In this episode I interview Rich Powell, the Executive Director of ClearPath. ClearPath’s mission is to develop and advance conservative policies that accelerate clean energy innovation. ClearPath partners with in-house and external experts on nuclear, carbon capture, hydropower, natural gas, energy storage and energy innovation to advance our mission. You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show. For more info, visit www.myclimatejourney.co
In this episode I interview Rich Powell, the Executive Director of ClearPath.
Rich is the Executive Director at ClearPath and ClearPath Action, the DC-based organizations developing and advancing conservative policies that accelerate clean energy innovation.
He educates policymakers on investing wisely in energy innovation, removing roadblocks to building and exporting American clean energy technology, and maintaining and promoting our baseload clean energy resources. Rich also leads ClearPath’s external advocacy and research partnerships with non profits, academia, and the private sector.
Previously, Rich was with McKinsey & Company in the Energy and Sustainability practices. He focused on corporate clean energy strategy, government low carbon growth strategy, and clean tech market entry.
ClearPath partners with in-house and external experts on nuclear, carbon capture, hydropower, natural gas, energy storage and energy innovation to advance their mission.
In this episode, Rich and I discuss:
I hope you enjoy the show!
You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at email@example.com, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.
Links for topics discussed in this episode:
Jason Jacobs: Hello, everyone. This is Jason Jacobs, and welcome to My Climate Journey. This show follows my journey to interview a wide range of guests to better understand and make sense of the formidable problem of climate change and try to figure out how people like you and I can help.
Jason Jacobs: Hey, everyone. Jason here. Today's guest is Rich Powell, Executive Director of ClearPath. ClearPath's mission is to develop and advance conservative policies that accelerate clean energy innovation. We talked about a number of topics in this episode, including Rich's experience as McKinsey, which led him to collaborating with the founder of ClearPath and ultimately the forming of ClearPath. We talked about the projects that they work on and how they prioritize their work. We talked about some specific examples of initiatives they've worked and the role that ClearPath played in those initiatives.
Jason Jacobs: We talked at a higher level about the best ways to get out of this climate pickle and the role for policy and regulation versus a more market-based approach, and we also talked about how ClearPath hopes to achieve its longterm goal of zero emissions by 2050. Finally, we got some thoughts from Rich on how to achieve a just transition along the way when it comes to energy, which is a topic near and dear to my heart.
Jason Jacobs: Overall, I thought the conversation was super interesting and I learned a lot, and I hope you do, as well. Without further ado, here's Rich. Rich Powell, welcome to the show.
Rich Powell: Thanks. Thanks for having me.
Jason Jacobs: I'm psyched to have you. I feel like I'm saying this to every guest maybe because I'm milking the early relationships that are formed in climate change, but I start out every episode by saying, "You're one of the first people I talked to," but you are. In fact, I think you might've been the very first on the policy side-
Rich Powell: Oh, is that right?
Jason Jacobs: That I reached out to you. I come from software-
Rich Powell: Yeah, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry that I was warping in your early view of the policy space.
Jason Jacobs: Well, fortunately, I've since course corrected and-
Rich Powell: Okay, great. Good to hear.
Jason Jacobs: No, but you've been great, and the policy side is all new for me. But what I've found so far is that it's a very important lever in the climate fight. So I've been trying to invest in getting myself up the learning curve since it is so important and it seems like you guys are doing great work, but also you've been helpful just to try to get my brain around what else is happening on the policy front that's of interest. So thank you.
Rich Powell: Yeah. Well, you're welcome. It's always amazing to meet new people that are really high energy and are coming into this space from the perspective I think that many of the people here at ClearPath which is from the private sector. And so thinking about how you take good private sector analysis and entrepreneurship and then apply it to a really thorny problem like climate change, and we've tried to do that in the policy space. So, it was pretty cool when I heard about your background and what you were aiming to do and what you were aiming to learn. Yep, so I was really excited to have that conversation and I'm glad that they have continued.
Jason Jacobs: So, maybe that's a good place to start is just, I'd love to hear the ClearPath origin story and also the Rich origin story. Like how you came into doing what you're doing now.
Rich Powell: Sure, yeah.
Jason Jacobs: Start with either one of those.
Rich Powell: They mesh together, right. So ClearPath is a relatively young organization, although I got to stop saying that because now it's about five years old.
Jason Jacobs: The years just go by.
Rich Powell: They really do just go by. Yeah, we were founded about five years ago by a really amazing guy named Jay Faison, who's an entrepreneur himself from North Carolina. He sold a company a completely different space that had nothing to do with energy. SnapAV, is a custom audio video supplier. Fun fact, 60% of every outdoor television in the country. So like if you've been to an outdoor bar and there's like a TV up there, that is supplied by SnapAV.
Jason Jacobs: No way.
Rich Powell: Yeah, nothing's branded that way but it's a totally different company. Jay sells that company to General Atlantic, a big private equity firm and that has a foundation called ClearPath. And then, amongst other things, he hires McKenzie to help him sort of figure out what to do, with the climate and energy space. Particularly on the center right, which is where he was, is politically and kind of wanted to do something to help. And I was at McKenzie at the time. I was at the energy and sustainability practice and he was my last client.
Jason Jacobs: That's a rare, at least historically, how many center right people may kind of want causes that they champion?
Rich Powell: It would be great if there were more of us. Is what I'll say. It would be great if there were more of us. Although I think the field is growing, rapidly, maybe from a low base. So our growth rate is high. [crosstalk 00:04:32]
Jason Jacobs: Exactly, so yeah. You add one person, so we grew 50% every year.
Rich Powell: But it's definitely growing, it's definitely growing. And so, Jay had kind of grown up in the party and also he had gotten a little alarmed, as somebody who was concerned about clean energy and climate. That the debate had gotten so polarized. I had done this kind of business focus sustainability work for about five years, trying to help private companies find ways to become more sustainable, source more clean energy, reduce their energy usage, reduce the environmental footprint of the companies. And we thought a lot in common, so it just kind of made sense for me to stay there and help scale it up.
Jason Jacobs: Was there an it at the time?
Rich Powell: There was a really beautiful office in Charlotte. And a couple of people full time, and obviously people that run the foundation. And there was a McKenzie team, which was actually a lot of the employees in the early days I guess. And we tried a lot of different things. We experimented with a lot of different things. And I think what we settled on, after sort of years of trying and failing frequently, was focusing on the need for innovation.
