinton’s idea of what collaboration between government and the private sector should look like: businesses assisting in goodwill missions around the world.
This year, topics focused primarily on women’s rights around the world, preventing disease, the ethical responsibilities of corporations, and the world economy. Oh, and Bill Clinton said the United States should be more like Finland.
But far more interesting than the agenda and subject areas are the featured attendees of the conference – people the CGI’s website calls the most “innovative, action-oriented, and socially responsible leaders in the world.” At the CGI, that means the corporate world is represented by CEOs who are unabashed in their willingness to use government as a means to a high profit.
Among the featured attendees, for example, is Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy. Rogers was the most instrumental player in organizing U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) – an alliance of businesses and environmental groups that teamed up to lobby for cap and trade. Without USCAP, the cap and trade bill, Waxman-Markey, never would have even passed the House last summer
But not surprisingly, Duke Energy stands to make a whole lot of money from legislation like cap and trade, which would mandate the use of Duke products.
Other members of USCAP attending this year’s CGI meeting include Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical Company; David Cote, CEO of Honeywell International; and Klaus Kleinfeld, CEO of Alcoa Inc. All three companies lobbied for cap and trade and all three stand to benefit financially from renewable energy initiatives, “green” policies, and mandates for electric cars and solar panels.
Also in attendance was Stephen Roell, CEO of Johnson Controls Inc, which received the largest grant to date from the Department of Energy for the manufacturing of lithium batteries for electric cars. The grant totaled $299 million.
Last year, Johnson Controls even partnered up with other companies like Duke Energy, General Electric and Dow Chemical to run a full-page ad in the New York Times and Washington Post calling on the Senate to pass clean-energy legislation.
Also in attendance was Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google – another company that has become an outspoken proponent of clean energy initiatives.
Then there’s Obama’s science “czar,” John Holrdren, who was also an attendee. Shortly after his confirmation as director of White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, it was revealed that Holdren was once a proponent of compulsory abortions and a “Planetary Regime”. And in 1977, he co-authored a book that proposed the use of totalitarian regimes to curb population growth and protect the environment.
Key figures from the days of the Clinton administration were also at the annual meeting – National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and Secretary of Treasury Robert Rubin.
In other words, Clinton assembled quite a group this week to discuss solutions to the world’s major problems. And though touted as non-partisan, there is a clear trend in the political leanings of the attendees.
“When dealing with the Clintons, it’s always wise to look for a political motivation beyond the organization’s stated charitable goals,” Tom Borelli, director of the Free Enterprise Project, told The Daily Caller.
“While some of the charitable initiatives are admirable, we also see Clinton trying to drive the progressive climate change agenda,” he said. “With cap and trade apparently dead in the Senate, one wonders why so many of the cap and trade CEO cheerleaders are participating in this event. Are these CEOs looking to help the world’s poor or are they looking to make a quick buck from free carbon credits?”