May 13, 2012

POINTS AND FIGURES: Our Energy Future.

At the Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business Management Conference Friday, I listened to a panel discussion on energy. It was interesting, primarily because the two panelists didn’t mince words.

They offered up some interesting stats. Did you know that Chevron ($CHV) spends $33 billion a year just to keep the doors open and the lights on. Amazing operating budget. For that 33 billion spend, they control 2% of the world wide oil market.

Conclusion: Running an oil company isn’t cheap and has a lot of fixed costs.

Question: Why do we demonize, regulate and tax the crap out of them?

Another data point they offered was that in the next ten years, the world will need 40% more energy to operate. Demand is going up. The reason? In America, when we go through our daily lives, we implicitly trust that lights will go on, air conditioning and heating will work. We know if we plug something in, the electricity will power it. We use cell networks. We don’t walk and bike everywhere, and generally get to place to place using some form of powered transportation.

Well guess what. The rising middle class in the rest of the world wants the same thing. As China, India Brazil and other countries increase their standards of living, they will demand more energy.

Much more at the link.

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