If there’s anything positive that can be said about an oil spill, here it is …
You can’t hide it.
When the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sunk, spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 straight days, everyone knew about it.
You couldn’t turn on the television or do a an Internet search without seeing a pelican covered in oil or a clean-up crew walking the beaches in yellow hazmat suits.
But imagine for a moment, that there were no media on the ground back then.
Imagine that we didn’t have access to images and video on our phones and laptops.
Who knows how long it would’ve taken for the proverbial poop to hit the fan? But there it was for the world to see. And people were fired up.
Of course, had we not been able to see all that oil gushing into the ocean, it would’ve been a completely different story. A story eerily similar to one that’s recently unfolded in California.
Safe and Clean
For the past few months (possible longer), an underground natural gas storage facility run by Southern California Gas Company has been spewing massive amounts of methane.
The leak was discovered (or at least reported as discovered) on October 23, 2015. Since then, nearly 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide has been released. It’s also wasted more than $12 million worth of natural gas.
But natural gas is clean, right? It’s safe, right?
Saying natural gas is clean and safe is like saying someone is a little bit pregnant.
Sure, compared to coal, natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less CO2 when combusted in a new, efficient natural gas power plant. But the extraction of natural gas from wells and its transportation in pipelines results in the leakage of methane which is nearly 20 times more potent than CO2.
Of course, I don’t fault Souther California Gas Company. After all, it’s not as if management deliberately caused the leak at this storage facility. Truth is, the company’s just trying to make a buck. And if that means utilizing an energy resource that results in pollution, so be it. Clearly, we as consumers don’t mind.
Well, at least not until something like this happens.
A number of recent polls indicate that about 70 percent of U.S. citizens believe climate change is a serious threat. That’s a pretty large number.
The question, however, is, do these folks think it’s a serious enough threat to personally do something about it?
There are an awful lot of people fired up about this methane leak in Southern California. But how many ever took the time to limit their reliance on natural gas?
How many ever utilized the latest in energy efficiency and conservation technologies in their homes?
How many of those folks have taken advantage of new solar leasing programs that can help them displace fossil fuel usage while saving a few bucks at the same time?
How many even walk more or take public transportation in an effort to avoid driving an internal combustion vehicle that fouls up the air and the water?
The truth is, most folks don’t want to be bothered. And I don’t say this as a criticism. It’s merely an observation of truth. So for people like me, who do give a shit about the planet, I’d rather find other ways to lessen our environmental burdens, as opposed to waiting around for a complacent society addicted to government solutions to fix all our problems.
An Easy Solution
There are two reason I invest in clean energy stocks …
1.) They’re incredibly profitable.
Truth is, I’ve been making an absolute fortune in the clean energy space since 2005. And this is a trend that has not slowed down. In fact, 2015 was one of my most profitable years ever.
2.) By investing in solid clean energy companies, I’m contributing to a viable solution.
You want to do something to fight climate change? You want to do something to lessen the environmental burden that will face future generations? You just want to live in a world where there’s no longer such a thing as “air quality alert” days?
The solution is easy …
Invest in the companies that are making clean energy so cheap, that pretty soon it’ll simply be too cost prohibitive to rely on fossil fuels.
And that day, dear reader, is in plain sight.
You see, there’s been a dramatic decrease in renewable energy production costs over the past few years. Particularly in the solar space where the price per watt fell from $76 in 1977 to $0.30 today.
The wind energy industry has also seen massive price declines, too.
The bottom line is that we’re now about three to five years away from grid parity. That is, when renewable energy technology can produce electricity for the same cost as conventional electricity that’s currently provided from a transmission and distribution grid.
Once we hit grid parity, it’s game over for fossil fuels. It’s just that simple. And while some folks still can’t even fathom such a thing, this transition to a cleaner energy economy has already begun.
Bottom line: There’s no denying that a strong mix of renewables, energy efficiency and conservation, and storage is the new energy paradigm as it’s quickly becoming the most economic paradigm. And those who refuse to accept this reality will miss out on one of the greatest investment opportunities of a lifetime.
As former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently said …
I don’t want to be like the last horse and buggy salesman who was holding out as cars took over the roads. I don’t want to be the last investor in Blockbuster as Netflix emerged.
That’s exactly what is going to happen to fossil fuels.
A clean energy future is a wise investment, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either wrong, or lying. Either way, I wouldn’t take their investment advice.