Fossil Fuels: Modern Asbestos? – TransCanada Corporation (USA) (TRP), Exelon Corporation (EXC), Duke Energy Corp (DUK)

Page 1 of 2

Time Magazine published an opinion piece today supporting the protestors of TransCanada Corporation (USA)(NYSE:TRP)‘s Keystone XL pipeline in no uncertain terms. Given that the protestors are generally considered radical, this endorsement from such an influential, mainstream publication is significant. It is yet another riff in the crescendo of drum beats hearkening the eventual demise of conventional fossil fuels. Some readers will be old enough to remember a time when popular wisdom held asbestos to be safe. Don’t make the same mistake now.

Time marches on
The Keystone XL pipeline controversy is huge and contentious. Like any such issue, it has been the rope in a hyperbolic and often symbolic tug of war. I won’t bog myself down in the nitty gritty here — a simple Google search will give you hours of fodder — but it’s worth a quick summation.

Keystone XL is TransCanada Corporation (USA)(NYSE:TRP)’s proposed $7 billion pipeline that would connect Canada’s oil sands to refineries around Houston and the Gulf of Mexico. Because it would cross an international border, its construction requires the President’s approval. With the oil and gas industry facing significant transmission and distribution choke points, the energy security crowd sees the pipeline’s construction as vitally important.

On the other hand, we have the environmentalists. Their concern is that Keystone XL enables further development of carbon-intensive tar sands in an era when climate change is a growing threat. Greenpeace, in its “Point of No Return” report, explained that “in 2020, the emissions from the 14 projects showcased in this report — if they were all to go ahead — would raise global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by 20% and keep the world on a path toward 5°C to 6°C of warming.” Keystone XL is one of those projects.

Many are starting to talk in terms of a “carbon bubble.” If global governments seek to meet their already articulated goals of minimizing global warming to a certain target, many carbon-intensive projects may be at risk. Under this scenario, projects like Keystone XL could become stranded assets, in that they are no longer economically viable to develop under what would be a new regulatory framework. That would be a material business risk.

Activists like Bill McKibben are taking the campaign further. Not only are they vocally and visibly protesting Keystone XL, but they are pushing for total divestment from the fossil fuel sector through their 350.org campaign. The campaign almost certainly won’t be enough to undermine the sector in any real way, but with a growing number of university endowments signing on, it is certainly another sign of a turning tide.

There are more signs. Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) announced that it would suspend drilling in the Arctic, to the delight of the environmental groups who believe their pressure may have contributed to the company’s decision. Meanwhile, China announced last week that it would be introducing a carbon tax, just as similar mechanisms are under debate in the U.S.

Page 1 of 2
blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

The 10 Richest Stand Up Comedians in the World

The 10 Fattest Countries in the World

The 5 Best Summer Jobs for Teens

The 10 Most Religious Countries in the World Keeping the Faith

The 10 Most Educated Countries in the World

The 10 Most Popular Cell Phones in the World

The 10 Drunkest Countries in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Private Schools in the World

The 10 Smallest Countries in the World

Walking Dead Season 5 Spoilers You’ll Wish You Didn’t Know

The 10 Poorest Countries in the World

The 10 Greenest Countries in the World

The Top 10 Countries with the Highest Population in the World

The 10 Most Visited Countries in the World

The Top 10 Star Wars Characters in the Iconic Series

The 10 Most Expensive Android Phones in the World

5 Reasons Why The Illuminati Is Real and a Threat to Society

The 6 Scariest Halloween Costumes Ever Screamed At

The 4 Biggest Hedge Fund Managers in the World Today

The 15 Most Densely Populated Countries in the World

The 10 Biggest Tea Drinking Countries in the World

Top 6 Ways to Improve Your Checkout Process and Close Sales

The 5 Most Profitable Online Businesses You Can Start Today

The 20 Most Profitable Hospitals in the US

The 5 Most Profitable Home Businesses to Start

The 7 Teams that Will Win the Stanley Cup in 2015

The Top 10 Most Expensive Digital Cameras to Snap Stunning Shots With

The 10 Highest Quality Fast Food Restaurants In America Today

The 8 Best Halloween Decorating Ideas to Spook Up Your House

10 Marvel Women that Should Get a Movie Right Now

The 20 Best Remixes of Popular Songs that Will Make You Forget the Originals

7 Most Expensive Cities in the World

5 Least Expensive Cities in the World

10 Celebrities Who Believe In Scientology

10 High Margin Food Products to Build a Business Around

The 10 Most Expensive Clothing Stores in the United States to Get Decked Out At

The 5 Biggest Kickstarter Scams That Swindled Backers’ Donations

The 10 Most Expensive Boarding Schools In the World

50 Crazy Facts About Japan You Won’t Believe

Top 10 Least Expensive Hybrid Cars to Save the Planet With

The 10 Biggest ‘Gate’ Controversies in History

The 10 States with the Highest Nursing Shortages Leaving Their Hospitals Depleted

The 10 Best Value Investment Blogs that Every Investor Must Read

The 6 Cheapest Boarding Schools in Europe 2015

The 5 Most Expensive Cars To Insure in the World

The 10 Most Common Genetically Modified Foods

10 Self-Made Billionaires Who Came From Nothing

The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in North America

The 13 Most Expensive Headphones in the World to Represent

The Top 20 Wealthiest Soccer Teams in 2014

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!