Sometimes You Ask for Things You Don’t Want

2nd Quarter 2022

Market Watch
by Joe A. Hollingsworth, Jr.

There is an earthquake going on in the industrial building sector, both for manufacturing as well as distribution, that can be one of the most significant directional changes we have had in decades.  This change will affect industrial property owners from a manufacturing standpoint and distribution standpoint.   Let me build the case.

A decade ago, a few activists begin by first advocating; and then, it has led to wave after wave of “cause fighters” in the name of “climate change” to advocate for electric vehicles.  But, is this smart?

First, the simplicity of electric cars needing fewer parts manufactured and fewer parts distributed would lead us into dramatically less need for industrial space.  In fact, a great number of our present manufacturing clients would be affected by phase out or closing.  Unless the manufacturers can re-tool, they will be shortly “missing in action”, and distribution would shrink by an estimated 3% to 4%.  However, that is just the beginning of the problem.

Secondly, we have a whole economy that is tied toward the production of oil and natural gas.  These are high paying jobs and in a growth industry that has traditionally produced upward job mobility and increasing responsibility to drill oil and gas in an “environmentally sound” way.  Also, the tax structure of this local economy is based on this affecting several states’ budgets as well as counties and school systems funding.  You have lenders, service facilities, designers, contractors, etc.   This is no “small potatoes”.  When the oil industry goes away, we will become even more dependent on restaurants, theaters, etc. for our so-called livelihood (which don’t pay nearly as well).  Why would America consider this change when it was already energy self-sufficient?   When we drill for oil, you get gas in most circumstances.  Now, the price of natural gas has to go up to just drill for gas.

Thirdly, while America controls its own destiny with petroleum-based vehicles, who will control our destiny in the future if we swap to electric vehicles?  That will be primarily China, because they have virtually all the access to rare metals necessary to build batteries.  By America going to electric vehicles, this will totally subsidize China through exploration of mining resulting in high paying jobs for their citizens.

Fourthly, what do you do with the batteries when the vehicle dies?  There is no easy way to properly dispose of those that is inexpensive.  Also, what about the cost of a car?  Well, it is certainly going to go up when someone else controls the rare minerals by the doubling and tripling of their prices.

And, the “nail in the coffin” is:  These “carbon exhausts” can in fact be eaten by clostridium autoethanogenum ( which is an oxygen-hating bacteria species developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratories to permanently solve the carbon exhaust problem, and the by-product of this process is using the carbon exhaust to make into plastic and other materials that can be used in manufacturing – in other words, we need it!

If America cannot see that they are destroying their own economy and their self-sufficiency, then we need to live with the result!!  This kind of reminds me of the foolishness of Germany being so dependent on Russia for its natural gas – how did that work out?  This will have devastating effects on current tenants in industrial facilities, so be prepared!  Our company is already reacting.

“Joe Hollingsworth participated as one of our first equity investors. In addition, Joe Hollingsworth has served as a board member and leading advisor for strategic planning and direction.” — Scott Kelley, President and CEO, Service Center Metals