Tom Borelli
Big business continues to undermine our liberties. On the heels of the major drug companies working a deal with President Obama on health care reform, other corporations are partnering with environmental, labor and left-wing special interest groups in a last-ditch effort to jumpstart cap-and-trade legislation in the Senate.

This high-profile corporate support of Obama’s energy policy exposes a long-simmering development in public policy: the progressive takeover of the boardroom.

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For years, left-wing activists have targeted big business in order to co-opt its resources to advance the liberal agenda. Today’s aggressive corporate support of cap-and-trade legislation is the culmination of that effort.

The unification of big business with liberal activist groups on important public policy issues poses a significant threat to liberty and limited government.

This week, We Can Lead, a broad-based corporation coalition of energy, technology and other companies, including Duke Energy, Hewlett Packard and Starbucks, is mounting a high-profile campaign to promote cap-and-trade legislation. Coalition members paid for ads in newspapers, including an open letter to President Obama and Congress urging action on cap-and-trade legislation, stating, “We need you to swiftly enact comprehensive legislation to cut carbon pollution and create an economy-wide cap and trade program.”

We Can Lead is also spearheading a “Business Advocacy Day” in Washington D.C. to advance the global warming bill directly with lawmakers. According to news reports, executives from more than a hundred businesses will participate in a two-day lobbying fest that includes briefing sessions, media training and speeches by Administration officials and Hill visits targeting key Senate offices.

The fine print disclosures about We Can Lead, reveal that two left-wing advocacy groups – Apollo Alliance and CERES – are behind the corporate effort.

The Apollo Alliance is “a coalition of labor, business, environmental, and community leaders” that seeks to advance a green energy economy that will produce “a new generation of high-quality, green-collar jobs.” Its board members include representatives from environmental organizations and labor unions – the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU).


Tom Borelli

Tom Borelli, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow with FreedomWorks.

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