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

Corporate leadership and the way forward
The latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” (link opens PDF) report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Energy Projects shows that 100% of new electrical generating capacity that came online in the U.S. in January 2013 was derived from renewable sources, for the first time ever.

The report highlighted Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC)‘s 82 Megawatt (MW) Beebe Community Wind Farm, which just came online in Gratiot County, Michigan. Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) plans to bring another 82 MW by the end of 2013. FERC’s report also called out Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK)‘s 10 MW Black Mountain Solar Power Project near Kingman, AZ, and its 402 MW Los Vientos I and II in Willacy County, TX, both of which came online in January under the company’s renewables business unit. With so many companies lagging behind in renewables development, it’s good to see this type of progress.

At the 2013 Climate Leadership Conference, taking place today in Washington, D.C. under the auspices of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Entergy Corporation (NYSE:ETR)‘s Director of Climate Consulting, Jeff Williams, said, “Katrina was a galvanizing moment in realizing the risks of climate change. … You can never mitigate a risk you deny exists.” At the same event, Entergy’s Executive Vice President was a little more blunt: “I couldn’t give a rat’s cheek whether you’re a true climate believer. As business people, you need to pay attention to risk management.”

That’s the kind of leadership I want to see from a potential investment. Companies can no longer afford to keep their heads in the sand when it comes to climate change risks. It makes no more sense than it did to deny the health risks of asbestos, once upon a time. The world is changing, and resilient companies will be the ones that can change along with it.

The article Fossil Fuels: Modern Asbestos? originally appeared on and is written by Sara E. Murphy.

Sara E. Murphy has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow her on Twitter @SMurphSmiles. The Motley Fool recommends Exelon.

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