Taking License With Climate Innovations

 When General Electric Co. became one of the first major U.S. energy corporations to back a national limit on carbon emissions two years ago, the company was scarcely acting out of altruism. The technology needed to rein in and reduce greenhouse gases will come from the private sector, and that means major energy firms such as GE stand to make billions of dollars in the emissions-reduction market.

In anticipation of that new opportunity, GE is pouring money into new machinery to harness solar and wind power, coal gasification hardware, low-emissions aircraft engines and hybrid locomotive technology. And the energy sector has joined the lobbying push to get this year’s comprehensive “cap and trade” measure – narrowly passed in the House last month – passed by the Senate and delivered to the president’s desk later this year.

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