Comments on: Buffett uses BNSF to bet on coal Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: docdonn Fri, 06 Nov 2009 01:34:44 +0000 Maybe it’s not about coal, but about “right of ways” The BNSF network maps run right through areas where solar and wind power can be generated, to areas that need power (cities), and because of coal, to power plants, so you have sources of green power, transformer capabilities, and users all connected by transmission right of ways.

By: Ike Solem Wed, 04 Nov 2009 15:58:25 +0000 Unfortunately, CCS is a technological fantasy with no grounding in scientific reality – basically, all attempts have ended in failure for the following reasons:

1) The coal combustion stream is just too dirty – it takes way too much energy to remove all the various metals, sulfur, arsenic, partially burned fuel residues – and that’s before you remove the CO2. Many people are now pointing this out.

2) The energy return for CO2 capture looks negative, meaning it takes all the energy produced by coal combustion to capture all the emissions. This is why so-called “prototypes” that only capture 1% of the emissions are frauds – if they use 1% of the plant’s output to capture 1% of the carbon, then they” use 100% of the output to capture 100% of the carbon. No energy efficiency numbers have ever been released, to my knowledge.

The proprietary wraps placed upon “carbon capture technology” are probably only there to hide these facts from the public. Even though this is a federally funded DOE program, the public doesn’t get to see the details. Someone needs to do an outside scientific analysis of the issue – but who? The National Academy of Sciences is probably the best choice.

So, if the gamble is based on CCS, it’s a very bad bet. Investments in large-scale solar, wind and grid connectivity would be much wiser.

By: Green Energy Reporter Wed, 04 Nov 2009 14:45:53 +0000 The problem with oracles, as Julius Caesar discovered, is that they’re awfully vague.
I don’t think that you have much evidence to go on with this argument about coal. There are plenty of other reasons that don’t involve speculating on the fate of two bills in congress to invest in BNSF.
I wrote an expanded post on it here. 11/warren-buffett-goes-long-coal-no-wait  /

By: peter xyz Wed, 04 Nov 2009 12:01:27 +0000 Its also pretty notable what Buffett is selling …. Berkshire stock is being used to fund the purchase, so there is an effective dilution of the existing businesses.

This is interesting in part because the last time this occurred in size (the Gen Re acquisition in the late 90’s) Buffett was essentially trading overpriced Coke stock (and other equities) for a bond portfolio. Ie in addition to being an insurance acquisition, it also had the effect of a big re-weighting out of stocks at quite a good time.

Its not quite so clear to me what specifically is being diluted/diversified away here.

By: fazsha Wed, 04 Nov 2009 10:01:45 +0000 I was reading 10 years ago that Buffett was “washed up”. I don’t believe it. Respect the man. He bet on Goldman. He bet on Wells. He bet on U.S. Bank. He’s good.

By: Jim Wed, 04 Nov 2009 08:43:02 +0000 For all the “thinkers” here. Maybe he has in-tell, that you are not privy to. Naw couldn’t be. You know everything.

By: J. Karr Wed, 04 Nov 2009 07:05:39 +0000 Agree with reporter that BNSF sale is historic, but don’t agree with the rationale that significance of BNSF is based on past or current freight mix, including and especially transporting coal, given cap n’ trade or carbon tax likely to heavily penalize coal. BNSF most likely not a mandate on ‘America’s economic future’ as defined by historic freight carry; rather more so on right of ways for new energy complex, much of which is in the form of electrons or gas.

By: John Klug Wed, 04 Nov 2009 06:03:06 +0000 I think Mr Buffet probably has heard what is becoming quite obvious. The AGW science (particularly climate modeling) is full of errors. Temperatures are dropping and the problem is really unknown, and certainly not very immediate (Warren will probably be gone before we know for sure).

By: Jim Vaughan Wed, 04 Nov 2009 05:30:40 +0000 nvesting in a well-positioned railroad system? Bad bet?

It seems to me that the price of oil-originated energy is going to to through the roof within 5 years when the world recovers from this situation we’re in. If, indeed, this does happen, railroads will come into their own again because they can transport goods much more cheaply than trucks.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the railroads will increase their profits considerably when this happens.

Jim Vaughan, Sacramento Ca.

By: SuperBubba Wed, 04 Nov 2009 04:41:20 +0000 The rail lines are worth quite a bit themselves

One day, not to far off, water will have to be transported and rail will be the most economical method of transportation

The Bubba Factor