Jeff Immelt took Trump to task in an internal company blog post that POLITICO obtained, over his rollback of Obama-era climate regulations, including the Clean Power Plan. Immelt is seen as one of the United States’ most successful and foremost business leaders, acting as the CEO of General Electric (GE) since 2000.
Immelt strongly condemned Trump for his disbelief in climate science and expressed profound concerns that this administration would back out of the Paris Climate agreement. Furthermore, he is asking fellow multinational executives to ignore Trump and pick up his slack in terms of continuing forward with climate-conscious policy.
In his message, he asserted that:
‘Companies must be resilient and learn to adjust to political volatility all over the world. Companies must have their own “foreign policy” and create technology and solutions that address local needs for our customers and society.’
‘We believe climate change should be addressed on a global basis through multi-national agreements, such as the Paris Agreement. We hope that the United States continues to play a constructive role in furthering solutions to these challenges, and at GE, we will continue to lead with our technology and actions.’
Immelt previously slammed the Trump administration over the Muslim ban he enacted — before it was shot down as unconstitutional. At the time, Immelt stated:
‘I understand many of you are very concerned about the potential impacts of this order and I share your concern. [W]e will continue to make our voice heard with the new administration and Congress and reiterate the importance of this issue to GE and to the business community overall.’
He is not however, a die-hard liberal or human rights activist by any stretch of the imagination. He served under Obama as the head of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and was a near-constant thorn in the administration’s side over Obamacare because of the adverse way it affected GE’s profit margin.
He has also supported Trump publically in the past, given his commitment to regulatory reform:
‘We are stripping away years of bad regulatory and economic practices to promote competitiveness.’
What this likely indicates is that Jeff Immelt is a businessman through and through. Acknowledging climate change and adding green into their business plan has helped them make more money, so they’re all for doing the right thing when it doesn’t cost them.
All evaluations of Immelt aside, this is another piece of evidence showing that President Donald Trump doesn’t know a thing about politics, policy, or effective business/economic strategies.