Tag Archives: assets

Stranded fossil fuel assets: money goes in, but does it come out?

$5.5 trillion or $800 for each human on this Earth has been dumped into the fossil fuel money pit. Will most of that money never come back out, now that solar stocks are skyrocketing and foundations are banding together to dump fossil fuel stocks? Why should we let Spectra Energy and NextEra gouge a methane pipeline through our lands for their bad investment?

Kumi Naidoo wrote for EcoWatch 31 January 2014, Dirty Fuels is a Bad Idea,

By keeping their money in coal and oil companies, investors are betting a vast amount of wealth, including the pensions and savings of millions of people, on high future demand for dirty fuels. The investment has enabled fossil fuel companies to massively raise their spending on expanding extractable reserves, with oil and gas companies alone (state-owned ones included) spending the combined GDP of Netherlands and Belgium a year, in belief that there will be demand for ever more dirty fuel.

This assumption is being challenged by recent developments, which is good news for climate but bad news for anyone who thought investing in fossil fuel industries was a safe bet. Frantic growth in coal consumption seems to be coming to an end much sooner than predicted just a few years ago, with China’s aggressive clean air policies, rapidly dropping coal consumption in the U.S. and upcoming closures of many coal plants in Europe. At the same time the oil industry is also facing slowing demand growth and the financial and share performance of oil majors is disappointing for shareholders.

Nevertheless, even faced with weakening demand prospects, outdated investment patterns are driving fossil fuel companies to waste trillions of dollars in developing reserves and infrastructure that will be stranded as the world moves beyond 20th century energy.

The article is mostly about coal and oil, but it applies equally well to fracked “natural” methane gas: Continue reading Stranded fossil fuel assets: money goes in, but does it come out?