Tulane professor sees bright future for natural gas, renewables, but not for oil


While much of the world still runs on oil, Tulane University’s Peter Ricchiuti sees a far brighter future for natural gas and renewables.

Petroleum for the most part is not used to produce electricity, so it will be in less demand as electric vehicles become more prevalent, he says. That’s not necessarily bad news for Louisiana, which is a major producer of natural gas and could be an important player in the growth of offshore wind energy.

“We are not an oil state,” Ricchiuti told the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge last week. “We’re an energy state.”

Ricchiuti started his career with the investment firm Kidder Peabody & Co. and later served as Louisiana’s assistant state treasurer. He hosts a weekly business radio show called “Out to Lunch” and teaches classes on finance, investments, valuation, equity research, financial modeling and financial analysis.

Demand for oil may peak around 2030, he says.

“Oil companies have become energy companies,” Ricchiuti says. “They’re putting a lot of money in renewables. They know where the future is.”

During his Rotary presentation, he said:

Supply chain issues, which account for about one-third of inflation, are being resolved.

Polls show most people believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, which, based on historical correlations, may indicate now is a good time to invest in stocks.

Cryptocurrency may be the “latest shiny thing,” but it’s no substitute for investing in good companies.

The national debt isn’t a major problem, as long as interest rates are kept reasonably low. “What counts is the interest on the debt,” he says.