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Entries in General Electric (16)

Sunday
Jun022013

Chemist Hopes 'Artificial Leaf' Can Power Civilization

SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Imagine an artificial leaf that mimics photosynthesis, which lets plants harness energy from the sun. But this leaf would have the ability to power your homes and cars with clean energy using only sunlight and water.

This is not some far-off idea of the future. It’s reality, and the subject of a jury-prize-winning film in the GE Focus Forward Film Competition.

Jared P. Scott and Kelly Nyks’ short film, The Artificial Leaf, showcases chemist Daniel Nocera, the inventor of the artificial leaf, a device that he says can power the world.

“The truth is stranger than fiction,” Kelly Nyks, a partner at PF Pictures, told ABC News. “What I think is so exciting is that Dan has taken this science and applied it in a way that makes bringing it to scale to solve the energy crisis for the planet real and possible.”

Nocera’s leaf is simply a silicon wafer coated with catalysts that use sunlight to split water to into hydrogen and oxygen components.

“Essentially, it mimics photosynthesis,” Nocera told ABC News.

The gases that bubble up from the water can be turned into a fuel to produce electricity in the form of fuel cells. The device may sound like science fiction fantasy, but Nocera said he hopes one day it will provide an alternative to the centralized energy system — the grid.

Worldwide, more than 1.6 billion people live without access to electricity and 2.6 billion people live without access to clean sources of fuel for cooking.

“This is the model: We’re going to have a very distributed energy system,” Nocera told ABC News. With the leaf, “using just sunlight and water, you can be off the grid. If you’re poor, you don’t have a grid, so this gives them a way to have energy in the day and at night.”

With just the artificial leaf, 1.5 bottles of drinking water and sunlight, you could have enough electricity to power a small home, but the cost is still a problem, though Nocera said he believes that will come down with time and research.

The artificial leaf is cheaper than solar panels but still expensive. Hydrogen from a solar panel and electrolysis unit can currently be made for about $7 per kilogram; the artificial leaf would come in at $6.50.

Nocera is looking for ways to drive down the costs make these devices more widely available. He recently replaced the platinum catalyst that produces hydrogen gas with a less-expensive nickel-molybdenum-zinc compound. He’s also looking for ways to reduce the amount of silicon needed.

In 2009, Nocera’s artificial leaf was selected as a recipient of funding by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E), which supports energy technologies that could create a more secure and affordable American future.

Nyks and Scott said they hope The Artificial Leaf will bring awareness to the public that sustainable energy solutions do exist.

“We make films for social action,” Scott, also a partner at PF Pictures, told ABC News. “We see films as a tool for social change. And what I think Dan sketches out is that we start with energy. And if we solve the energy crisis, we’ll solve the climate crisis, and then we’ll solve the water crisis, and then we’ll solve the food crisis. But it starts with energy.”

The directors were one of 30 filmmaking teams asked to make a movie that could highlight an innovation that could change the world as part of GE Focus Forward, a series of three-minute films created by award-winning documentary makers including Alex Gibney, Lucy Walker, Albert Maysles and Morgan Spurlock.

Anyone with an Internet connection has access to the videos online. The winning entries are featured at focusforwardfilms.com.

So far, total media impressions for GE Focus Forward have exceeded 1.5 billion. In addition, the films are screening at all the major film festivals around the world and have played on every continent, including Antarctica.

Nyks and Scott said they hope to take the success of the short and turn it into a feature-length documentary.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb132013

Comcast Buying Remaining Stake of NBCUniversal from GE

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Comcast is buying the remainder of NBCUniversal from General Electric, the cable TV provider announced on Tuesday.

The price tag for GE's 49 percent stake in the entertainment giant is approximately $16.7 billion.

Two years ago, Comcast bough 51 percent of NBCUniversal.  The latest acquisition consolidates Comcast as a cable distributor and a content provider.

"This is an exciting day for Comcast as we have agreed to accelerate the purchase of NBCUniversal," Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts said in a statement.

"Our decision to acquire GE's ownership is driven by our sense of optimism for the future prospects of NBCUniversal and our desire to capture future value that we hope to create for our shareholders," he added.

The deal is still subject to "customary closing conditions," Comcast says, but it is expected to be finalized by the end of this year's first quarter.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug092012

GE Recalls 1.3 Million Dishwashers over Fire Hazard

SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- General Electric is recalling 1.3 million dishwashers over an electrical problem that could cause a fire.

Fifteen reports of electrical failures in the appliance's heating element have been submitted to GE, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday.  While no one has been injured, seven of those reports resulted in fires, three of which caused extensive property damage.

