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Pipelines, Protests & Presidential Race

Pipelines, Protests & Presidential Race
September 15 2020

The perception of Natural Gas in the US is changing. While it has been touted as a cleaner alternative to oil and coal, it none the less comes with environmental hazards and damages. For one, it is usually extracted as a by-product of oil production. Therefore the traditional pollutants present in the oil production process are also present in that of natural gas. Secondly, pipelines have been a hotly debated topic, complicated by indigenous lands and environmental protections.

Americans now are turning against natural gas. A new poll by Brunswick Group shows that people start to see natural gas as competing for resources that could be deployed to alternative energies such as solar and wind. 

In addition, voters want states to have the authority to block pipeline projects. 53% support giving state and local governments more power to thwart oil and gas pipeline projects, but 59% say blocking pipelines will not help fight climate change. 13% of voters call climate one of the two most important topics in deciding their presidential vote, which is far below the pandemic, the economy, and health care.

Clearly, because of the change in sentiments and perceptions, the election season has high stakes for the fuel. Natural gas and oil companies might face headwinds post-November. Yet, this might also be an opportunity for alternative energy startups as the public might have more funding and support. 


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Alternative Energy Companies:

For nearly 15 years LanzaTech has been developing a carbon capture technology that can turn waste streams into ethanol that can be used for chemicals and fuel. The company already has a commercial manufacturing facility in China, attached to a steel plant operated by the Shougang Group, which produces 16 million gallons of ethanol per year. LanzaTech’s technology pipes the waste gas into a fermenter, which is filled with genetically modified yeast that uses carbon dioxide to produce ethanol. Another plant, using similar technology, is under construction in Europe.

Solugen is a venture-backed specialty chemicals company that applies industrial biotechnology and green chemistry principles to re-design the production of a variety of end-use and novel chemicals. Solugen’s mission is to decarbonize the chemicals industry. Its comprehensive line of environmentally-friendly products helps companies be responsible stewards of the environment and their local communities. And through their mobile “mini-mills,” Solugen is able to descale and geographically distribute chemical manufacturing factories, drastically impacting the way chemical solutions are produced and transported.

Vivint Solar, Inc. is an American solar energy company headquartered in Lehi, Utah. It is a residential solar provider that designs, installs, and maintains photovoltaic systems. Vivint Solar operates in 23 U.S. states. The company is considered to be a green home technology company and is the fastest-growing solar energy company in the U.S. which uses the power purchase agreement (PPA) model.

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Since last week, PrivCo has added:
789 Companies | 80 M&A Deals300 Funding Activities

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Nvidia confirmed Monday that it intends to buy U.K.-based chip designer ARM Holdings from Japan’s SoftBank Group for as much as $40BN.

Verizon Communications agrees to buy pre-paid wireless reseller TracFone Wireless for $7BN.

Airtable raises $185M Series D round with a post-money valuation worth over $2.5BN.

Progress, a Boston-area developer tool company, boosted its offerings in a big way today when it announced it was acquiring software automation platform Chef for $220M.

Fastcase announced it acquired fellow legal research platform Judicata in a move to enhance its own legal analysis features. The acquisition comes at a time when the company is looking to provide a broader range of legal services.

Manufacturing Marketplace, Xometry raises $75M Series E from lead investor 
T. Rowe Price Associates.

Spanish healthcare company Grifols has agreed to acquire the remaining stake in Alkahest, a Silicon Valley-based biopharma company, for $146M.

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, announced that it has partnered with management to acquire Tropical Smoothie Cafe, LLC  Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a leading franchisor of fast-casual cafes with over 870 units across 44 states. The Company inspires a healthier lifestyle by serving better-for-you smoothies, wraps, sandwiches, and flatbreads across multiple dayparts. Tropical Smoothie Cafe was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Atlanta, GA.

E.B. Bradley Co., a leader in specialty building products, announced today it has acquired Jacknob, a New York-based value-added provider of toilet partition hardware and accessories.  Founded in 1929, E.B. Bradley Co. is a provider of specialty cabinet hardware, surfacing products, made-to-order custom cabinet doors, and related supplies for the design and fabrication industries. E.B. Bradley, which is based in Los Angeles, is backed and supported by PSP Capital Partners, a family-controlled private investment firm founded by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker. 

Melio Payments, emerged from stealth today, 30 months after founding with an accounts payable (AP) solution tailored for small businesses. These small businesses lack an internal accounting and finance function and have distinct needs centered around the business’s monthly cash flow that are not satisfied by existing AP solutions, which focus primarily on payment automation. The company launched its product over a year ago and is now announcing it has raised $144M several rounds of financing.

Virtual Kitchen, founded by two ex-Uber executives, had just raised $20M.

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