Chevron's CEO: Affordable energy is crucial

Dec 27, 2012 by Jonathan Fahey
In this Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 photo, Chevron CEO John Watson talks during an interview, in New York. Watson, 55, a California native and Chevron lifer, joined the company in 1980 as a financial analyst. Before becoming CEO in 2010 he was vice chairman in charge of strategic planning, business development and mergers and acquisitions. He also ran the company's international exploration and production business, led the company's integration with Texaco and was CFO. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(AP)—Chevron CEO John Watson notices something important as he visits his company's operations around the globe: Governments everywhere find high energy prices much scarier than the threat of global warming.

And that means the world will need a lot more oil and gas in the years to come.

To meet that demand, Chevron is in the midst of an enormous cycle of investment aimed at extracting oil and gas from wherever it hides in the earth's crust.

Chevron Corp., based in San Ramon, California, is the second largest investor-owned oil and gas company in the world, and the third largest American company of any type as measured by revenue and profit. Over the last year, Chevron has earned $24 billion on revenue of $231 billion.

Every day, the company produces the equivalent of 2.7 million barrels of oil and gas, mostly outside the U.S.

Next year Chevron will invest $33 billion—more than it ever has—to drill wells, erect platforms, build refineries and scan for undiscovered deposits of oil and gas. Among its biggest projects: A operation in Australia that will ultimately cost Chevron and its partners $65 billion to build. Also planned are three deep- and production projects in the Gulf of Mexico that will cost $16 billion.

Watson, a 55-year-old California native and Chevron lifer, joined the company in 1980 as a financial analyst. Before becoming CEO in 2010 he was vice chairman in charge of strategic planning, business development and . He also ran the company's international exploration and production business, led the company's integration with Texaco and was CFO.

Watson has helped shape Chevron into the best performing major oil company in the world by several financial benchmarks, including the profit it makes for each barrel of oil it sells.

In an interview at The Associated Press headquarters in New York, Watson discussed world dynamics, U.S. energy policy, , and working abroad. Below are excerpts, edited for length and clarity.

AP: Why do people and politicians dislike big oil companies that deliver the energy they rely on and benefit from?

WATSON: They don't feel like they have the choices. Most products that you consume every day, you have a choice. In energy you have less choice. And as costs rise, it hits the family budget. It's a convenience that we like, but we'd rather pay less for it.

AP: Is there anything you can do about that?

WATSON: Invest in good projects around the world. Every drop of oil that we produce anywhere in the world hits world markets and, other things being equal, brings prices down.

AP: What do you think is the biggest misunderstanding about your company or your industry?

WATSON: Just how much we invest in the business and the risks that we take to deliver the oil and gas that we all expect every day. We literally go to the ends of the earth to bring this energy to consumers.

AP: Can the industry continue to produce oil and gas at a price that can keep the world economy growing?

WATSON: I think so. We want to produce at a price our customers can afford, and I think there's ample resource to do that for the foreseeable future.

AP: Energy companies complain that the U.S. is over-regulated, but at the same time they are expanding here and cite its many advantages. Which is it? Is the U.S. a terrible place to do business, or is it terrific?

WATSON: On balance it's a good place to do business. We always have to be aware of what other governments are doing, and we have to be sure that we stay competitive. When I met with the president with some of my colleagues a couple weeks ago, that was the first thing that people talked about. It wasn't about taxes per se, it was about staying competitive.

AP: People on all sides of the energy debate have long complained about the lack of a comprehensive energy policy in the U.S. Are we wishing for something that just can't happen in this country? And if not, what would it look like to you?

WATSON: Historically the United States has had a wonderful energy policy. We're blessed with a diversity of resources. We have oil. We have gas. We have coal. We have nuclear. And renewables. And as a result, one of our biggest competitive advantages has been affordable energy. You need a strong economy and you need affordable energy to fuel that economy.

AP: Do fossil fuel producers bear the responsibility for curbing greenhouse gas emissions?

WATSON: We have the responsibility to deliver our energy in an environmentally sound fashion. The greatest advancements in living standards in recorded history have taken place in the modern hydrocarbon era. I don't think that's coincidental. Our leaders have to make a decision. Do they want that to continue or do they have a better solution for us? So it's not my call.

