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DuPont's experience shows how fickle regulators chill climate investments

  • Fear of fickle regulators is discouraging companies from investing in climate-change initiatives: Companies invested on average 22% less in emissions reductions in 2013 than in the prior year, as 90% of companies responding to a recent survey cited regulatory risk as a barrier to investment.
  • DuPont (DD), for example, says regulatory surprises mean it is facing the prospect of smaller markets and longer payback periods than originally anticipated on two projects in the U.S. and Europe.
  • "If you do a longer term investment in the industry, it takes years to build a full scale plant," a frustrated DuPont exec tells WSJ. "You want to have a payback. We can’t put hundreds of millions of dollars in a full-scale plant then see the law change and there is no market any more.”
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Comments (4)
  • funfun
    , contributor
    Comments (2566) | Send Message
    "You want to have a payback. We can’t put hundreds of millions of dollars in a full-scale plant then see the law change and there is no market any more,” moans a DuPont exec.


    In the case of DuPont's ridiculously uneconomical and environmentally unsound DuPont corn cob "gasoline", it is more a case of colossal bad judgement on the part of an inept DuPont Management than any outside regulatory force.


    And DuPont's Imprelis was banned and forced off the market by the U. S. EPA, not because of regulatory or legal changes, but because this extraordinarily toxic, falsely advertised herbicide was killing not only dandelions in the lawn but a couple of $billions of mature landscaping trees across the face of the nation.


    19 Mar, 08:28 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
    How much did Dupont and other companies spend to lobby Republicans to fight against climate change initiatives? That's the main reason we don't see progress.


    It's the typical blame the government card, nothing new out of the always predictable WSJ.
    19 Mar, 08:55 PM Reply Like
  • fanoffun
    , contributor
    Comments (99) | Send Message


    DuPont gambled the house on bio-fuels and LOST. Quit whining, upper level executives! Even the WSJ, a pro-business daily, knows bio-fuels are wasteful and can't make it without massive TAXPAYER subsidies.


    We are glad to see DuPont take it in the shorts for wasting shareholder money on boondoggles like this one. No wonder DuPont has lost some $30 Billion in market cap since 1998!


    Wise BASF and Dow Chemical weren't suckered into such poor decisions and their shares have soared.
    19 Mar, 10:18 PM Reply Like
  • funfun
    , contributor
    Comments (2566) | Send Message
    Fan, in May of 1998 at its peak price of 84 and change on a much larger number of outstanding shares (1.3 billion) the market cap of this now much degraded and diminished Delaware conglomerate was $110 billion. That's circa $50 billion more than the current market cap of $60 billion, unadjusted for inflation!


    20 Mar, 02:30 PM Reply Like
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