OLD Media Moves

WSJ coverage conflicts with CBS story

September 12, 2006

The Business & Media Institute’s Ken Shepherd notes that a Sept. 11 story in the Wall Street Journal about how the Kyoto Protocol was causing higher utility costs in Germany conflicted with an earlier CBS story.

Shepherd wrote, “Reporter Jeffrey Ball noted that in Germany, Kyoto-inspired rules ‘have upset the business status quo’ as they have ended up ‘creating winners and losers. The winners include utilities that can charge higher rates and profit from trading allowances’ while the losers ‘include energy-intensive manufacturers.’

“Later in his article Ball noted that the average German consumer also loses, with ‘wholesale electricity rates’ going up ‘25% to 60% in the past few years.’ Ball wrote that this is because while the tradable carbon allowance credits are free, ‘the utilities incorporate the value’ into the price of electricity.

“‘It becomes part of your production cost,’ explained Ralf Schafer of RWE AG, Germany’s largest utility.

“Ball’s reporting contrasted sharply with a report filed 11 days earlier on the ‘Evening News’ by CBS’s John Blackstone. Blackstone’s story portrayed a similar credit-trading plan passed into law in California as a green policy that was favorable to business.

“Blackstone noted that an ‘unlikely supporter,’ Pacific Gas & Electric CEO Peter Darbee, praised the plan. What Blackstone neglected to mention is that Darbee’s company, which can import more electricity produced out-of-state, could profit by trading unused credits.”

Read more here.

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