No wonder jobs aren’t being created. The President listens closely to Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of
corporate welfare recipient large multinational General Electric about jobs policy. So what’s GE doing about jobs? Bloomberg reports:
General Electric Co.’s health-care unit, the world’s biggest maker of medical-imaging machines, is moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing to tap growth in China.
“A handful” of top managers will move to the Chinese capital and there won’t be any job cuts, Anne LeGrand, vice president and general manager of X-ray for GE Healthcare, said in an interview. The headquarters will move from Waukesha, Wisconsin, amid a broader parent-company plan to invest about $2 billion across China, including opening six “customer innovation” and development centers.
The move follows the introduction earlier this year of GE Healthcare’s “Spring Wind” initiative to develop and distribute medical products and services in China, GE said in a statement today. More than 20 percent of the X-ray unit’s new products will be developed in China, LeGrand said.
Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-25/ge-healthcare-moves-x-ray-base-to-china-no-job-cuts-planned.html#ixzz1UjwUi6Yu
This morning the news came that more than 2 weeks after the tsunami in Japan, 4 of the 6 nuclear reactors at Fukashima are still not stable. Indeed, 1 or 2 of the reactors are suspected of having leaks from, at best, the pipes into and out of the core reactor containment housing, and, at worst, the reactor containment housing itself. Numerous stories have already been run about how Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the owner and operator of the Fukashima plant has had a checkered past with regard to safety and inspection compliance. That’s to be expected when large corporations have unwarranted political influence and when an established industry “captures” the regulators. See here for more about regulatory capture.
But let’s ask who made the containment vessels and the reactor itself which has failed. Why it’s none other than the U.S.’s own General Electric. The very same firm that holds itself as “bringing good things to life” in this case is “bringing half-lives to things and people”. Economic Policy Institute explains:
There can hardly be a more frightening person to be President Obama’s pet CEO than GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt. Yet, that is exactly who has the President’s ear at the White House.
It is becoming apparent that GE, rather than “bringing good things to life”, has a unique ability to cozy up to government, massage regulations and bring dangerous toxins into our lives—and I mean seriously dangerous.
NYT now tells us about the containment vessels at the damaged nuclear power plants in Japan are manufactured by GE:
…the type of containment vessel and pressure suppression system used in the failing reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant — and in 23 American reactors at 16 plants — is physically less robust, and it has long been thought to be more susceptible to failure in an emergency than competing designs.
G.E. began making the Mark 1 boiling water reactors in the 1960s, marketing them as cheaper and easier to build — in part because they used a comparatively smaller and less expensive containment structure.
Feeling better about the value system and judgements of the people advising the President? I’m not.
Follow-up to my post Fox, Hen House, Economic Advisors on appointing GE boss Jeff Immelt to advise President Obama. So Obama begins enforcing new environmental rules, but GE gets an exemption. How convenient. As Mel Brooks used to say, It’s good to be the king. I think it’s pretty nice to just be the king’s advisor.
Last month, the Obama EPA began enforcing new rules regulating the greenhouse gas emissions from any new or expanded power plants.
This week, the EPA issued its first exemption, Environment & Energy News reports:
The Obama administration will spare a stalled power plant project in California from the newest federal limits on greenhouse gases and conventional air pollution, U.S. EPA says in a new court filing that marks a policy shift in the face of industry groups and Republicans accusing the agency of holding up construction of large industrial facilities.
According to a declaration by air chief Gina McCarthy, officials reviewed EPA policies and decided it was appropriate to “grandfather” projects such as the Avenal Power Center, a proposed 600-megawatt power plant in the San Joaquin Valley, so they are exempted from rules such as new air quality standards for smog-forming nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
There’s something interesting about the Avenal Power Center:
The proposed Avenal Energy project will be a combined-cycle generating plant consisting of two natural gas-fired General Electric 7FA Gas Turbines with Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG) and one General Electric Steam Turbine.
Maybe GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s closeness to President Obama, and his broad support for Obama’s agenda, had nothing to do with this exemption. But we have no way of knowing that, and given the administration’s record of regularly misleading Americans regarding lobbyists, frankly, I wouldn’t trust the White House if they told me there was no connection.
On the upside, at least Job Czar Immelt is creating jobs!