February 25, 2007

Proactive Investment

One of the ideas that came through quite clearly while reading Tim Flannery's The Weather Makers is that sequestration of carbon is temporary, and it can be risky. One of the best ways to store carbon is underground, in its pure elemental form, and nature has already put away a lot of it in the form of coal. Of the fossil fuels coal is worst in terms of producing carbon dioxide since it has little hydrogen. This makes oil and especially natural gas better alternatives. The best thing to do with coal is leave it underground where it keeps carbon away from the atmosphere for millions of years, no fuss, no muss. Coal is made of plant material produced by photosynthesis from atmospheric CO2 millions of years ago. One of the worst ideas is building new coal fired power plants since investment in this infrastructure commits us to emitting CO2 for the lifetime of the plant, over half a century.

This article in today's New York Times tells the story of TXU corporation, a Texas utility that planned to build 11 new coal-fired power plants. Goldman Sachs helped to arrange a buyout of the company that will mean an about-face in their environmental policy. The deal, the largest leveraged buyout ever, will mean that 8 of the 11 new plants will not be built. The investment team asked the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense 'what it would take' to gain their support for the deal.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Web Counter
Web Site Counter

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]