The New Greenmail
Author: The Wall Street Journal
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Year: 2007

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Call it greenmail for a post-Kyoto world. The private-equity firms that just agreed to buy Texas utility TXU have scored something of a PR coup by getting Environmental Defense and other climate-change activists to fall in line with their purchase plans before the deal was announced. The question is what price shareholders are paying for this act of political correctness. In the old days, a greenmail artist like Carl Icahn would buy up a tranch of some company's stock and threaten to buy the rest unless the target paid him to go away. But 21st-century greenmail works a little differently. Judging by media accounts, the price of Environmental Defense's support was an announcement that the new owners would build only three of the 11 coal-fired power plants that TXU has had on the drawing board.

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