- July 1, 2015: Vol. 2, Number 7

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The Cleantech Syndicate: Ultra-wealthy family offices bet big on renewables, even as they rake in rewards from fossil fuels

by Mike Consol

Any rich person’s investment portfolio is sufficiently well oiled to have capitalized lavishly on the robust U.S. energy sector. I’m talking about fossil fuels and the way the hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) revolution has catapulted the United States from a vulnerable energy-dependent state into the world’s number one producer of oil (having surpassed Saudi Arabia) and natural gas (having more recently surpassed Russia) to assume those dual crowns.

Fracking has had an invigorating effect on the domestic energy sector, adding more than $400 billion annually to the U.S. economy, while generating an estimated 2.7 million jobs, about half of all the U.S. jobs created since 2005. Those figures come from a Boston Consulting Group report that is quite breathless about the country’s energy future, and with good reason. The consulting firm’s research concluded that U.S. industrial electricity prices are about one-half of those of its major trading partners, and gas

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