AP: How should society go about reducing greenhouse gas emissions?

WATSON: If you look around the world, the countries with the best environmental practices are the wealthiest. There's a reason for that. If you're worried about where your next meal is going to come from or shelter over your head, your focus is on those things.

AP: The U.S. is a wealthy country, how should we reduce emissions?

WATSON: Well, we are a wealthy country. On the other hand, the economy is growing slowly. We have high unemployment. I think that's part of the reason why the president said now is not the time for a carbon tax, because he recognized that that would put pressure on the economy and put pressure on our energy prices, put pressure on manufacturing business, put pressure on consumers.

AP: When it's time to address the carbon issue, how should we do it?

WATSON: It's very difficult for the United States to go it alone. Watch what (other) governments do. The day-to-day decisions being made (show) that concern about climate change is less than other concerns that they have. China is racing by the U.S. in greenhouse gas emissions. Germany is shutting down their nuclear power, the only energy source with zero carbon emissions that can be produced at scale. Japan, much the same way. Governments around the world are making the choice that the benefits of lifting people out of squalor are very important. And affordable energy is the way to get there. And that currently comes through oil, gas and coal.

That doesn't mean there's nothing we can do. First, we can do a lot more on energy efficiency in this country. There are a number of promising technologies to deliver lower carbon fuels. I would support (government funding) of pre-commercial activity to try to advance some of these breakthrough technologies, rather than putting big subsidies on technologies that we know are more expensive and won't necessarily solve the issue.

AP: Will fracking be curtailed in this country?

WATSON: I see very little obstacle to it, notwithstanding all the rhetoric. Now it's being done in some different areas. People aren't used to it, and there have been legitimate concerns expressed, like truck traffic at a simple level, but also concerns about water supplies. They're understandable anxieties. And so we have to work through those with the governments. I think in due course we'll do that because they'll see the advantages to it.

AP: Will natural gas become a bigger part of the energy mix?

WATSON: Natural gas will displace coal in power generation. Getting natural gas into the transportation fleet is harder. It works best for vehicles that work from centralized fueling facilities like trucking fleets or buses and cabs. That is happening. Before it can make big inroads beyond that, infrastructure is going to need to be developed. It will take some time.

AP: A recent factory fire in Bangladesh killed more a hundred people, shining a spotlight on the connections between Western companies and overseas suppliers. What is the responsibility of a company like yours when you go into a developing area?

WATSON: We have global standards for how we operate. And it's our responsibility to operate to those high standards everywhere. We use local labor in almost all cases and we spend an enormous amount of time training people. We provide half the natural in Bangladesh. I've been there a number of times. If you go to a construction site, you won't see hard hats. You won't see shoes in many cases. And so we teach people safety standards.

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Cacogen
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 27, 2012
Why the heck did you publish an ad for Chevron?
Lurker2358
2.2 / 5 (10) Dec 27, 2012
Summary:

Chevron: "We plan on burning all coal, oil, and natural gas on the planet! Yeah."

AP: "But Why?"

Chevron: "Why? Because we can! Gov'ments don't seem to care!"
Noumenon
2.8 / 5 (27) Dec 27, 2012
Summary:

Chevron: "We plan on burning all coal, oil, and natural gas on the planet! Yeah."

AP: "But Why?"

Chevron: "Why? Because we can! Gov'ments don't seem to care!"


You're not being honest with yourself.

It is mindless to blame car manufacturers or even the 'gov not caring' when the entire economy floats on a bed of oil, and there are no alternatives that can replace such a volume that is economically acceptable to free consumers.

Ultimately, it is the free market that will determine if an alternative is viable or not.

"If the message is somehow we're going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don't think anybody's going to go for that. I won't go for that." - B. Obama Nov 2012

In other words, cold Reality plays a factor in limiting what can be done, if anything, about "climate change". Idealism is but a toy.
Caliban
2.5 / 5 (13) Dec 27, 2012
You're not being honest with yourself.

It is mindless to blame car manufacturers or even the 'gov not caring' when the entire economy floats on a bed of oil, and there are no alternatives that can replace such a volume that is economically acceptable to free consumers.

