The entrenched interest and political clout of the industries that promote 19th-century, dirty fuels--the coal and oil industries--remains dismayingly powerful in the U.S. Yet individual companies that have innovative managements in anticipating the future continue to move toward a cleaner energy future.
Germany's BASF is making a concerted push toward developing lighter, less expensive lithium-ion batteries to help reduce the cost of electric cars. BASF's management anticipates stricter greenhouse gas laws, depleting fossil fuels, and rising oil costs. Part of the initiative is the construction of a battery manufacturing plant in Ohio. So while the coal industry in particular spends millions of dollars on advertising to distort the reality of climate change and the need to move beyond 19th century fuels, companies like BASF are forging ahead. Such companies will likely continue to be leaders with competitive advantages because of the foresight of their top executives and boards. They are the types of companies that a long-term investor should want to invest in.