Rich Powell: Right, so we found that, especially when it came to D.C. and started talking policy. First, just the reality of this problem, if you just kind of look at, entrepreneurs are supposed to confront the brutal facts. Right? That's like, lesson one of big strategy, right? Like, be really, really cold and clinical when you're kind of looking at tough situations.
Jason Jacobs: I call it, no happy ears.
Rich Powell: No happy ears, yeah. And the global reality, just to kind of get dark for a moment, is that we're not doing well on climate and the global clean energy transition. So lots of people try to tell really positive stories, and there are positive stories to tell. Right, to keep people from despair. Right so, we tell stories about, oh you know wind and solar are getting so much cheaper. And that is true, right. Wind and solar are taking off in some parts of the world.
Rich Powell: And that is true, but if you look at the share of global energy, that's supplied by clean sources, it hasn't budged in the past like 30 years. There's sort of like an iron law of 22-23%. And that actually means we're keeping pace, right. Cause global energy demand is rising, and we're sort of keeping that share. But if the goal here is to get to 80, 90, ideally 100% clean, as in terms of that share, we're not making progress. We're just treading water. And the problem is we just don't have the technology today, where by the developing world can marry, economic development and clean development.
Jason Jacobs: And just one point of clarification for our listeners, and I guess in for me as well. Are you talking about energy because energy is where ClearPath focuses or are you talking about energy because energy is the biggest chunk of the emissions pie?
Rich Powell: Both of those things. And when I say energy I'm talking broadly, right. So I'm talking about power and transportation and industry. Right, kind of the whole picture. I guess everything that's not agriculture and land use maybe. And the problem is, we just haven't supplied people with the tools to marry those two things. To marry clean development and economic development, so all things being equal.
Rich Powell: If you're a state governor in India, and you've got this desperate need to electrify a big share of your rural population, and the cheapest and fastest way to do that is with a coal plant. You're probably going to build a coal plant. Right? You're going to take the head, in terms of the local air quality problems and all that sort of stuff because that's the quickest way to start lifting people out of poverty.
Rich Powell: And until we offer that mayor or energy planner in India, or Nigeria or Indonesia or all the other places around the world. Until we offer that person, a better tool, a like for like substitute for that coal plant. Or for the new fleet of diesel trucks that they purchase or buses that they purchase, or whatever. They're going to choose the thing that most quickly, and at the cheapest cost, lifts their people out of poverty. And it's hard to blame them for doing that, right like that's what we did here in the United States.
Rich Powell: And so that's kind of our core challenge that we've decided to focus on and identify, is how do we give these people better tools? How do we give people all around the world better tools that are cheaper and higher performing than the emitting tools, so that they choose to go with the clean stuff instead of the emitting stuff. And we think that the United States, when it thinks about it's role in the global problem. Especially cause we're every year we're smaller and smaller share of total global emissions. Now we're still way up on emissions per capita and we still have a way greater than fair share of historic emissions. But unfortunately the climate math doesn't care about any of that. Right? Like the climate math cares about today's emissions and future emissions and where the rest of the carbon budget is going to be blown.
Jason Jacobs: And I'm learning it also cares about how much is already up there, and it might care about that more than anything else.
Rich Powell: Yes, and so of course, the other massive technological challenge, innovation challenge, is that we gotta figure out a way to efficiently at enormous scale take carbon out of the air that's already there. Right? We may already be at a BP that's unsustainable long term.
Jason Jacobs: So when you talk about tools, you were describing tools to make those decision makers in areas that require energy or additional energy or et cetera, to make clean a better choice. What's an example of a tool?
Rich Powell: Well one example would be a advanced nuclear reactor. Right, so right now what we're offering, what the United States is offering the world, is a gigawatt scale nuclear reactor. So for folks that kind of aren't familiar with the scales and the energy space. I was not familiar with the scales and this energy space until just a couple years ago. A gigawatt scale reactor is a pretty massive power plant. Right, so for comparison about 75% of the countries in the world, have an entire power grid that's only 10 gigawatts or less. Right, so we're basically offering a tool, that is so huge, that one of these things would be 10% of the whole countries power grid, in most of the world.
Rich Powell: And that's just not actually all that useful a tool, it's actually too big. It costs too much to build that thing, and for a variety of reasons, people are choosing to build smaller and more flexible power plants, both here in the United States and around the world. So until we have a nuclear reactor that's a lot smaller and cheaper and more flexible, that we can relatively quickly put in place around the rest of the world. Again, people are going to choose the coal plant or optimistically the gas plant to build instead of something that's zero emissions like a nuclear plant.
Jason Jacobs: So this is footpath and I want to keep heading down in terms of the actual substance of what you do but one clarifying question I'd love to ask up front is just, how are you guys funded and also how do you prioritize where you are spending your time? And then we can get into some of the actual real examples where you're spending your time.
Rich Powell: So we are absolutely lucky and blessed with having a soulful anthropi st who supports our work, and that's Jay Faison who again is an extraordinary guy and our founder, so we're very lucky. We're not supported in any way by industry so I can talk about the advanced nuclear industry and there's no conflict of interest there. We're not supported by any energy industry or energy producer. We do work closely with companies, again because we're from the private sector and our belief is that solutions should work well with the private sector. Should work with the private sector, not against the private sector is what I typically say.
Rich Powell: And then, we have a pretty nerdy prioritization methodology that I brought with me from McKenzie, which is, we look at, McKenzie we would say impact versus feasibility. Here we would say big versus easy. So we look at the policy leverage that we think would drive the most tons of global carbon debatement or another way to say it would be the most gigawatts of clean energy deployed around the world and then we look at how difficult or easy those things are to achieve through a legislative process here in D.C. or an administrative process here in D.C. or some kind of federal regulatory process. And so we sort of rack and stack things based on the methodology we've developed around that stuff and we've prioritized a set of those every Congress to work on.
Jason Jacobs: And you had mentioned, right of center, I guess, how does that actually manifest in terms of are you looking at things in a non-partisan way. Just strictly at impact or are conservative ideals represented at all, and if so how?
Rich Powell: Yeah, so I'd like to think that conservative ideals are represented. So we think a lot about cost benefit analysis. We think a lot about technology, neutrality, we're sort of focused on performance as opposed to technology. And so, while we do work on a suite of technologies.