Ultimately, it is the free market that will determine if an alternative is viable or not.

"If the message is somehow we're going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don't think anybody's going to go for that. I won't go for that." - B. Obama Nov 2012

In other words, cold Reality plays a factor in limiting what can be done, if anything, about "climate change". Idealism is but a toy.


You can stop with the apologist sentiments. That 33G$ would go a long way toward renewables R&D.

Instead it goes towards more profiteering from BigCarbon, and damn the consequences.
ShotmanMaslo
1.9 / 5 (9) Dec 27, 2012
Affordable energy is indeed crucial, and I dont see clean energy really taking off unless it is as affordable and practical as fossil fuels. More subsidies could help with the affordability issue, tough.
Noumenon
2.5 / 5 (27) Dec 27, 2012
You can stop with the apologist sentiments. That 33G$ would go a long way toward renewables R&D. Instead it goes towards more profiteering from BigCarbon, and damn the consequences.


I refuse to believe that you're that ignorant, despite your efforts to convince me otherwise.

Chevron is in the business to make a profit for its investors and to meet consumer demand. This means if alternatives had a better potential for return on investment they would spend more than the few billion they currently spend on alternatives.

They're not in the business to do tree-huggers a "favour", or to "do the right thing" as defined by clueless environmental activists . They would be out of business if they acted stupidly.

Here's an idea,... why don't you AGW bed-wetters stop bitching and instead COMPETE with oil by developing alternatives that the market place would adopt? Answer; because activist idealism in the face with reality is useless.
Lurker2358
2.8 / 5 (11) Dec 27, 2012
Affordable energy is indeed crucial, and I dont see clean energy really taking off unless it is as affordable and practical as fossil fuels. More subsidies could help with the affordability issue, tough.


In other words, you're saying people won't do the right thing until there's no other choice anyway.

No news there.
Noumenon
2.3 / 5 (25) Dec 27, 2012
In other words, you're saying people won't do the right thing until there's no other choice anyway.


That's the problem with naive collectivist mentality, that breeds liberal progressivism or socialism,... the ineffective reliance on the "we should..." or the "do the right thing...". It is only an idealist theoretical mechanism and not one that actually plays out in reality.

The masses don't actually behavior that way. They act according to their individualistic nature, in arranging their affairs so that they benefit in a egoistic way.

This is not an evil, but the basis of evolution and all that is great in modern society. It is why the free market will be the only solution to the climate change issue. Oil will need to become more expensive, so that alternatives can compete. Only then will oil be replaced by a new technology to the level necessary to make a real difference.

Lurker2358
3.2 / 5 (11) Dec 27, 2012
ineffective reliance on the "we should..." or the "do the right thing...". It is only an idealist theoretical mechanism and not one that actually plays out in reality.


No. I have a very realist view in the sense that human life and life of our entire biosphere will be threatened if humanity continues this way.

The masses don't actually behavior that way.

I'm well aware of that, sherlock, that's why we have laws. If not for laws people would tear one another apart, and yes, that is "evil".

This is not an evil, but the basis of evolution and all that is great in modern society.


If you want to make it about evolution the best thing is for the survival of the species, which is to preserve the environment through cleaner technology and population control.

Since this thread is about cleaner technology...

There is certainly LEGISLATION which could be passed for building codes for homes and businesses to require they have capacity of renewable energy. See below.
frajo
3 / 5 (4) Dec 27, 2012
[1]
Here are some news from a country with a
"naive collectivist mentality, that breeds liberal progressivism or socialism" and has
"only an idealist theoretical mechanism and not one that actually plays out in reality":
http://www.altern...il-fuels

[2]
This is not news:
"... the economics of oil – from the perspective of oil companies, both corporate and national – is maximizing the rent they receive
...
managing the price of oil means managing the supply of oil, and one manages the supply of oil by keeping some oil off the market. One does this by preventing the development of some oil fields – especially those of an Iran that has broken free of the American orbit – and maintaining the capacity of others, especially those of the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia."
Lurker2358
2.2 / 5 (10) Dec 27, 2012
For example, pass a building code requiring all new U.S. homes to come equipped with at least 4kw worth of peak solar panels or an equivalent alternative.