The recall affects GE, GE Adora, GE Eterna, GE Profile and Hotpoint models sold between March 2006 and August 2009.

[CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL LIST OF AFFECTED DISHWASHERS]

Anyone with a faulty dishwasher is advised to stop using it immediately and disconnect its power supply by shutting off the fuse or circuit breaker controlling it.  Consumers should then contact GE for a free in-home repair or to get a rebate towards the purchase of a new GE dishwasher.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr122012

26 US Companies Not Paying Federal Income Tax, Report Finds

SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In November, the liberal lobbying group Citizens for Tax Justice stirred controversy with a report citing 280 so-called corporate tax-dodgers, highlighting companies they said were paying under the 35 percent federal income corporate tax rate.  This week, the group revised its list with new data and said most of the companies that paid no taxes previously repeated that in 2011.

The latest update estimates that all but four of the 30 Fortune 500 companies that paid an average negative federal income tax rate from 2008 to 2010 continued to do so for 2011.  Among the companies listed are Pepco Holdings and General Electric.

"One of the reasons we [released an update] is so many of these 30 companies asserted this was a temporary aberration in 2008 to 2010," Bob McIntyre, director of the Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), said.  "They said they will pay a lot of taxes soon, but 'soon' hasn't come yet."

McIntyre said the 280 companies analyzed were Fortune 500 companies that made money from 2008 to 2010.  The Citizens for Tax Justice created their latest estimates from company annual reports, based on U.S. profit and amounts companies report for federal income taxes.

General Electric, which appears on the list, called the report "misleading."  Spokesman Andrew Williams said, "GE paid $2.9 billion in income cash taxes in 2011 across all of its tax jurisdictions, including payments in the U.S.  In addition, GE paid more than $1 billion in other state, local and federal taxes in the U.S."

Matthew Gardner, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, CTJ's research arm, said CTJ's study focuses on whether companies are paying a 35 percent rate for federal income taxes, and focusing on overall taxes is "trying to change the subject."

"As GE has said in the past, we pay taxes worldwide.  But they don't dispute that CTJ is wrong.  It's an exercise in misdirection," Gardner said.  "When deferred taxes are paid, they will show up in our report as having been paid.  But the harsh reality is that GE in particular is able to defer the taxes indefinitely."

William McBride, an economist with the Tax Foundation, said the best source of information would be a company's tax return, which is not public information.

"The CTJ is estimating the true figure from what the company is reporting," McBride said.  "They are guessing what companies are paying in taxes."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb132012

GE to Hire 5,000 Veterans, Expand Its Aviation Business

SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Good news for veterans who are out of work: General Electric announced on Monday it will be hiring 5,000 vets over the next five years.

The move comes as the company kicks off a four-day event in Washington, D.C., on Monday, "dedicated to America’s long-term economic and industry growth with discussions centered around manufacturing, innovation and jobs," GE said in a statement.

GE will partner with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the “Hiring our Heroes” initiative and sponsor 400 job fairs across the country this year.

Along with adding more veterans to its workforce, GE also unveiled plans to expand its aviation business in 2012.  The company says it will invest $580 million, "in the expansion of its manufacturing and research & development footprints in the U.S." -- promising to add more than 400 new manufacturing jobs and open three new plants in the country next year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct232011

Occupy Wall Street Protests on GE CEO’s Lawn

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW CANAAN, Conn.) -- A crowd of 100 protesters, some from New York City’s Occupy Wall Street movement and others from Occupy New Haven, came together in a show of solidarity on Saturday afternoon on General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt’s front lawn in New Canaan, Conn.

“[General Electric is] an enormously successful company that pays no income taxes. We felt it was important for someone like Jeff Immelt to hear from people who are struggling in this economy,” said Jon Green, director of the Connecticut Working Families Party.

Many of those who came from New York were responding to an invitation posted on Occupy Wall Street’s General Assembly website that read: “In the land of the free they tax me but not G.E!” It continues, saying: “General Electric made billions last year; they paid no taxes, outsourced thousands of jobs, and got over $3 billion in tax refunds!”

Immelt reportedly earned $20 million in 2010. Despite his compensation, General Electric continued to shed jobs. According to an ABCNews.com analysis, General Electric has let more than 19,000 workers go since 2008.

Aside from being the CEO of General Electric, Immelt was appointed by President Obama to chair the task force on jobs and competitiveness.

Green said he was unable to tell if Immelt was in his sprawling 10,000-square-foot home, which according to Trulia.com is worth an estimated $5.25 million, at the time of the protest.

“It’s not the kind of home where you can just look in the window and see if the TV is on,” he said.