Rich Powell: Right so, we work on advanced nuclear and fossils with carbon capture and grid capture and grid scale storage, and hydropower and natural gas. These kinds of things. We're working on those because they're a suite of technologies that's gotten sort of less policy support than other technologies in the past couple decades. And because they're what all of the climate models agree we need.
Rich Powell: Right so, if you kind of do the typical kind of techno economic analysis of a clean energy solution to the climate problem, it shows that we can use a ton of low cost intermittent renewables. And I think every year the amount people think is realistic is kind of ticks up a bit. However, at some point you run into all these issues with intermittency and so you need something else. You need a flexible resource behind them that supports the peaks and balance of that intermittency and that can power the grid when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow.
Rich Powell: And so that's why we focus on that suite of technology so in that way we're sort of, we're performance focused on the flexibility issue as opposed to technology focused. We're very globally focused and I think that that's a conservative way to look at this. I think too often people, again they don't confront the brutal facts. They don't acknowledge that this is a global problem, they talk only about U.S. de carbonization, and what the cheapest-
Jason Jacobs: That's not just a common problem, that's just an overall U.S. bubble problem that's the historical [crosstalk 00:14:28]
Rich Powell: Absolutely, I totally understand that. I think people, they really emphasize, one the need, or better said the obligation for us to be moral leaders to the rest of the world sort of going first in doing this. But I do think that they overestimate the impact of our moral leadership on the rest of the world. We are a wealthy country, I realize that there are people in the United States that are hurting, but we are a wealthy, wealthy country. The things that we can do in this country, cannot easily be replicated in Nigeria and Indonesia and all of these other places where all the emissions in the future are going to come from.
Rich Powell: So unless we focus on the things that are actually going to help those people, I think we're barking up the wrong tree. Right, if we demonstrate sort of a Whole Foods approach, to solving the global climate problem here in the United States with a small set of technologies and a lot of really distributed resources and really local and all of that kind of stuff. As opposed to sort of a Walmart approach, which is cheap and effective and highly scalable around the rest of the world. I'm not actually sure we'll have done that much good, it will have been really expensive here in the United States. Maybe we'll feel good about having done it, but will we actually have empowered the rest of the world to make the transition themselves. Even if they are inspired by our leadership.
Jason Jacobs: So I guess one question I still need to come back around to get into the substance of the work that you guys do, but I mean it seems like you're coming from a very mission driven place. Because you see this problem and you want to help solve it. It seems like you believe in conservative ideals to enable those solutions to come about. So market based and global.
Rich Powell: Cost benefit analysis?
Jason Jacobs: Yeah, cost benefit analysis. Unfortunately, this issue is very politicized today. I mean it seems crazy that it is but it's where we are. And what I've heard from different people on the Republican side of the aisle that care about climate. Is that increasingly Republicans are coming around to, maybe they've even believed in science before but they're feeling more comfortable to be more vocal about it. And to take steps toward policy action and things like that. I guess what I'm wrestling with though is that we have an active denier in the office of the presidency and yet there's still an overwhelming Republicans support. I'm just curious on why you think that is and how that affects the work that you're trying to do?
Rich Powell: Obviously there's still work to be done to convince the President that this is a significant issue. I will say that his department of energy has been very focused on the clean energy innovation challenge. And in the last Congress, Republican Congress and Republican Administration, signed in the largest ever increases to clean energy RND. Along with a number of bills on nuclear innovation and storage innovation and a couple of other things that are really important for kind of deep de carbonization including huge new, probably maybe the largest ever incentives for clean fossil fuel use, so fossil fuel with carbon capture in last Congress. So I think this is definitely an issue where, obviously there's rhetoric. I think there's actually significant substance happening on the clean innovation front.
Rich Powell: And then if you look at Congress, you're seeing as you say, more and more folks sort of becoming comfortable talking about this in a pretty direct way. Right, so we had been talking about things in terms of technology policy over the past decade, and I think people are finally ready to start talking about things in terms of climate policy. And if you look at the series of hearings that have occurred in both the Senate and the House side, at this point every, here and how we'd say A committees. Right so those are sort of the top flight committees of jurisdiction. Right so, if you look at the Energy and Commerce Committee or the Ways and Means Committee, or the Energy and Water sub-committee of the Appropriations Committee. The people who actually write the checks here.
Rich Powell: Every one of them in the hearings, there's been virtual consensus amongst Republicans and Democrats that climate change is real, that humans are a significant contributor and that it's a global problem, and that there is a role for robust federal response to that problem. Right? And then, you know we start to have a robust debate about what the right flavor of those solutions are at the federal level. And I think there's wide room there for disagreement about different policy prospects but I think we're sort of coming together.
Rich Powell: That there's something real here, there's something that's already happening. And it's already hurting average Americans in places around the country. I just always look at the trailing average of the NOAH data on the increasing costs of extreme weather events and it's kind of gone up 5 times, right over the past 20 years. And that's a very kind of telling and definitive figure. Right? Like something is happening and it's costing a lot of resources and a lot of pain around the country. I think it's very clear, I think policy makers are becoming generally clear and aligned around that and then you know, policy makers often disagree about the solutions to problems and that starts a debate. And hopefully at some point we get to some kind of a compromise, where everybody is at least somewhat dissatisfied but also somewhat satisfied about the solution. So I think that would be a good resolution in the next couple of years.
Jason Jacobs: So the way I think about it, is that there's kind of like these axis right? And this is not a political question, so there's like the, I'm a newbie coming in so the caveat is that like this is just like first impression. I could be totally wrong right? But there's like the Mark Jacobson like 100% renewables or bust, right? And then there's like the Michael Shallenberger, like 100% nuclear or bust, right? And then there's like the people that say, we have everything we need and we need to just deploy what we've got, right? And then you have other people that say, we have nothing that we need and we need big fundamental breakthroughs, right. And what's the clear path for you?
Rich Powell: Yeah. I think I'm on very safe ground to say that none of the extreme positions are correct. Right so, whenever anybody takes an extreme position and says, well we can do 100% of the solution with any one thing. Even if that were true in one particular place, it's never going to be true universally. So even if you could find a country that could do everything with wind, water and solar, because it's sort of really lucky and blessed with those resources. Right, usually because they have a lot of hydropower that's what people often don't say.
