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Power Source

How a fresh crop of CFOs is propelling the alternative-fuels industry.

John Goff, CFO Magazine
July 1, 2006

Reader Feedback

Emailed to CFO, 10/11/06:

I am astonished that you would publish the letter from Thomas C. Manning [ed.: see below] regarding hidden energy costs. His comments are typical of the ill-informed masses who want to blame "Big Business" for the ills of the world and, of course, pay for the error of their ways from a bottomless pit of money.

And what is a "greenhouse-gas company?" I would suggest that ALL companies must be included in this category. All companies use energy, and very few companies can claim that all the energy they use is from sources which do not produce carbon dioxide.

In any case, it is time consumers paid more to protect the environment. Start by adding a hefty tax on gasoline!!

Alan Robso, Financial Analyst
Gregory Poole Power Systems, Raleigh, North Carolina

PS: Many, many companies do take care of the environment and the costs are in their "financials".

From “Letters,” October 2006

Hidden Energy Costs

Thanks for an informative article on alternative fuel technologies and the financing and profitability problems they face (“Power Source”, July).

There's one aspect of the story that's misleading, however. Comparisons were made among energy unit production costs for energy derived from fossil fuels and that from alternative sources. The unit costs for fossil-fuel energy are deceptively understated. They fail to reflect the public-health, environmental, and other costs with which their production burdens individual lives, society at large, and our planet.

This cost omission constitutes a gross accounting error. Coal production in Kentucky and West Virginia destroys lives, property, and mountain ecosystems. Power-plant emissions drive up asthma cases in children and shorten the lives of thousands of adults annually. Oil-and-gas drilling often fouls the water coming out of the taps of thousands more, and oil refining has given the Mississippi Delta region the "cancer alley" label. And collectively, the greenhouse-gas companies are a major part of the threat to billions in property values along America's coastlines. It's a fact: their products are driving warming climates and rising sea levels.

It's time that these costs showed up in the financials of their originators. Only then can we understand the energy picture—and our alternatives—accurately and completely.

Thomas C. Manning
Pendleton, South Carolina

Posted by Deana Colucci | October 17, 2006 12:45 pm

Alternative Energy and Ecological Footrpint

Its time we are aware of our individual ecological impact on the planet. We can assess our individual ecological footprint (for free) at

Posted by Ajith Sankar | July 01, 2006 08:07 am

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