Similar measures could be done for businesses, apartments, and mobile homes, but scaled appropriately.
Lurker2358
2.8 / 5 (11) Dec 27, 2012
"The U.S. will become the world's top producer of oil by 2020, a net exporter of oil around 2030 and nearly self-sufficient in energy by 2035, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency."


Exporting oil is absolutely foolish for long term strategy for the U.S.

Even if we shifted to 100% non-carbon fuels for our own domestic use, we should just sit on oil indefinitely for defense purposes.

Proper long term strategy for the U.S. from a nationalistic point of view is to deplete the world of it's high density energy resources first, and then sit on our own.

Apparently nobody in Washington or our military comprehends the word "Attrition". Obviously they do not, and I cite Gulf War 1, Gulf War 2, and Afghanistan as sources, seeing as how our government in the past 25 years has managed to do the exact opposite of "Win by attrition," both in foreign affairs and domestic affairs.
Caliban
2.8 / 5 (13) Dec 27, 2012
Chevron is in the business to make a profit for its investors and to meet consumer demand.


This is, indeed, exactly the case, and since you are such a tireless drummer and apologist for BigCarbon, it's pretty much certain that your portfolio is replete with those shares, which makes you equally culpable for the nightmare to come.

Now piss off, wanker.

Noumenon
2.4 / 5 (25) Dec 27, 2012
The masses don't actually behavior that way.
I'm well aware of that, sherlock, that's why we have laws. If not for laws people would tear one another apart, and yes, that is "evil".


Non-sense. Humans are not savages, they just have an intrinsic mechanism of self preservation, which is extended to 'standards of living'. Again, this mechanism is what drives human progress. To work counter to it, in controlling human behavior, as liberal progressives desire, will not work. There has to be an actual felt effect upon the masses for them to change behavior,... not just theoretical speculation.
Noumenon
2.5 / 5 (24) Dec 27, 2012
For example, pass a building code requiring all new U.S. homes to come equipped with at least 4kw worth of peak solar panels or an equivalent alternative. Similar measures could be done for businesses, apartments, and mobile homes, but scaled appropriately.


Such things are a drop in the ocean and are heart warming, but meaningless. Do you have any idea of the volume of oil that is used? Do you realize that we are increasing the use of oil, not decreasing it?

The solution is to wait until 'peak oil' has an actual effect upon the market,.. then and only then will alternative markets allow investors opportunity for profit. Unless some innovation can compete with oil as cheap as it is now.
Noumenon
2.4 / 5 (25) Dec 27, 2012
Chevron is in the business to make a profit for its investors and to meet consumer demand.


This is, indeed, exactly the case, and since you are such a tireless apologist for BigCarbon, it's pretty much certain that your portfolio is replete with those shares, which makes you equally culpable for the nightmare to come.


Do you drive a car, or buy food delivered via trucks? Yes, you are as culpable in creating demand.

I'm a tireless apologist for reality. I personally couldn't care less about oil/coal. In fact anyone who desires to make a profit on their investments, would just as well invest in some alternative over oil, if a greater potential for return existed.

This is also true for Chevron,.. that is, if they saw 'the writing on the wall' for the end of oil use, they would invest in another energy source to make the transition. They're a energy company after all. There is nothing special about oil other than its volume of demand. So your conspiracy theory in invalid
djr
3 / 5 (6) Dec 27, 2012
Noumen - "Here's an idea,... why don't you AGW bed-wetters stop bitching and instead COMPETE with oil by developing alternatives"

I guess you have not been doing any reading recently. Here is an article to get you started - http://www.renewa...-auction

There is a huge lie in this interview - he says that nuclear is the only zero carbon energy source that can be scaled - fraio's article on Germany shows that lie for what it is. This interview shows the conservative nature of big business. They will be shocked when wind and solar take over - probably run to the government for some big hand outs - 'you don't want to lose all those high paying jobs do you?'

Lurker2358
2.5 / 5 (11) Dec 27, 2012
Non-sense. Humans are not savages,


Did you pass world History class?