Rich Powell: 100% renewable, really they're relying on a huge amount of hydropower, because that's both a source and a storage type. I think if you look globally, we clearly need a full tool kit of solutions. I think we've got a lot of that tool kit already, so we have now, incredibly inexpensive wind and solar technology. We have increasing inexpensive other forms of zero emission resources. The prices of concentrating solar power, which we've struggled with here in the United States, but if you kind of look at the new prices the folks are kind of finding for that in the Middle East and North Africa, it's astonishing. And that's 24/7 solar power, at least for parts of the year.
Rich Powell: Hydro is a fantastic resource, we've used a lot of the kind of easy to use hydro resource around the world. And there's all kinds of local land use and human impacts are greatly scaling up further use of very large hydro in a lot of the developed world. And so I think what we really need are sources that don't rely on so much land.
Rich Powell: I was just on a panel earlier this week with folks at the Edison Electric Institute Conference, and the CEO of Dominion Energy, which is the big utility in Virginia and Connecticut, has said they're all for renewables. And there are many counties in Virginia who have now said, we have enough solar. Right, so for a variety of just nimby reasons, the local folks don't want to add anymore solar farms in these counties in Virginia. And this is at a very small penetration of solar in the United States, at like a 2% penetration.
Rich Powell: So imagine if we got to what, like Jacobson or others would say about the longterm future of solar, where we at, our energy's being supplied at 30-35% by solar, 30-35% by wind. The nimby ism that will encounter along the way, for listeners who don't know what that is, the not in my backyard syndrome. Right, I'm all for it I just don't want to see it.
Jason Jacobs: A lot of our listeners are in the Valley and they know nimbyism well because of housing.
Rich Powell: Right, yeah so exactly. Right. Yeah, yeah. So folks in the Valley, right, should ask, like you're all for solar. Are you okay with sighting a massive wind turbine in your backyard? Because that's the kind of thing we might have to start realistically thinking about if we're going to go to very high penetrations of those things.
Rich Powell: I think the reality is we will go to very high penetrations with those, but we'll run into all these constraints. Just like it's today very difficult to build a new natural gas pipeline or a new electricity transmission line around the country. That's the other kind of limiting factor on renewables, is these models that say we can get to very high penetrations often rely on like a national super highway of electric transmission lines. And it's been extremely difficult to build those in the United States.
Rich Powell: New England, right, which is supposedly all in on climate change. New Hampshire refused a power line, which would have brought clean hydropower from Quebec down into Massachusetts, I believe on a zero to nine vote by their siting authority. Just pure nimbyism, right. Arkansas wouldn't let a line come across from Great Oklahoma wind into the southeast. It's just sort of happening everywhere. Right, people don't like development coming across their states and so the idea that we would build a superhighway of these things everywhere, to move the resources all around the country.
Rich Powell: I would love to see that, I think that would be a really useful thing for the United States. It does seem on the big versus easy scale, it would be big but it definitely isn't easy. So I don't want us to rely on that, and even if again, you can imagine us doing it in the United States can we really imagine Indonesia. Right, where people live on 12,000 different islands, can we imagine them building a high voltage transmission network around all of the islands, via undersea cables all around Indonesia. Or do we need to give them things, like small modular nuclear reactors or very advanced storage technologies or gas plants with carbon capture integrated.
Jason Jacobs: Are we now starting to transition into the ClearPath playbook?
Rich Powell: Probably.
Jason Jacobs: Okay.
Rich Powell: That's why we focus on all this stuff. So we think that you need a whole basket of different technologies with all different sizes and performance characteristics. The key is they all need to be cheap or at least affordable, relative to what they'd be replacing. You need things at really, really different sizes, I mean because we've got islands in Indonesia we have to decarbonize. We've got remote Alaskan communities we need to decarbonize. We have heavily carbon intensive mining sites which are very remote all around the world that we need to decarbonize. We also have places that are very resource rich in some things, like coal or gas. And we need to find a way for people to continue using those resources, but do it in a way that's much, much lower carbon. Right or ideally zero carbon.
Rich Powell: And so we know that some carbon capture technologies already work. So we've demonstrated post combustion carbon capture down in Texas at the Petra Nova plant and they've demonstrated it in Canada as well. These power plants work at scale, they're sequestering millions of tons a year. It's still more expensive than would be thought as kind of commercial here in the United States.
Jason Jacobs: So for some of these initiatives that you just mentioned, what do you guys actually do? Where does ClearPath get involved? How do you guys get involved and what does success look like?
Rich Powell: Our first and foremost priority, is seeing energy innovation in this country reformed around a series of moon shot goals. So what's been successful in the past, in U.S. energy and innovation policy has been when we've had a objective in mind. Right, so take the sun shot initiative that the previous administration launched at DOE. It basically said, okay in the course of a decade, or less, we want to bring the cost of solar photovoltaic energy, solar PV energy. What most people think of as solar, in the U.S. down by 90%. And we want a targeted program of research that brings it down by 90%.
Rich Powell: What they did was they decomposed all of the different components of the cost of solar energy and they figured out research agendas to help bring down the cost of each of those components. Like the panels cost this much, how do we make the panels cheaper? The whole system would cost less if you needed fewer panels, if the panels are more efficient. Okay, how do we make the panels more efficient? Actually a lot of the cost is like racking the things and permitting the things. Or the things that we can do to make the racking cheaper to build.
Jason Jacobs: Sounds like what Jay must have gone through in his old life.
Rich Powell: Yeah, I mean this is definitely a very McKenzie approach [inaudible 00:26:50]. To us this made a lot of sense, so we've got a great example of that in solar. We actually have a great example of that in natural gas. So the shale gas revolution, heavily relies on five technologies that the DOE systematically went after in the 80s and 90s, to help that industry scale up in sort of a grand public/private partnership. It was a company called Mitchell Energy and it did a lot of work with DOE. There was a industry funded research institute called the Gas Research Institute. It's now become something called the Gas Technology Institute, that also work with them. They did demonstration projects, demonstration wells, they demonstrated horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, diamond headed drill bits, 3D imaging. We built these new gas plants, called combined cycle natural gas plants, that are much, much more efficient.
Rich Powell: And all of that together, produced this incredible revolution in the United States. So our emissions in the power sector are down 30% and of that 30%, 20 percentage points, or two-thirds of that emissions decline, is just due to sort of scaling up shale gas in the United States. Because it was not only a better performing technology and a lower emitting technology than the one it was replacing, it also happened to be a cheaper technology.
