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Business-Managed Democracy

“Business-managed democracies are those in which the political and cultural arrangements are managed in the interests of business”

Sharon Beder

Business-Managed Environment

CRA International (CRAI)

CRAI logoCharles River Assocatiates (CRA) claims to be "a leading global consulting firm that offers economic, financial, and business management expertise to major law firms, industries, accounting firms, and governments around the world". It is US-based but operates internationally. In the arena of climate change CRA helps its clients "adapt to environmental policy uncertainty, respond to environmental regulations and legal proceedings, and influence the regulatory and legal setting".


CRAI's clients include companies involved in aviation, automobiles, oil coal, aluminium, chemical production and electricity generation such as Alcoa, Exxon-Mobil, Shell and Chevron as well as associations such as the American Petroleum Institute (for whom it did modelling to support arguments against regulated emissions reductions) and the Electricity Supply Association of Australia (ESAA), as well as the now defunct front group, the Global Climate Coalition (GCC) and the influential Washington DC think tank, the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), which has received funding from Exxon-Mobil and Koch Industries and has argued, using CRAI research, that complying with the Kyoto Protocol would be bad for the US economy. Despite this dependence on the money of vested industry interests, CRAI's governmental clients include the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Transport.


CRA International (CRAI) promotes new technologies as the solution to global warming, in particular the development of clean coal technologies. It promotes financial incentives to encourage these new incentives rather than price burdens to inhibit the use of fossil fuels. It also provides modelling to show the high costs of meeting emissions reductions.


CRAI has been active on global warming policy in Australia since 2005 when it brought a series of US 'experts' to give lectures in Australia and recruited a number of senior Australian government officials such as Brian Fisher, who had been Executive Director of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) for 17 years and a key government advisor on climate change policy. CRAI emphasises the small aggregate contribution to carbon emissions that Australia makes rather than the high per capita contribution. CRAI has consulted for various government agencies (without public tender) including ABARE and was influential with the Howard government on climate change policy. The Australian Industry Greenhouse Network (AIGN) relies heavily on CRAI publications.

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