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News from the Coast

Box Score: Fear & Greed 55% - Common Sense/Rational Thought 45%

By Peter Lynch
Exclusively for
November 09, 2006

Proposition 87 was defeated by the California electorate Tuesday

Once again the well-financed, well-oiled (pun intended) fossil fuel lobby convinced the public that if they voted for renewable energy that:

  1. California’s dependence on foreign oil would go up, and
  2. California gas prices would also go up.

The first point is not even worth discussing, since it is absurd. Think about it for a moment, the price of a barrel of oil has gone from $12.00 per barrel to $70.00 per barrel over the past 5 years. Big oil was pumping oil, and making money at $12.00 per barrel and if they get an additional tax of 1.5% to 6 % at $50.00 per barrel oil plus, they can’t make money. Get a new calculator and/or accountant.

The second point is interesting, since in the Proposition 87 bill it clearly states that NO INCREASE would be passed on to the consumer. But basing its PR on the “Big Lie” theory, if you say it enough times (even if it is false) a certain number of people (apparently 55%) will actually believe it.

Now obviously, there are other factors at work and some of the points the opposition made, were indeed valid. They felt that California did not need another large bureaucracy with very little accountability and that is certainly true.

But as I stated in a previous article, nothing is perfect, and waiting to pass significant renewable legislation, until it is “perfect” is like having a meeting on the bridge of the Titanic to determine the COLOR of a potential patch (a patch which they do not even have) for the hole in the ship. Interesting discussion, if you are into fashion for cruise ships, but dangerous if you are a ship's Captain responsible for the future of your passengers.

As the recent national election results clearly show: It is time for a change. This applies to Congressional scandals, Wars for foreign oil and our future energy policy. We cannot continue our current energy policy of: use more foreign oil every year and don’t worry about global warming. We have to take charge of our own “ship” – Earth - and glide it into safer waters.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

We all need to let go of “group think” and start to realize that the future is coming (like it or not) and we better be ready to deal with it. Oil companies have to STOP protecting their turf and start to work with people (not against them) for the long-term benefit of all of us, including them. After all, they have been getting HUGE direct and indirect subsidies since they punched their first hole in Titusville, PA. The times are changing and even the oil companies will have to understand and accept (the hard part for them) the difference between two words: Renewable and NON-Renewable. It is not difficult; all you need is a dictionary.

The long-term future of our planet will depend on RENEWABLE sources of energy and not non-renewable sources that are rapidly being depleted, and consequently are currently NOT being priced properly to reflect potential scarcity and environmental damage. It seems very simple to me and it will become more and more clear to others as the inevitable renewable wave rolls forward into the future.

Socialism collapsed because it did not allow prices to tell the economic truth.

Capitalism may collapse because it does not allow prices to tell the ecological truth.”

Oystein Dahle, retired VP of Esso Norway

We all need to work together and educate ourselves as to the real facts and then ALL vote. These issues are too important to be decided by LESS THAN 50% of the registered voters. The fact that less than 50% of the registered voters actually vote is a national disgrace.

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” Albert Einstein

A renewable energy future is inevitable, the only question is how quickly mankind will realize this and put together a well thought out, rational long term plan and move forward instead of the current status quo plan that has gotten us into this current situation. The sooner we move forward the less pain that will be involved in the transition.

“We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy—sun, wind and tide. I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)


J. Peter Lynch has worked, for 29 years as a Wall Street analyst, an independent equity analyst and private investor, and a merchant banker in small emerging technology companies. He has been actively involved in following developments in the renewable energy sector since 1977 and is regarded as an expert in this area. He is currently a financial and technology consultant to a number of companies. He can be reached via e-mail at

Peter Lynch is an independent columnist for this web site and may hold long or short positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article and those positions can change at any moment. Disclaimer:, InvestorIdeas is not directly affiliated or compensated by the companies mentioned in this article. Nothing in the articles should be construed as an offer or solicitation or recommendation to buy or sell any specific products or securities. Past performance does not guarantee future results.


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