The solution is to wait until 'peak oil' has an actual effect upon the market,.. then and only then will alternative markets allow investors opportunity for profit. Unless some innovation can compete with oil as cheap as it is now.


What good are short term paper dollars if the environment is irreparably damaged?

Earth 2100:

Anchor A: "In a blinding reversal, FOX News has changed it's stance on Global Warming. We now think it's actually happening in some isolated locations!"

Big Carbon spox: "Yeup, we still got some Natural Gas remaining. May as well burn it all up since we're all screwed now anyway."

Anchor B: "In unrelated news, Jellyfish go extinct. Stay tuned for that story next on the Spin Factor."
mountain_team_guy
2.3 / 5 (16) Dec 27, 2012
For example, pass a building code requiring all new U.S. homes to come equipped with at least 4kw worth of peak solar panels or an equivalent alternative.

Similar measures could be done for businesses, apartments, and mobile homes, but scaled appropriately.


Walk the talk. Do it. Put them on your home, have your homeowners association push it, local municipality, county, state, etc. Or just have the Democratic party make it a platform issue. Ask Obama to put a solar wing on his armored limo. Trying to legislate oil out of existence? I don't know about your circles, but everyone I know either drives to work or doesn't have a job.
Noumenon
2.5 / 5 (27) Dec 27, 2012
Here's an idea,... why don't you AGW bed-wetters stop bitching and instead COMPETE with oil by developing alternatives that the market place would adopt? - Noumenon
I guess you have not been doing any reading recently.


Yes, I'm aware that there are wind mills, and think that is great. As you can see from this link, wind power is not anywhere near scalable to replace the volume of oil used, as such use is increasing. The bed-wetters need to try harder, and yes I hope someone succeeds in finding an alternative that can compete with oil, but bitching and regulations will not work.
Noumenon
2.3 / 5 (25) Dec 27, 2012
This interview shows the conservative nature of big business. They will be shocked when wind and solar take over, probably run to the government for some big hand outs


This comment demonstrates a fundamental misapprehension of what a capitalist is. As I stated above, one who seeks profit will not care where it comes from. If wind and solar become viable investments and the predicted future of energy, capitalists will invest in them, and transition the business over.

The free market is the best arbiter of what energy will be used on a large scale in place of oil,.. because people bet their money on it.

But what ever the alternative, it MUST compete with oil. That's just the reality. It has nothing to do with evil big oil companies, or anti-AGW politics. It is the state that humanity is in right now, in its consumption of energy.

It is better to "go down with the ship", than to submit to global social engineering of human behavior on the scale that would be necessary.
djr
4 / 5 (8) Dec 28, 2012
Noumen: - Yes, I'm aware that there are wind mills, and think that is great. As you can see from this link, wind power is not anywhere near scalable to replace the volume of oil used.

Your link proves nothing of the sort. Wind and solar are certainly scaleable - if they weren't - how could countries like Germany, Denmark, Scotland be producing such a high percentage of their energy from renewables. Your comment is like someone in 1850 saying - that new fangled oil stuff will never produce much energy. It has taken over 150 years - but it has scaled. You are totally out of touch with reality - despite your claim of being a proponent of reality.
djr
3.9 / 5 (7) Dec 28, 2012
Noumen : "As I stated above, one who seeks profit will not care where it comes from" Laugh my ass off - what world do you live in? Do you know that the dustbin of history is full of companies that did not see a sea change coming in the market? Ever heard of MCI World Comm. I used to work for this huge computer manufacturing company that had a corner on the market - and could charge thousands of dollars an hour because of their monopoly - today IBM does not make computers - they pulled out of that tail spin in the nick of time. Many companies do not see the bullet before it hits them in the head. Ever heard of Wang?
Caliban
2 / 5 (8) Dec 28, 2012
This is also true for Chevron,.. that is, if they saw 'the writing on the wall' for the end of oil use, they would invest in another energy source to make the transition. They're a energy company after all. There is nothing special about oil other than its volume of demand. So your conspiracy theory in invalid


HAHAHAHAHA-

You speak more truth than you know.

Of course Chevron, et al, will try to corner any new, competitive energy source.

