Other than environmentalist zealots who believe the world would be better off without people, who opposes hydraulic fracturing — fracking — for natural gas in North Carolina? Some people have legitimate environmental concerns about the process, while others raise good questions (including property-rights issues) about the regulatory scheme under consideration.
But then there are those in the uncompetitive “green energy” sector who simply worry about their own bottom line. The latest Smart Money magazine documents their woes.
Most notably, rising oil production is a long way from making a big dent in prices at the gas pump. Still, the new energy boom is already creating upheaval in a host of other sectors, producing some unexpected new winners and losers. Cheap natural gas, for example, has been a bonanza for companies that burn a boatload of it, like utilities and chemical giants. And nowhere has the impact of cheaper fuel been more stark than in the alternative-energy industry, which has had the green rug pulled out from under it. Solar-, wind- and even some nuclear-power providers all saw their share prices soar when $8-a-gallon gas seemed inevitable; now they’re struggling to compete.
Left unstated is the fact that alternative-energy providers always have struggled to compete. The industry survives only because of government subsidies and mandates.