- Who are you calling an ASPO?
Why jobs, the economy and even our debt takes a
- Two people with terrible ideas
I’m writing to you this morning from a hotel in Washington
DC where I’m attending an energy conference.
It’s being hosted
by the Association
for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO). I’m
joined by two of my Wyatt Investment Research colleagues, Brit Ryle (a
researcher, analyst and 10 year veteran of the investment research business)
as well as energy analyst Gregor Macdonald, editor of
Energy World Profits and all-around expert on the
I’ve been urging readers to take a look at
Gregor’s research because he really knows his
stuff, and because you need to be aware of what’s coming down the pike. I
sincerely believe energy is THE issue that supersedes all others.
For instance, we
know that the Federal Government is broke, and that unemployment is high, and
that we have crumbling infrastructure and a housing market in shambles. We
have many problems to address – but fixing these issues won’t be worth a jar
of spit if we don’t have access to affordable energy.
Fixing these issues will be difficult WITHOUT cheap,
accessible energy, but even if we can manage to solve our debt problems, spur
job growth, maintain a healthy housing market, rebuild roads and bridges,
cure cancer and send a man to mars – it will be of little solace to us, here
in America, if we can’t afford the keep the lights on, or drive to the store,
or have food shipped to us.
It’s only going to become more difficult and more expensive
for Americans to gain access to many of the fossil fuels we rely on so
So we’re here at the ASPO conference to get some ideas on
exactly how to invest. I know Gregor is going to have some great ideas, but I
fear that many of the speakers here actually know little to nothing about
energy, or they have terrible ideas about how to “solve” our energy
For instance, Ralph
Nader is here. He advocates that we enact energy policy
“that breaks our addiction to oil, coal, and
That’s like saying we need to stop breathing so much to cut
down on carbon dioxide emissions. It’s not a plan. The reason we use oil,
coal and atomic power isn’t because of some addiction – it’s because these
energy sources are currently inexpensive relative to alternatives and because
we have the infrastructure and technology to use them effectively. We can
enact onerous, expensive and punitive energy policy all we want, but until a
cheaper alternative pops up, or a new technology lets us burn Ralph Nader’s
books to run our cars, the world market for oil, coal and atomic fuel is such
that someone is going to use it. It might not be the United States if Ralph
Nader gets his way, but China will gladly take our share of the energy pie,
as will India, South America, Australia, etc.
Another famous panelist is Bianca Jagger, and according to
her bio on the ASPO conference website, she’s done it all – she’s fed the
hungry, given wheelchairs to the crippled, candy to children – everything is
listed except for the main reason she’s famous: her marriage to Mick Jagger,
the front man of the Rolling Stones. Now, I don’t know if that’s a
qualification to be a panelist at an energy conference, but I guess it’s
better than being married to Keith Richards.
There are dozens of speakers at this conference, so I won’t
be able to see them all, unfortunately. But I’ll be reporting back to you
this week on what I hear.