Jason Jacobs: Should we continuing to build new natural gas pipelines?
Rich Powell: Yes. In many parts of the United States, natural gas combined with carbon capture, will be the cheapest way to decarbonize a lot of the United States. Especially places that are going to struggle on their renewables penetration. Right, there are parts of the southeast that just aren't that great for renewables. They're parts of the northeast that really aren't that great for renewables. The west has a lot of renewables, they'll be fine and they've got a lot of gas capacity running around all over the place. I'd say the northeast getting new natural gas pipelines out of the northeast, is an urgent priority on decarbonizing.
Jason Jacobs: And how do you think about the trade off of the pros and the cons between natural gas and say nuclear?
Rich Powell: Both of these technologies, well nuclear is already zero emissions, natural gas, there actually is a natural gas fired power plant already piloted in Texas that we-
Jason Jacobs: Is that in that power?
Rich Powell: That power will be zero emissions. Right, we have zero- [crosstalk 00:28:55]
Jason Jacobs: I'm going to get one of those guys from North Carolina on as a gas- [crosstalk 00:28:57]
Rich Powell: Yeah, you should.
Jason Jacobs: Do you know them?
Rich Powell: I do happen to know them, I would be happy to connect you.
Jason Jacobs: I've had some conversations, but tell them what an amazing experience this has been.
Rich Powell: I absolutely will, absolutely will. Yeah. If anybody in the Pincus doesn't know that net power, bar none it is the most exciting thing happening in the clean energy space today. It's a natural gas fired power plant with zero emissions. They've redesigned how a combustion cycle works to take CCS into account. So they make CCS a feature of the plant, not a bug in the plant. Normally it's an expensive add on. They've made it integral into the system and very interestingly, it actually ends up producing a better power plant. It's more efficient, it doesn't require any water, normally a power plant requires a huge amount of water. If this doesn't require any water, so could build it in a desert, far away from water.
Rich Powell: It doesn't have any of the other emissions that are normally associated with a gas or coal plant, like nox which is a criteria air pollutant. Something that causes smog and is bad for human health. And it's probably about the same cost as a normal combined cycle plant. And right now natural gas in this country is so cheap, there are parts of this country where it is negatively priced.
Jason Jacobs: So you think natural gas with CCS is more than a bridge? Could potentially be like a long term staple?
Rich Powell: Yeah, absolutely. Around the world, certainly in the U.S. and largely around the world, we have a basically infinite amount of space underground that we can put used CO2. And I do think that scaling up that industry and getting us accustomed to kind of thinking about large scale carbon management. So using natural gas, using any of these things, putting it underground. I also think that, that will have the added benefit of building the infrastructure, that we will one day need for sucking it out of the air and putting it underground as well.
Jason Jacobs: There's a bunch of disagreement on that point right?
Rich Powell: Yeah.
Jason Jacobs: Why do you think that is?
Rich Powell: Frankly, I think that a lot of folks are not up to speed on the state of the technology. Right, so they think of natural gas as something that's half as emitting as coal, but that's not zero emissions. And so they don't realize it can be zero emissions. They think kind of CCS is a pipe dream. Pun intended I guess, there's a lot of pipes going on.
Jason Jacobs: Yeah.
Rich Powell: Which is not true, but I think that is part of the controversy. There's this prevailing view that the end of history in the power sector is going to a 100% renewable sort of soft distributed energy model. And there have been a lot of people who thought that long before climate change was an issue. And climate change is just the most recent forcer for that vision. And if you have that view of the world, it's hard to square that with these big plants and these pipelines running around all over the place and stuff. And that just sort of is what it is. That's not my view of the world.
Rich Powell: I don't think that that view of the world is very compatible with the sort of high energy future for the whole planet. Where everybody is going to live the kind of nice lives that we liver here in the United States, which are high energy lives. Access to quality healthcare and refrigerated vaccines and high quality food and all the stuff that we enjoy, because of our high energy lifestyles. I don't really see how you square those two things. Perhaps I'm wrong about that but I think most of the data bares now.
Jason Jacobs: I actually don't know the mix of current energy source but do you know what it is?
Rich Powell: I'm going to get these off, right, so forgive me and listeners that know more of this than I do. So natural gas is today our predominate source of power in the United States. So I believe we're now up to about 35% natural gas. I think we're at about 30% coal still, which is down significantly, we used to more than 50% coal. And that switch, from coal to gas has been the main thing that has brought U.S. power sectors down so much.
Rich Powell: The next biggest one is nuclear. Nuclear kind of holds steady at around 20% of the grid. Notably it holds steady at 20% of the grid from only 65 power plants and 100 reactors. 7,000 power plants in the whole country and 20% of all of our power comes from 65 of those plants. Like 1 in 100 of those plants, because nuclear plants produce so much energy. Kind of remarkable about nuclear, and then the basket of what you'd think of as renewables is just cracking the 20% mark as well.
Jason Jacobs: Does global look a lot different than that?
Rich Powell: Global is still much more heavily coal than that. So not natural gas, but coal is the predominate source of global power. Nuclear is less than that, I think it's only about 10% of that globally and I believe that hydro, globally is more than it is here in the United States. I believe more than 8% of global power is from hydro, because a lot of countries have gigantic dams.
Jason Jacobs: And does ClearPath have a view of what that mix should look like in 2030 or 2050?
Rich Powell: Well in 2050, our view is that it should all be clean.
Jason Jacobs: As defined by?
Rich Powell: Zero carbon emissions. Right, and so I would be very happy if it was 50% fossil powered but all of those fossils had carbon capture. I would be very happy if it was 50% nuclear powered. I'd be very happy if it was 50% renewable powered and we got that far.
Jason Jacobs: Okay, so no religion in the math world.
Rich Powell: Yeah, the math to markets will figure out what the optimal mix is.
Jason Jacobs: And so take the carbon capture for natural gas, for example. Which it sounds like is one of the projects that you guys have been working on. What's the ClearPath rule?
Rich Powell: So in that case, we are advocates of the U.S. federal government, establishing a moon shot program for scaling up really low cost, high performing gas with CCS. And so, we think that the Department of Energy, should be empowered by Congress to sort of settle an aggressive goal, and so you know what, we're going to do a whole bunch of research to get the price of this technology down to "x" dollars a megawatt hour. Right, and that price, is the price at which people can sell that CO2 for some kind of a useful purpose. And right now the useful purpose is usually to use it for enhanced oil recovery. So oil companies will buy that CO2 from you, they'll put it underground and they'll help reinvigorate old oil wells, that's the main market today for CO2.