But they won't make the effort --if at all-- until they have extracted every last possible $ from fossil fuel, as they make the cash at every step of the way, from exploration to delivery to the pump.

Further, it is the proverbial lead-pipe cinch that they will do everything in their power to ensure that this is the outcome by suddenly discovering that there is ever more fossil fuel to be exploited --peak oil be dammed-- and it will be available for a cheaper and cheaper price as alternative energy production slowly scales up.

djr
3.4 / 5 (5) Dec 28, 2012
Hey Noumen - do you want to talk about the irony of market distortions. Check out this article showing how the Chinese (state run capitalism) are the primary beneficiary of a war that cost the U.S. taxpayer well over $1 trillion dollars. The Chinese are getting the contracts for oil development - squeezing out U.S. companies. http://oilprice.c...raq.html

Plus - according to this assessment - Iran was a major beneficiary of said U.S. taxpayer funded war - which could lead to the U.S. then having to take on a new war. http://www.americ...date.pdf I sure wish that money would have been spent developing home grown renewable energy systems - that makes much more sense to me - sadly it is the Noumens of the world making the decisions - sigh... If only they had asked me......
Noumenon
2.5 / 5 (22) Dec 28, 2012
if they saw 'the writing on the wall' for the end of oil use, they would invest in another energy source... They're a energy company after all. There is nothing special about oil other than its volume of demand.
You speak more truth than you know. Of course Chevron, will try to corner any new, competitive energy source. But they won't make the effort,..until they have extracted every last possible $ from fossil fuel, as they make the cash at every step of the way, from exploration to delivery to the pump.


They will make the effort when it becomes a feasible risk for profit. It's about mathematical risk.

As long as fossil fuels provides a profit they will continue to sell it. Why is this a problem for you? They are REQUIRED to do so for their investors. Like wise, those who own stock in an energy company, will expect them to pursue the best possible return on investment,.. whether it is oil or solar panels. Investors don't make decisions to appease bed-wetters.
Noumenon
2.4 / 5 (23) Dec 28, 2012
Chevron is just supplying demand to humanity that REQUIRES oil to maintain its economies. It is the USE of oil that is an issue for the environment, not the supply of it. Unused oil is harmless and exists naturally.

Naive tree-huggers think they can escape culpability by blaming only one half of the equation, in making "Big Oil" and right-winger capitalists out to be Evil. Conservative, profit minded capitalists are as likely or more so than liberals to invest in and make use of alternative energy,.. if they benefit from doing so.

Humanity will have to evolve off of oil use, ....gradually .... in accord with free market forces, yes, along with some subsidies and reasonable regulations, etc., sure.
casualjoe
3 / 5 (6) Dec 28, 2012
I want to do socialism please, when can we do proper global socialism without the greedy capitalists ruining it for everyone, again.
I'm so bored of cheesy, fake, status chasing capitalism and all the randomness which, at best achieves only slow progress, people can only think rationally if they have a good scientific understanding, hence why our childrens' world is going down a plug hole while most scientists are calling for change (or evolution) in how we live.
Those who think that our current economic rituals are the only way to do things need to stop breathing, then they'll discover how free they really are..
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (9) Dec 28, 2012
As long as fossil fuels provides a profit they will continue to sell it. Why is this a problem for you? They are REQUIRED to do so for their investors. Like wise, those who own stock in an energy company, will expect them to pursue the best possible return on investment,.. whether it is oil or solar panels. Investors don't make decisions to appease bed-wetters.


That's right, nonoUNme, and again, you speak more truly than you know.

BigCarbon is all about profit at any price, without regard to consequences, just like so much else of "free market" enterprise.
It is a cancer, not a boon, to be ruled by the profit motive.
Profit motive stifles innovation by preventing investment in alternatives development, because that detracts from the bottom line, and therefore --and primarily-- returns to executives and majority shareholders.

Most corporations pay only lip service(much like you) to the "return on investment" mandate for their shareholders -as they are merely useful idiots.
Caliban
2 / 5 (8) Dec 28, 2012
All of your specious, disengenuous, cliched, pro forma apologia are unable to mask the fact that you speak --just like so many other RepCon/LibertaRandite/Fascists that grease the boards here--
out of the plainly obvious hope that you will be able to get a share of these ill-gotten gains.

