11 April 2007

Hopping on the bandwagon

ConocoPhillips jumped on the bandwagon today and is now calling for some sort of regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. I particularly liked this part of the announcement:

ConocoPhillips has said it will spend $150 million this year to research and develop new energy sources and technologies – a 50 percent increase in spending from 2006.
This is a company that is making between 3 and 4-billion dollars a quarter in profit. And 150-million is all they can kick in.

What I don't understand is why private industry isn't investing all they've got into non-petroleum R & D. Everyone knows oil is warming our world, that it's going to run out at some point, that before it does that it's going to get more expensive, that even if it doesn't get expensive it'll still likely come from unstable regions of the world, and that we should all wean ourselves off of it. Whoever comes up with the next big thing in energy - cheap, clean energy - is going to be a gazillionaire. Just imagine what the patent to a workable and large hydrogen fuel cell would be worth. Conoco - and every other major energy producer that has hopes of sustaining profits well into the century - should be putting all it has into research.

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