Rich Powell: In the future I think we're going to do all kinds of stuff with CO2. People are experimenting with concrete and with making fuels and with making fabrics, and all sorts of other things. But I think the key point is, we got to bring CCS down to the point where you can build a free standing business, off of a power plant with CCS, selling that CO2 to somebody else to do something with it. Because once there's freestanding profitable business model out there, there's nobody on the planet, like the oil and gas industry at taking something that's profitable and scaling it and deploying it around the world.We've got amazing companies, many based here in the United States, many based in Europe. Who have the best engineers in the world, and they can just take that sort of stuff and scale it globally really quickly.
Jason Jacobs: That's another thread that I just haven't pulled on yet, that I'd absolutely want to pull on in a podcast, is just getting to some of the hydrocarbon companies that are closest to the carbon.
Rich Powell: Yeah.
Jason Jacobs: And especially the ones that are pushing the envelope on bringing about the transition to clean, and just getting that perspective represented.
Rich Powell: I think one really good example of that, and they should speak for themselves on this is accidental petroleum.
Jason Jacobs: I knew you were going to say that.
Rich Powell: You knew I was going to say that, you're just teeing me up, this is softball.
Jason Jacobs: Well I had a conversation about this the other day with someone else, I can't actually remember who, but they said the same.
Rich Powell: Yeah, yeah. So Oxy, which most people maybe don't know, was founded in California by Arm and Hammer and then at some point he got so rich he literally bought Arm and Hammer, like the baking soda, just to have it. Incredible guy, but so it's now headquartered in Houston. So it just bought another big U.S. oil company, so I believe by some measures it's now going to be the largest producer of oil in the United States. It's a big company, it's still not as big as like, Exxon or Chevron or some that people kind of might, you know, think about a little bit more. But it's particularly big in a region of west Texas called the Permian Basin, that is the fastest growing oil patch, certainly in the United States, maybe in the whole world.
Rich Powell: And I think it's going to be, very soon I think it's going to be at 25% of all U.S. oil production is going to be from this one place in west Texas, the Permian Basin. And what's fascinating about Oxy, is before any of this stuff. Before we were all talking about climate change and CCS and all this stuff, there primary way of getting oil out of the ground in west Texas, was taking CO2 and injecting it into the ground, and using that to sort of get these old fields going.
Rich Powell: They value CO2 so much, that they drill for it, from natural sources underground. So think about how wild that is. We think about CO2 as this massive problem in the atmosphere, they're literally going out prospecting for it and drilling it from underground. They call these things domes. There are some in Louisiana, there are some in Colorado, they've already built pipelines. There are 5,000 miles of CO2 pipelines already in this country, to move this stuff around, so that oil field operators can use it underground. And the great thing is when they do this, when they inject it underground for the enhanced oil recovery, the vast majority, like more than 99% of it stays underground. They're sequestering it down there underground as part of it. They could do a lot more, right, with the fields that they already have. They see massive expansion opportunity and interestingly, those CO2 domes, the natural ones are running out.
Rich Powell: So they're sort of looking around and saying, where else can we find more CO2. Well power plants produce a lot of CO2, could we capture that stuff coming out of the power plants? And so they've become big advocates for scaling up this industry of capturing the CO2 from power plants. They've actually gone as far as investing in some of these companies, so they've invested in that power. They've also invested in another one called Carbon Engineering, which pulls the CO2 right out of [crosstalk 00:37:56].
Jason Jacobs: I'm a small investor in Carbon Engineering.
Rich Powell: Well there you go. It's a remarkable, remarkable company. I just had the pleasure of meeting with some of their folks when I was in Vancouver, for the clean energy ministry a couple weeks ago.
Jason Jacobs: Knock on wood, we're going to get David Keith on the pod as well.
Rich Powell: Well perfect, perfect. David Keith is a pretty remarkable guy. But so, they just announced plans they're going to build one of these plants in west Texas. They're going to pull CO2, directly out of the atmosphere. They're going to put it underground in enhanced oil recovery. And I think they're going to credibly be the first company that's producing a net zero carbon barrel of oil. And that's an extraordinary thing. Right because then when you're starting to say, well I'm differentiating my fuel by having net zero carbon emissions from the fuel, from this oil that I'm producing. Because I pulled CO2 out of the atmosphere in order to produce it, that's an extraordinary thing. And again, it's the kind of thing that only the oil and gas industry has the sort of the scale and balance sheets, and capital ready to deploy, that they can do stuff like that.
Jason Jacobs: Is your view that a price on carbon will be required for the math to work? Or do you think the markets will eventually get there on it's own?
Rich Powell: I think we can't rely on a price on carbon. And the reason is, even if you could imagine that working here in the United States, and for all kinds of political reasons I think it would be extremely difficult to do that here in the United States. You can't imagine in India or in Nigeria, or in Indonesia, holding back their development by putting a price on carbon on themselves, right. And so I think the challenge isn't permanently propping up lower performing technologies, via a price on carbon. The challenge is making traditional energy more expensive so that worst performing or that more expensive clean energy looks cheap by comparison. The challenge is making clean energy so cheap, that it can out compete traditional energy around the world.
Rich Powell: And so I think the reality is well we got to get to the point is, driving clean energy toward that price point so that then, it can go and compete on itself, by its other markets.
Jason Jacobs: What about the subsidies on fossil fuels, where do they fit into the picture? Is that a good thing? Should those remain?
Rich Powell: One, I should note, while there are some subsidies on fossil fuels remaining, they're actually relatively low. So there's a myth that there's this enormous remaining subsidy on fossil fuels in the United States. That is true, via some kind of permanent tax treatments and things that they receive. I'm not an expert on this but the depreciation rules on oil and gas wells. Master limited partnership treatment for gas pipelines that make gas a little bit cheaper et cetera. We are actually subsidizing renewables right now, more than we're subsidizing fossil fuels in the United States. Traditionally of course, the subsidies that we give to coal and gas still dwarf the subsidies that we've given to renewables or nuclear more recently.
