Three Cheers for Steenland!

It’s a rare moment when a corporate CEO shows public conviction of his or her beliefs. So we’re delighted to recognize Northwest CEO Doug Steenland and his testimony on oil prices held this week on Capitol Hill. To quote directly from today’s Wall Street Journal, A4 for you old school print readers:

Steenland endorsed banning pension funds and other institutional investors from future exchanges, and he urged lawmakers to close loopholes that allow traders to dodge regulation by trading on foreign exchanges or over the counter.

“Addressing excessive speculation is the most immediate remedy Congress could deliver,” Mr. Steenland said.

Amen, brother. That move and a little more spine directed at our OPEC friends would go a long way in helping Joe and Shirley Six-Pack. Too bad it takes the courage of a business leader to bring this issue to light among our so called elected representatives. We won’t even go there on the two remaining candidates for president.

In fairness, however, Steenland is somewhat of a lame duck having sold the Northwest farm to Delta. He and the airline business also are being hit particularly hard on this issue, while other commodity producers such Monsanto reap profits from higher grain prices.

But it’s still significant to note these rare public leadership moments from CEOs. Particularly on an issue as complex as energy.

Thank you, Mr. Steenland, for going where no one else seemed able to go.

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