Careful that you don't get trickled on, nonoUNme.

Big Carbon is so heinously profitable solely because it is able to externalize the costs of fossil fuel exploitation.

If BigCarbon took seriously the return on investment mandate, they would be pouring money into alternative energy R&D like no tomorrow, searching for a clean, safe, scalable and universal replacement for their filthy products, which they would then own and control in the same way that they currently own the energy sector.

Instead, they sit around on their purulent backsides, raking in profits, and wait for public funding to develop the alternative, and will then attempt to buy control without return to those citizen investors.
Noumenon
2.3 / 5 (21) Dec 28, 2012
Profit motive stifles innovation by preventing investment in alternatives development, because that detracts from the bottom line, and therefore --and primarily-- returns to executives and majority shareholders.


None of this makes any sense. Profit motive is what drives innovation, in finding ways to compete. It is why modern man enjoys the standards of living he does, and has extended the life expectancy around the world,.. it is why you are typing non-sense onto an affordable computer.

"BigCarbon" has no control to prevent investment in alternative energy development. Further, they CAN'T make business decisions based on speculative environmental "consequences". The planet still requires the use of oil, and therefore there is still demand for oil. You expect that oil investors should voluntarily lose their money to sink the oil industry? What are you talking about?
Noumenon
2.6 / 5 (23) Dec 28, 2012
If BigCarbon took seriously the return on investment mandate, they would be pouring money into alternative energy R&D like no tomorrow, searching for a clean, safe, scalable and universal replacement for their filthy products, which they would then own and control in the same way that they currently own the energy sector.


They ARE investing in alternatives. They are doing so, not in accord with tree-hugger activists mentality, but according to carefully studied forecasts and risk management. They WILL own the next generation of energy source,.. they are energy companies, and will desire profit no matter where it comes form.
Noumenon
2.5 / 5 (19) Dec 28, 2012
Instead, they sit around on their purulent backsides, raking in profits, and wait for public funding to develop the alternative, and will then attempt to buy control without return to those citizen investors.


False. They're investing billions as well. But to demonstrate that your posts don't make sense,....

Since big mouth environmental activists, themselves en mass, are free to trade oil in the market or buy stocks in oil companies,... they are free to take those resulting profits and invest it into alternatives.

This fact then shows that it is not rational to blame "big oil",... but instead forces one to realize that it is all about the likelihood of potential return on investment.
Noumenon
2.3 / 5 (21) Dec 28, 2012
Profit motive stifles innovation by preventing investment in alternatives development


You seem to not know how competition works in a free market. One company has no power to stifle another's innovation. They only have the power to undermine another's efforts by making a better product or service, to gain a better share of the market. Profit motive drives innovation.

The fact that little innovation in energy has occurred until presently, is due to how cheap oil/coal is right now. Alternatives will see their day,... just not next Wednesday.
casualjoe
5 / 5 (2) Dec 28, 2012
Profit motive drives innovation.


Is there not a vast swath of psychological research showing that the prospect of financial gain only hinders the magical process of innovation? Yet promotes success in mechanical, easy tasks?
Innovation should be fun not forced,
Here..

http://mysciencea...ates-us/
Noumenon
2.3 / 5 (21) Dec 28, 2012
Profit motive drives innovation.


Is there not a vast swath of psychological research showing that the prospect of financial gain only hinders the magical process of innovation? Yet promotes success in mechanical, easy tasks?
Innovation should be fun not forced,
Here..
http://mysciencea...ates-us/


The person you linked to is not a psychologist, but a motivational speaker writing popular books. Further, he worked for the anti-capitalist, far leftist, Robert Reich.

I'm speaking here about innovation as it operates in the free market place (i.e. iPhone, technology),

... not about sitting some test subjects down at a table and asking them to innovate on the spot, while informing some they will be rewarded and recording the results..... as in a psychological study.
Caliban
2.1 / 5 (7) Dec 28, 2012
"BigCarbon" has no control to prevent investment in alternative energy development. Further, they CAN'T make business decisions based on speculative environmental "consequences". The planet still requires the use of oil, and therefore there is still demand for oil. You expect that oil investors should voluntarily lose their money to sink the oil industry? What are you talking about?


