You Need to Pay More

April/17/2008 1:06AM
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Mr. Fred Krupp is president Of Environmental Defense Fund and co-author of "Earth: The Sequel-The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming"  Old Fred says you just got to pay more for gasoline to prime the pump(my pun) for renewable energy. Fred says the carbon cap is what we need to fund the massive research needed to unlock the new solutions for alternative fuels. You like $4 gasoline, how about $5 to fund old Fred’s research. 

I’m just a dumb old oil guy, but it seems to me that $110 crude and $10 natural gas is a start. Locking out all options that we know could provide fuel: coal, nuclear, drilling for oil, pipelines, and every other option pretty much takes the risk out of investing in other choices, no competition. We call Big Oil bad names every day and they took all those risks to get the oil and gas they own now when crude was $20 a barrel and gas was $2. 

Energy is the biggest business in the world, "the mother of all markets" says venture capitalist John Doerr, Google’s first funder. The winner will not only save the planet, but will also make mega fortunes. Venture capitalists and companies like Google are already jockeying to fund clean energy start-ups. Clean tech is the fastest growing category of venture investing in the U.S. Growing four times faster than internet investments. 

Supposedly these ideas are almost ripe and just need our help through higher prices to take them over the top. 

That’s what old Fred thinks. Here’s what I think. My old company pissed away billions looking for the silver bullet. Every other oil company has done the same. Maybe we need Thomas Edison back. I’m telling you folks, it ain’t going to happen. 

You will be the one holding the empty bag. If the prize is so big, the incentive so great, and no competition, why do you have to be an investor through higher prices. Who made you a venture capitalist? Why lay the risk off on you? Remember, Old Fred is a died in the wool tree hugger and may be far, far from the real world. I would not buy any snake oil from old Fred. All the Fred-like guys I’ve know are big time dreamers and their best talent is wasting someone else’s money. You make the choice.  Tell Congress where to put the carbon cap. Start with Fred.

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