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Today in dumb, pointless controversies

by: Eric B.

Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 11:30:00 AM EDT

News that Gary Peters bought bonds for Dow Chemical and owns Dow stock popped up the other day. It's kind of interesting for reasons I'll get into in a second, but this sentence popped up.

POLITICO was alerted to the financial data by a GOP source conducting opposition research on Peters.

I can see why someone would think this would be minor controversy. I mean, in theory it's not a bad idea to question whether a Congressman who receives money from a corporation and then invests money in a corporation has a relationship built entirely on money with said corporation. Of course, that raises all kinds of great questions, like Dow's actual Congressman Dave Camp (or Dow's next Congressman, John Moolenaar ... or, if rumors are true that he's mostly coasting into the primary, maybe not).

Anyway, Peters answers those questions in the text of the story, that Dow actually has some cutting edge things going in addressing climate change.

This is very true. Back in 2008 when Peters was teaching at CMU, he hosted a climate change/alternative energy symposium at CMU and had on the panel a couple of businesspeople. In these cases, it's typically not a heavy hitter in business, but some kind who owns a solar panel factory or something. In this case, there was an actual heavy hitter and it was a guy from Dow.

Had a lenghty conversation with him. Dow's position on climate change isn't greenwashing but a plan to make money off new forms of energy. We've all mostly heard about their solar shingles, but it goes beyond that and into doing things to help industry become more energy efficient and developing new energy feedstocks to replace hydrocarbon. You can take it seriously because at the end of the day it's about making the company a bunch of money and not just holding hands and singing "Kumbaya."

To me, at the end of the day, what this tells me is that you can pretty much take Peters at his word that he takes climate change seriously, because it's also where he's putting his money. And to a cynic like me, actions like that speak louder than words.

Eric B. :: Today in dumb, pointless controversies
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