It’s not the first time protesters have paid visits to those they call “the 1 percent” at home.

Earlier this month, an estimated 2,000 protesters embarked on a “Millionaire’s March” in New York City, visiting the homes of News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch, real estate developer Howard Milstein and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

“I want the millionaires to know that we won’t stand for this,” Elizabeth Owens, a New York resident who participated in the Oct. 11 march., told ABCNews.com. “I pay more than they do in taxes!”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug312011

25 CEOs Earned More than Their Companies Paid in Tax

Medioimages/Photodisc(WASHINGTON) -- Twenty-five of the biggest, best-known corporations in the U.S. paid more money to their CEOs last year than they paid to Uncle Sam in taxes, according to a report released Wednesday. The list includes Boeing, eBay, General Electric, International Paper, and Verizon. The same report, issued by the Institute of Policy Studies, a liberal think-tank, said the 25 companies enjoyed average global profits of $1.9 billion.

Chuck Collins, one of the study’s co-authors, told the Washington Post, “These individual CEOs are being rewarded for presiding over companies that dodge taxes.” Eighteen of the 25 firms operate subsidiaries in countries characterized as tax havens by the U.S. Government Accountability Office or by other tax-monitoring groups.

Some of the 25 took issue with the Institute’s approach, which focused only on what firms paid as a tax expense within calendar year 2010. A spokesman for Verizon, for example, told the Post that Verizon, “fully complies with all tax laws and pays its fair share of taxes.” Verizon said it had deferred paying the bulk of its 2010 taxes to future years.

The same report found that the gap between pay for the average U.S. worker and pay for CEOs rose to a ratio of 325-to-1 last year, up from 263-to-1 in 2009.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul242011

General Electric Reports 21.6 Percent Rise in Second Quarter

General Electric(FAIRFIELD, Conn.) -- General Electric, Co., reported a 21.6 percent profit rise in its second quarter, according to reports.

GE reported that second quarter profits came to $3.69 billion, compared to $3.03 billion a year ago.

Shares in the conglomerate rose two percent in premarket trading.

GE Capital is continuing to recover from the recession, while the company continues to expand overseas, particularly in Asia.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May042011

Fortune 500 List 2011: Which Company Will Be No. 1?

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The 2011 Fortune 500 list, which names the most profitable companies in the country, will be announced Wednesday night on ABC’s Nightline.

With last year's list boasting heavyweights such as Wal-Mart, ExxonMobil, General Electric and AT&T, ABC News' John Berman reported that the Fortune 500 companies tripled their earnings in 2009. Did they improve on that in 2010?

"It's just a staggering amount of money that big companies made in 2009 versus 2008 -- $330 billion more than the year before. It's just an unprecedented gain," said Andy Serwer at the time. Serwer is the managing editor of Fortune magazine, which compiles an annual list of top public companies as measured by gross revenue.

Last year's champion was Walmart, pushing the once top seeded ExxonMobil to the number two slot.

"Walmart had a good year and maybe that's not surprising," Serwer said, "People really look for value during tough economic times."

Even still, the oil company didn't make out too shabby. Exxon was able to rake in more than $284 billion in profits last year.

So who will reign supreme on this year's Fortune 500 list? Tune into ABC's Nightline Wednesday at 11:35 p.m. ET to see the results.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar312011

GE CEO Immelt to ABC News: 'People Get to Think What They Think'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- News that General Electric made $14 billion in profits in 2010 but paid zero in federal taxes has led to liberal leaders like former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., and MoveOn to call for President Obama to show the door to GE CEO Jeff Immelt, the chairman of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
 
Immelt was even roasted on late-night comedy programs like the Daily Show.

The criticism has also been intense with labor leaders arguing that under Immelt, GE has shed jobs and expanded outsourcing.

ABC News' Jake Tapper spoke with Immelt in Washington, D.C., Thursday and asked him about the criticism.

TAPPER:  Since you became CEO, GE has shed jobs and a lot of jobs have gone overseas…

IMMELT: Jake it’s really not true. In other words, we’ve sold half the company since I’ve been CEO.  If you take that out, our job growth is up and if you look at our core infrastructure and technology it’s up 30% and if you look at what we’ve  done post-crisis, we’ve added 6,500 manufacturing jobs and so I just think you have to get in the second layer of the analysis.

TAPPER: What do you make of the criticism of the people who say you should step down, you’re not a good role model for the business community?

IMMELT: Look, I am completely committed to doing a good job, working with the president and I’m completely focused in that regard on building jobs and competitiveness in the U.S. and I will do my best to do a good job with it. People get to think what they think.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio