Earth Day, 2013. Oil Spills, Explosions, Fracking Business As Usual & The Stock Market Response

by L J Furman, MBA on April 26, 2013

in Energy, Renewable, Sustainable, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Investing


Wall St. NYC, April 26, 2013. Monday, April 22, 2013 was Earth Day.  At the close of trading Thursday, April 25, 2013,  as compared to my reference date of Dec. 21, 2012, the Dow Jones Industrials was up 12.3% , the S&P 500 closed up 10.84%, the “Popular Logistics Fossil Fuel Reference Portfolio was up 1.8% and the Popular Logistics Sustainable Energy portfolio was up 34.85%. (This is in line with the trend noted in my previous post, March 23, 2013., in the series that began Dec. 21, 2012.) And Shell Oil has temporarily suspended exploration and drilling operations in the Arctic. (Click here for Forbes). The stock portfolio data are summarized below, in Table 1. That’s the good news (unless you’re long on fossil fuels).

Here’s the bad news. “Fracking” is widespread and unregulated (click here).  An oil spill dumped 500,000 gallons from Exxon pipeline onto Mayflower, Arkansas and into Lake Conway (click here).  A fatal fire & explosion in West, Texas left 35 dead, probably including 16 firefighters and emergency responders (click here).  A fire and multiple explosions on gasoline transport barges docked in Mobile, Alabama injured 3 (click here). 

Summary Data
Portfolio 12/21/12 04/25/13 Delta %
Sustainable Energy 8,000,000 10,788,130 2,788,130 34.85%
Fossil Fuel 8,000,000 8,143,983 143,983 1.80%
DJI 13,091 14,701 1,610 12.30%
S&P 500 1,430 1,585 155 10.84%
Table 1


Hydraulic Fracturing, aka “Fracking” in the Bakken Shale formation of North Dakota and Canada seems to have resulted in an increased supply and lower price of gasoline. But “Fracking” is unregulated (click here).

March 29, 2013: an Oil Spill an oil spill dumped 500,000 gallons from Exxon pipeline onto Mayflower, Arkansas and into Lake Conway, once a great place for fishing. (click here).

April 18, 2013: a Fatal Fire & Explosion at the West Fertilizer warehouse in West Texas left 35 dead, including at least 10 and probably 16 firefighters and emergency responders. (click here).

April 24-25, 2013: a Fire and Explosions on gasoline transport barges docked in Mobile, Alabama injured 3. (click here).

Looking at the big picture, Shell Oil has temporarily suspended exploration and drilling operations in the Arctic. (Click here for Forbes).

Dawson Cove, Lake Conway, Mayflower, Arkansas

Dawson Cove, Lake Conway, Mayflower, Arkansas

In the wake of the Exxon Mobile spill – 500,000 gallons of crude oil onto the yards and roads of Mayflower, Arkansas, and into Lake Conway, Markwayne Mullins, R. Arkansas, praised Exxon’s handling of the spill. He said that pipelines are safer than shipping oil by rail, truck, or tanker. He may be right. But “Safer” doesn’t mean “Safe.”

Three people were injured in the explosions Wednesday night 4/24 – Thursday morning 4/25 on gasoline barges docked and being prepped in Mobile, Alabama. Rep. Mullins might say it’s “ok.” After all, they weren’t killed, and it was “only” three people. I disagree.

I also recall hearing that Mullins said “we can’t have oil without oil spills.”   He may be right about that. But that doesn’t make it ok.

Detail of the Explosion, Courtesy NY Daily News

Detail of the Explosion at West Fertilizer, Courtesy NY Daily News

And if “we can’t have oil without oil spills,” then we can’t have nuclear power without radiation leaks and meltdowns, like Fukushima and Chernobyl.

And even without the disasters that are integral components of the nuclear and fossil fuel systems, extracting, processing transporting, burning or fissioning fossil fuel and nuclear fuel and puts carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and toxic heavy metals and radioactive particles in the biosphere. (Sometimes I use the term “Bio-Humano-Sphere” to stress that we humans are part of it.)

Image of fuel barges on fire.

Fuel Barge Fire, Mobile Alabama, 4/24/13

Some of my friends – alumni from the Marlboro College MBA in Managing for Sustainability are making this paradigm shift. one is a member of the Vermont Legislature. Two are building solar and wind farms in Vermont. Another is installing NegaWatts in western Mass.  And me – after writing and speaking since 2005 on energy and economics in the bio-Humano-sphere – work that was informed by what I learned at Marlboro I’m running for New Jersey General Assembly.
Please talk to your representatives, from town hall to the state house, from Congress to the White House and demand that they act. And find, support and help candidates (Campaign / Join / Donate) who will fight for a shift to a sustainable energy economy. Now, not “when we’re ready” or “when the time is right.” Not just for us but for our children, our brothers, sisters, cousins, and the wild spaces we call home.

  • solar on schools, office buildings, warehouses, factories and our homes.
  • wind turbines off-shore – where the strong winds blow all day and all night,
  • deep geothermal, marine hydro, waste based biofuels, etc.  
  • underground cables so they stay on during and after storms like Sandy, 2012, and Irene, 2011.
  • And there’s a place for nuclear. The sun is, after all, a natural fusion “reactor.” And 93 million miles is, I think, a safe distance.

 We need this for ourselves and our children, and their children.

A candidate for General Assembly  (Site / Join / Contribute) to represent NJ Legislative District 12, which stretches from Matawan to to New Hanover and includes Old Bridge, Manalapan, Englishtown, Roosevelt, Millstone, Jackson, and various other towns (click here), and an analyst with Popular Logistics, I, Lawrence J. Furman hold a Bachelor’s in Biology, and an MBA in “Managing for Sustainability” from Marlboro College, Vermont. I also have experience in information technology.

I, Larry Furman, an analyst with Popular Logistics, hold a BS and an MBA, am available for consulting in various domains and can be reached at “lfurman97” at G Mail.  My goal in these posts is to present and discuss phenomena which I find interesting and which appear indicative of systemic shifts in the economy. Investments in equities of various companies are risky.  I do NOT hold a “Series 6” or “Series 7” license from the SEC or any similar licensing body. I am NOT a licensed stock broker, investment adviser or financial adviser and this should n0t be considered “Financial Advice” or “Investment Advice.”

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