The Best Corporate Espionage Tool Is Free (and legal)
I'll show you how to use it
Lest I be accused of publishing clickbait, I’m 100% serious about the title of this post.
People have asked me over the years, from individual clients to readers of this fine publication, “Where did you find this incredible information?”
Despite my reputation as “The guy who yells about SpaceX,” the work that has engaged some of my most valuable connections since starting ESG Hound nearly two years ago was due to things like the work I did on Gevo ( GEVO 0.00%↑ ), the “revolutionary” biofuels company with a heavily greenwashed story and fake narrative about negative carbon footprint jet fuel from corn.
Gevo, despite the green stimulus Inflation Reduction Act and several years of high oil prices, is down 80% from when I first wrote about it, well on its way to going bankrupt.
I proved that their story was nonsense not by coming upon a secret document or a whistleblower but by combing through government databases, public records requests, academic research, and doing some basic math.
But the most powerful tool in my arsenal is a free database, funded by the US government, with highly specific search parameters, an embedded map graphical user interface (GUI), and a powerful API that I can link into Excel spreadsheets.
What is this tool? Why, It’s EPA’s ECHO database.
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ECHO: The best research tool for looking behind the corporate veil of industrial America
Prior to 1995, information submitted by companies to EPA that was intended for public review was contained in a disconnected mess of databases, digital and physical alike.
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