Rich Powell: Around the world, this is a massive problem. I do think it should be addressed in the United States and I think there should be a level playing field for these technologies. Around the world, its' a massive problem. You still have a lot of countries that are still very actively subsidizing the prices of say, gasoline at the pump. Especially countries like, in the middle east that are using that and sort of really cheap energy as a one tool to keep their population happy and content, often with a despotic regime. And encouraging those countries in any way possible to bring those subsidies way down is absolutely a priority. We're still spending, I'm forgetting the last figures, but I believe it's still hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide, subsidizing those fuels.
Rich Powell: One it certainly doesn't make sense fiscally for those countries. I think every one of those countries is better off once they start to remove those things. Just purely from kind of an economic efficiency standpoint. And two, it's not a great thing from a climate perspective.
Jason Jacobs: Well I feel like we're probably getting closer to wrapping up but one question I should ask before I let you escape. Is the word on the street is, that 45Q is very important and that you and ClearPath played an instrumental role in bringing about, so I would hate to close the episode without giving you a chance to talk about what it is, and what you guys did to help make it a reality.
Rich Powell: Sure, yeah. So, 45Q is certainly the biggest thing that happened in the clean energy space, probably around the world last year. And really the biggest thing in awhile. So basically it establishes or it actually expands an incentive, to capture CO2, coming out of a power plant or an industrial facility. Or to capture it directly out of the air, and to permanently put it underground somewhere for some purpose. So there's one level of the credit that goes if you sequester it, which just means you're permanently putting it underground and you're not doing anything else with it. And there's another slightly lower level of the credit, if you put it underground for the use in enhanced oil recovery.
Rich Powell: And it's a fairly generous incentive. So you get $50 a ton if you just put it underground to store it forever, and you get $35 bucks a ton if you put it under for enhanced oil recovery. And that is 2.5 and 3.5 times as much as the credit used to be, and it's now also significantly expanded the length of the credit and time. And so, some analysts have looked at this as something that might spur as much as a gigaton, so a billion tons of CO2 sequestered, which means the whole incentive might be worth somewhere between 35 and 50 billion dollars. It's a very large, rich incentive. And what this does, is it creates this really powerful market signal. Right, so now you see investment banks and companies like Accidental Petroleum. Right, spinning up whole businesses around how they can capture that incentive in its early days. Rewire a lot of their operations, capture and sequester the CO2.
Rich Powell: And once you have investment bankers and tax equity departments and oil companies and engineering companies starting to think about and chase that opportunity. then you're kind of rewiring the mindset of the whole industry, away from thinking about, oh boy you know, this whole climate thing could be a real problem for my business, and not like bury climate, but certainly not prioritize it. Now it becomes this potentially really lucrative opportunity to go around finding ways to solve it. And I think that not only is this going to be a fantastic thing for driving down the cost of a lot of this technology and opening a lot of folks' eyes to the potential in sort of the climate solutions. I think probably really helpfully, kind of rewire culturally, a lot of the sort of the industry, but financial industry that supports all this stuff, and the oil and gas industry. And the coal industry, sort of around this opportunity.
Jason Jacobs: And now talk about the wide group of people and what you guys did.
Rich Powell: So an incredible coalition of folks supported this approach, and that produced an incredible coalition of Senators on the Hill. So you had everybody from Senator Borrasso from Wyoming, to Senator Whitehouse from Rhode Island, supporting this thing. That is not a typical pairing of senators, there's not a lot that Senator Borrasso and Senator Whitehouse agree on. One's pretty conservative and one is pretty liberal. But on this topic, the idea that we should find a cleaner way to go forward with fossil fuels, they completely agree. That produced all kinds of activity from environmental advocates to oil companies, to coal companies, to labor, all of whom see a real upside in scaling out this technology. And that group over a long period, so I think, 6 years of advocacy kind of went into 45Q to make it happen. So ClearPath hasn't even been around, all of this effort predates ClearPath and sort of our focus in D.C.
Rich Powell: When we realized how important CCS was and how important 45Q could be as a policy mechanism for CCS, we became very, very supportive of this. And we have government affairs folks and other stuff we do to kind of help encourage the legislative process in this. And we did everything we could from our end as well. And I was very thrilled to see when that passed in the budget bill last February, February 2018.
Jason Jacobs: And where does the government find the money to fund something like this?
Rich Powell: It is an unfunded tax incentive, so it will come out of the general funds. So it's not paid for, per say.
Jason Jacobs: But it will need to be in some way.
Rich Powell: That's undefined just like everything we collect, some tax dollars to pay for things and we take on some debt to pay for things.
Jason Jacobs: But don't the Republicans want to cut taxes?
Rich Powell: Republicans are generally, yes, pro cutting taxes. In this case I'd argue they did cut a tax. So they provided a tax incentive, which one could call tax relief.
Jason Jacobs: But they need to be paid for somehow, and that's undetermined.
Rich Powell: Or we could all just agree to shrink the size of government dramatically altogether.
Jason Jacobs: Last question, and this is kind of out of left field. It certainly doesn't sound like it's something that you're thinking about in your core responsibilities, but given that you're a smart, thoughtful human. I'm just curious, how you're thinking about either with a ClearPath head on or in general, and that's adjust transition. Because as we burn through our carbon budget and we look at overshoot and resources are going to become more scarce and people are going to be displaced from their homes, and things like that. The market based approach, may in fact be an effective way to bring about the carbon transition, but in that process there's going to be a lot of change and the people with the least are the people that are the most vulnerable during this transition. And I'm just curious, like, I mean the great new deal, it's very politicized and even the word just probably sends shivers down people's spines, right.
Jason Jacobs: Which in a way is a shame because actually regardless of what's in the green deal, you say jobs, everyone can agree on jobs, right. But if you say green new deal, then it's like allergic to it right, and so I'm not going to say green new deal, I'm just going to say, the just transition is making sure that people are okay. Is that a separate and distinct problem that should be handled separately and distinctly? Should it be thought of as one? As kind of a part of this clean transition? Like, how should we navigate this as a species?
Rich Powell: I'm going to say three different dimensions on this. So first, on the green new deal itself, the reason that I think ClearPath joined with virtually the entirety of the conservative movement and not supporting there be a new deal. Is that, in my reading, and if you sort of look at some of the analysis that have been done about how the relative costs of something like the green new deal would come out. It's actually a lot more about social policy, than it is about climate policy.
