Berkshire Hathaway investors to decide whether to require firm to set utility emissions goals

OMAHA, Neb. – Berkshire Hathaway shareholders will get another chance to require the company’s utilities to set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Warren Buffett’s company said in a proxy mailed to shareholders this week that the issue will be voted on at this year’s annual meeting on May 4.

Berkshire owns several utilities through its MidAmerican Energy Holdings subsidiary.

Berkshire’s board opposes the idea of setting goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, because it remains unclear how those emissions will be regulated.

The shareholder who proposed the measure says Berkshire would benefit from taking a proactive approach that reduces its utilities’ dependency on coal.

Shareholders rejected a similar measure in 2011. Buffett and the board control 39 per cent of the voting power, so the proposal faces a difficult battle.