Companies Pressed To Define Green Policies
Tracey C. Rembert, the coordinator of corporate governance and engagement for the Service Employees International Union, acknowledges that Wells Fargo is America’s largest purchaser of renewable energy offsets and has specialists on staff studying all of the implications of climate change on its businesses.
Still, Rembert’s union has filed a shareholder’s resolution asking Wells Fargo to specify how it is addressing both the risks and market opportunities presented by global warming.
She wants to know if Wells Fargo is lending money to companies that could be forced into bankruptcy because of greenhouse gas regulations, if the bank is financing new technologies for alternate energy or if it is offering consulting services to clients on climate issues.
“We want them to rethink their business, and set themselves up to take strategic advantage of climate change,” Rembert said.
The New York City Comptroller’s Office feels the same way about Dominion Resources, an electric power and natural gas company, and Massey Energy, a coal mining company. The Sierra Club Mutual Fund feels that way about the retailer Bed Bath & Beyond, and the Calvert Group about ACE Insurance.
All of them are calling upon companies to provide proof that their business decisions also consider issues involving climate change.
On the Stump, Sen. Clinton Plays the ‘Bill’ Card Freely
As she made her first outing to New Hampshire as a presidential candidate last weekend, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton left her husband at home, yet she tried to tap his old political magic at nearly every turn.
Clinton, D-N.Y., mentioned Bill Clinton at least eight times on Saturday — at one point talking about “Bill’s heart surgery” to illuminate her health care views — and a few times on Sunday, most memorably when she said of Republicans, “Bill and I have beaten them before, and we will again.”
For the first time in her bid for the White House, Clinton directly laid claim to the legacy and popularity of former President Clinton — and did so in a crucial early primary state where her husband showed his resiliency in 1992, when he finished second despite weeks of political strife.
“It helps her because we know Bill Clinton and we love Bill Clinton; we know him and his foibles, we know he loves his Dunkin’ Donuts, we know his love for burgers,” said state Rep. Patricia M. McMahon, a longtime ally of both Clintons. “It shows that she’s human, too, and appreciates her husband and likes him as much as we do.”
This latest chapter in the Clinton political relationship is still a work in progress. Twice as a candidate for the Senate, and during her six-year term, Hillary Clinton has kept a measure of professional distance from her husband, partly to keep the spotlight on “the politician in the family,” as he has called her. Where the two have appeared together — for example, at the funeral of Coretta Scott King last year — his skills as a speaker have overshadowed her.
Obama Says He Misspoke In Comment About War Dead
Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois said Monday that he had misspoken when he suggested the lives of more than 3,000 American soldiers killed in Iraq had been “wasted.”
As he arrived in New Hampshire on the third day of his Democratic presidential campaign, Obama said he would “absolutely apologize” to military families if they were offended by a remark that he made Sunday in Iowa while criticizing the Bush administration’s Iraq policy.
“What I would say — and meant to say — is that their service hasn’t been honored,” Obama told reporters in Nashua, N.H., “because our civilian strategy has not honored their courage and bravery and we have put them in a situation in which it is hard for them to succeed.”
As he sought to introduce himself to voters during his first visit here as a presidential candidate, a New Hampshire reporter asked Obama whether he regretted a statement he made during a campaign rally at Iowa State University on Sunday.
In that speech, Obama said: “We ended up launching a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged, and to which we now have spent $400 billion and have seen over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans wasted.”
Duke Plans New Community Service Program
Duke University announced Monday that it would create a program backed by $30 million, half from a donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to help students work on projects like teaching at a school in Durham, N.C., or building one in Kenya.
To ensure that even students who rely on financial aid to attend Duke, which is in Durham, can participate, the university will waive the requirement that they earn a certain amount in the summer to contribute to their cost of attendance.
“Students whose families can fund them have had opportunities that other students haven’t,” the president of Duke, Richard H. Brodhead, said in an interview. “We’re going to fund them for everyone.”
Duke joins the ranks of colleges and universities that have taken steps to support students’ community service and volunteer work to try to ensure that all students have the same opportunities regardless of wealth. Such programs also recognize the importance of experience to complement what students learn in the classroom, Brodhead said.
Stanford pays its students who participate in community service a summer stipend that is calculated to cover the amount that they are expected to earn toward tuition. Last year, Amherst began paying students who spend summers as interns at organizations that do not offer salaries, and Pomona College plans a similar program this summer.