Rich Powell: So if you look at what the costs would be of providing effectively universal healthcare, universal basic incomes or employment guarantees, or any of the other things that it talks about. Those are actually much more expensive things than the clean energy transition that an emissions would be. So there's a reading of the green new deal, which is, oh climate change is hot at the moment. How do we use addressing climate change as a way to sell a broader package of social policy. And in my view, climate policy is hard enough. So the last major attempt at climate policy the Waxman Markey thing failed a decade ago, and we really haven't caught a gear since then.
Jason Jacobs: But did it fail because of the substance of the policy or did it fail for political reasons? Because people didn't want to let the Democrats get a win.
Rich Powell: It's certainly didn't fail for lack of Democratic support. And Democrats had, at the time a super majority in the Senate. Right, in addition to presidency in the House. So, the idea of taking something like Waxman Markey, making it much less market based. Much more top down and adding a whole bunch more social policy to it to make it, I guess appeal even more to Democrats. When a partisan Democratic alone solution didn't work the last time. That seems like completely the wrong direction.
Rich Powell: We need to be starting with the things that work in a bipartisan fashion, because Democrats have already proven, that at the time that they were historically powerful, here in D.C. they couldn't get it done. Right, they couldn't get it done. So we need to find a bipartisan way to do this. And a bipartisan way to do this wouldn't be to start with taking climate policy and then adding all of these other things that you're sure that Republicans are going to hate. All right so that's the opposite of building kind of a bipartisan thing. When we know that there's all this bipartisan stuff that can be done. Right, there's all of this innovation policy. We did in last Congress in a very bipartisan way, very bipartisan way, that is a great starting point into the conversation.
Rich Powell: So that's kind of the thing one, about the green new deal itself. Then two, on the just transition is, I think this is yet another reason. So clearly every techno economic modeler in the climate space with the exception of the Jacobson team at Stanford, who did not take cost into account in their models. Every one of them, believes that CCS is not just the nice to have technology, it's the need to have technology.
Rich Powell: So if you look at all of the models that kind of went into the IPCC modeling, any of them that could solve for those models without CCS, and many of them couldn't solve for it without CCS. And any of them that could solve for it without CCS said that the solution is somewhere around 2.5 times as expensive without it. And so again, this thing is hard enough making it 2.5 times more expensive by leaving out clean fossil fuels, seems completely unrealistic to me.
Rich Powell: And so then, when we're thinking about the just transition, we know that CCS has got to be a huge part to this whole thing. That actually means we never need to leave behind coal and gas communities, that they are an integral part of the solution in this space. Right, finding a way to use coal, sustainably here in the United States, as a source well into the future. Where we capture the emissions and we do something with them, and the same with gas. That's actually part of the global solution. That all the techno economic analysis and the IPCC reports say we need to do. So I think when we're saying, just transition, which is a term I don't dislike. I think the idea oughten be that we transitioning away from those things, but we're transitioning how we use those things into a cleaner way. And by the way that has the upside of not displacing communities and people, and value chains that have been completely built up around this.
Jason Jacobs: So let me pose I guess this conundrum that I'm wrestling with and I'm curious if you, how you think about this logic. So lets say that market based is the best way if you're squarely focused on the carbon problem, and we've got a big carbon problem. No debate there, right?
Jason Jacobs: And I'm really worried about the carbon problem, but inequality is bad and as resources get more scarce, which it seems like for the next several decades, will inevitably happen regardless of what we do. Then if we only focus on market solutions, it might be the best way to solve the carbon problem, but it will make that inequality worse, unless we also do things on a social side that we haven't been doing.
Rich Powell: I think that this is really interesting. I haven't seen any data, that would show me that a transition to say like 100% renewables for the future, which isn't in the green new deal, but which a lot of folks behind the green new deal would support. Even if you added all kinds of other stuff, jobs guarantees, minimum wages, all that other kind of stuff. That that actually would help reduce inequality.
Rich Powell: So, if you think about the kinds of jobs that would be shifting away from, which are like $90-$100k a year blue collar jobs, working in coal mines, and oil rigs and all these other things. And if we shifted all those away to the much more distributed future that people imagine. Which actually tends to be kind of a non-unionized, non-labor sort of future. Folks installing solar farms and wind turbines at least at the moment, they're not making union wages. They're not making $90-$100k a year, they're not sort of stable jobs in a place that support and build a community over time.
Rich Powell: I don't accept that there's anything, even if you added all these other protections into it. I don't actually accept that, that would make our society anymore equal in terms of income.
Jason Jacobs: The last question, which I've been trying to ask every guest and I mostly remember is, just if you had 100 billion dollars and you could put it towards anything to have the highest impact on decarbonization, how would you allocate that money?
Rich Powell: What I usually say to questions like this, is I would establish 10 prizes, each of them of 10 billion dollars, and the recipients of each of the prizes would be somebody who can demonstrate a globally scalable, low cost, meaning at 2.5 cents a kilowatt hour, zero emitting energy technology. And I wouldn't allow any two prizes to go to the same thing.
Jason Jacobs: I can see why you would pick that, because philosophically as you've stated, you don't have any pet technology. You just want to get to zero.
Rich Powell: Yeah, right. So, if you could show me like a ultra efficient solar panel, plus a battery that lasted for months and that, that cost was low enough that you could actually imagine scaling that up all around Mumbai, or something like that. I would be just as happy to give a prize to that as I would to a micro nuclear reactor that you could do the same thing with as opposed to a whatever else. And I think that's, we need a suite of these kinds of things because there's not going to be any one solution. So that's what I'd do, and I think that, that would have a lot of impact on global decarbonization.
Jason Jacobs: Anything that I didn't ask you that I should've? Or any parting words for our listeners?
Rich Powell: I think we covered a lot of ground, I would just say thanks very much for me having on. I really enjoyed the conversation.
Jason Jacobs: Thanks, Rich.
Rich Powell: Thanks.
Jason Jacobs: Hey everyone, Jason here. Thanks again for joining me on my climate journey. If you'd like to learn more about the journey, you can visit us at myclimatejourney.co, note that is .co, not .com. Someday, we'll get the .com but right now .co. You can also find me on Twitter at @jjacobs22 where I would encourage you to share your feedback on the episode. Or suggestions for future guests you'd like to hear. And before I let you go, if you enjoyed the show, please share an episode with a friend or consider leaving a review on Itunes, the words made me say that. Thank you.