That's right, little nonoUNme, keep peddling that lie, and maybe, someday, even YOU will believe it.

In the meantime, expect to be called a liar everytime you you try to proselytise for poor, por litle ol' BigCarbon, et al, you LibertaRandite squint.
Noumenon
2.3 / 5 (21) Dec 28, 2012
Calling me a liar only to give the impression you've made a valid point, is sad.

"BigCarbon" has no control to prevent investment in alternative energy development. Further, they CAN'T make business decisions based on speculative environmental "consequences". The planet still requires the use of oil, and therefore there is still demand for oil. You expect that oil investors should voluntarily lose their money to sink the oil industry? What are you talking about?


That's right, little nonoUNme, keep peddling that lie, and maybe, someday, even YOU will believe it.

In the meantime, expect to be called a liar everytime you you try to proselytise for poor, por litle ol' BigCarbon, et al, you LibertaRandite squint.


What's stopping you from investing in oil, then using that profit to invest into alternatives? Nothing. Therefore it is illogical to blame a "them' here. Do you drive a car and buy products that are shipped? It is YOUR fault that oil is extracted.
djr
4.3 / 5 (6) Dec 28, 2012
Noumenon: "One company has no power to stifle another's innovation. "

You argue everything from an ideological perspective - you do not understand how the real world works. Take the example of Freddie Laker - he started a low frills low cost transatlantic airline. The big boys dropped their prices on his routes - put him out of business - then put their prices back up.

You despise 'market distortions' - unless it is for big oil and gas - then it is acceptable for the government to invest a few trillion dollars here and there.

"It is YOUR fault that oil is extracted." You are childish. We all have to live with the current infrastructure - it is not about blame - it is about the real world - of which you seem pretty clueless - yet like so many on this board - anxious to spam the board with your nonsense - and advertise to the world how clueless you are.
vpn3000
2 / 5 (6) Dec 29, 2012
Oil is like a button, which the Rockefellers press to control the US and the world. This defeats Noumenon's nonsense of capitalists making money. The Rockefellers will prevent other entrepreneurs and capitalists from making money. They manipulate the congress and the white house so that no serious budget goes to clean energy R&D.

Look at the railplane invented by George Bennie as early as 1930, and compared that to China's high speed bullet train today. They use electric engine. However the Rockefellers fooled the US to use combustion engine. If the US had used the electric engine for the railway, how much wealth would have been saved for the masses during the entire 20th century. Had we used high-speed trains, we'd have halved the num of cars and airplanes.

This is not free market but a manipulated market where the Rockefellers rules other capitalists. The global warming was caused solely by the Rockefellers. They need to be arrested
frajo
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 29, 2012
They ARE investing in alternatives. They are doing so, not in accord with tree-hugger activists mentality, but according to carefully studied forecasts and risk management. They WILL own the next generation of energy source,.. they are energy companies, and will desire profit no matter where it comes form.

"Breaking up monopolies, spreading benefits to the poorest, making consumers producers, and getting polluters to pay and thus using market forces to get them to participate in building a clean economy—this is ... why it's not surprising that King CONG [coal, oil, nuclear, gas] is fighting back."
kochevnik
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 30, 2012
@Noumenon Ultimately, it is the free market that will determine if an alternative is viable or not.
How do $trillions in taxpayer subsidies constitute a "free market", Noumenon?
I'm speaking here about innovation as it operates in the free market place (i.e. iPhone, technology),
Telecommunications are HEAVILY REGULATED using PUBLIC RESOURCES
kochevnik
1.4 / 5 (9) Dec 30, 2012
I'm becoming convinced that the recent growth of teabaggers and Randoid mental disease stems from the FED granting 0% loans to industry. Therefore work no longer has value in the USA but only those with easy access to credit thrive. Pinheads loving on borrowed money teaching the value of greed.

Once sacred items like the mortgage interest deduction or Prop 13 are now fully on the table. Some now talk about doing away with 401k tax benefits. America is entering liquidation mode.