Archive for October, 2008

Trading Strategy During Financial Freefall

When the current crisis began with the fall of Lehman, I decided to get out of my most speculative and worst capitalized Renewable Energy companies, and I wrote a series of articles on each. Now, I’m looking exclusively at companies involved in energy efficiency technologies, and technologies which help customers shift their demand to when or where it is cheaper (smart grid and transmission.)

Here’s an index to the articles on the stocks I sold:

  1. Held: UQM Technologies (UQM)
  2. Sold: Carmanah Technologies (CMHXF)
  3. Sold: Pacific Ethanol (PEIX)
  4. Sold: Dynamotive Energy Systems (DYMTF)
  5. Sold: Nova Biosource Fuels (NBF)
  6. Sold: VRB Power (VRBPF)
  7. Sold: Electro Energy, Inc. (EEEI)

Comments (3) Endorses Obama

My partners and I received a couple angry emails because of what I consider very well reasoned arguments as to why Barack Obama would be better on Energy and Climate than John McCain. It still shocks me that anyone interested in alternative energy investing would even consider this controversial. If they support McCain, they might not like the fact that their candidate isn’t the best on energy issues, but simply consider other matters more important.

YouTube Removes Clip of McCain mocking tire inflation.

It’s a crazy world we live in. In the first draft, we had found a video where McCain was shown deriding Obama’s advocacy for energy efficiency in the form of well-inflated tires, but it had been taken down by YouTube a day later. We had to settle for a news story talking about the McCain campaign and their tire guages, not McCain himself.

On what grounds was it removed, I have to wonder? It was a public appearance of a public figure, so you would think that it would not have been removed on copyright grounds, but your guess is as good as mine. Does YouTube remove all videos of public figures making fools of themselves?

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Votes for Clean Energy in Colorado

I vote in Colorado, and we actually have more initiatives on the ballot than in California. Again, from the perspective of a voter primarily concerned about climate change and clean, renewable energy, here are the propositions that are relevant. (I’ll spare you my opinion on if eggs should be people.)

Amendment 52 – Redirect severance tax revenues for road repairs. No.
A quick look at who’s backing this thing is enough to convince me it’s crazy. See my article on Colorado Republicans.

Amendment 58 – Ends a tax subsidy for the oil and gas industry. The saved money would be used to expand college scholarships, preserve wildlife habitat, support clean energy projects and help local communities deal with the impacts of oil and gas drilling. Yes.
I looked into this in detail as Policy Committee Chair for the Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES), which endorses the bill. Naturally the oil and gas drillers want to keep thier subsidies, which is why you’ve probably seen more ads against it than for it. See A Smarter Colorado for the other side’s take.

Boulder Initiative 1A. Yes. This would allow Boulder county to issue municipal bonds and use the proceeds for loans to help fund home energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements in residents’ homes. CRES has also endorsed this one, for pretty obvious reasons.

And, of course, if you care about clean energy, you’ll be voting for Mark Udall and Barack Obama. I used to like John McCain, and once even voted for him in a primary… back when he was a maverick. Now he’s just old, and in the pocket of his party.

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Votes for Clean Energy in California

I’m not a California voter, but my father is, so he asked me my advice on the energy propositions. Here are the intiatives I see as affecting the clean energy global warming picture.

Prop 1: High Speed Rail Bonds. Yes. Rail is the most efficient form of transport we have.

Prop 7: Renewable Energy Generation Initiative Statute. Yes. This bill raises targets for CA’s RPS, but lowers the level of penalties for noncompliance. However, it does make the penalties slightly more enforcable. See CEERT for more details.

Prop 10: Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy Bonds Initiative Statute. Nah. This bill would mainly subsidize conversion of vehicles to natural gas and subsidize natural gas transport infrastructure. This would be an improvement over gasoline, but is not renewable. It would also be a windfall for T Boone Pickens and his Pickens Plan. Clean Energy Fuels, a company which Pickens Controls (and I own some stock in) would be the greatest beneficiary… it’s also the primary funder.

In addition, there are some worries that California would be subsidizing conversion of vehicles to natural gas, and then the vehicles would leave the state. If your main concern is global warming and energy security, however, natural gas vehicles would help both, no matter where they are in the country. But it is rather unfair to ask CA to subsidize the rest of the nation. I’d like this much better if it were a national initiative, rather than just California; the fairness issue bothers me most.

My dad’s voting for Prop 10… but he’s more enthusiastic about natural gas vehicles than I am, and seems unfazed by the fairness issue.

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