Politics & Policy

Obama's and GE's Strategies Are in Sync


CLEAN ENERGY

Both advocate a cap-and-trade system that would make it more expensive to emit greenhouse gases, creating incentives to switch to renewable energy sources. For GE, that could boost sales of products like low-emission turbines, devices to recharge electric vehicles, solar panels, and "smart" electric meters.

• Number of electric cars GE will have by 2015: 25,000

• Percentage of electricity coming from clean sources by 2035, says Obama: 80%

INFRASTRUCTURE

Each has made infrastructure the clarion call for creating jobs. For Obama, the focus is on rebuilding roads, bridges, and mass transit, along with upgrading the power grid. That's a boon for GE, which gets more than half its total sales from infrastructure businesses (jet engines, locomotives, gas turbines, water treatment).

• Year by which Obama wants 80% of Americans to have access to high-speed rail: 2036

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Obama and Immelt have talked about the need for more and better-trained U.S. engineers and scientists. Immelt has doubled GE's research budget over two years to $6 billion, beefing up centers in New York, Shanghai, Munich, and Bangalore. Next: Brazil.

• Staff at global research centers: 2,789

• Estimated tax credits claimed by companies for R&D spending in 2008: $8.5 billion

HEALTH CARE

Both have called for more affordable and efficient health care, in part through a rapid transition to electronic health records. That could be a windfall for the information technology arm of GE's $17 billion-a-year health-care business.

• Projected annual profit growth for GE Healthcare through 2015: 10%

• Expected bonuses the U.S. will pay providers to adopt electronic health records by 2021: $27 billion


Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
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