ABC Notices Market Response to Gas Prices

     If the free market responds to an economic problem, and no one in the media reports it, does it still happen? When it comes to high gas prices, Americans won’t have to find out.

     The July 2 ABC “World News with Charles Gibson” reported that venture capitalists are responding to high gas and energy prices by investing in alternative sources – something supporters of the free market knew would happen.

     “Right now, billions of dollars are being poured into turning things like cow-manure, algae, cooking oil, corn, rocks, even tiny microbes in lab beakers, into new sources of fuel,” correspondent Dan Harris reported.

     He said there has been an “investment stampede rapidly accelerated by soaring gas prices.”

     Venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson called it “a gold-rush of speculation kind of like 1849 when everyone’s rushing with their picks and shovels and finding opportunity.”

     Private investors – not the government – poured $148 billion into alternative energy research in 2007, according to the report.

     Harris also noted the risk venture capitalists might take in investing in alternative energy that ends up being a failure. “Some of today’s innovative companies will surely fail,” he said. “But as one venture capitalist told us, the companies that survive might change the world.”

     They might change the world, and make a lot of money doing it.