Thursday, May 28, 2015

Gullible Minnesotans And Other Potpourri; This Is Not An Investment Site -- Do Not Make Any Investment Or Financial Decisions Based On Anything You Read At This Blog -- May 28, 2015

The WTI crawler says oil is well above $57/bbl and this is May 28, 2015. Something tells me that huge North Dakota tax break won't take effect.


Selected quarterly dividends for COP over the years (some numbers rounded):
  • February, 1982: 7 cents
  • February, 1987: 6 cents
  • February, 1991: 11 cents
  • January, 1997: 12 cents
  • February, 2000: 13 cents
  • February, 2004: 16 cents 
  • June, 2005: 2/1 split
  • February, 2006: 27 cents
  • February, 2008: 36 cents
  • February, 2011: 50 cents
  • February, 2013: 66 cents
  • February 2014: 69 cents
There were two more splits since 2005 (which I did not fully understand) and a spin off.

Currently paying 4.5%.

COP came up in a discussion with a family member (in-law) so I thought I would take a look at COP. 


At last minute, unions turn against minimum wage law for those employees who are union workers. Link here. Regular readers can probably figure out the reasoning on this one.

Minnesota's Grandchildren Will Rue The Day This Was Approved

Twenty-one (21) solar energy sites approved in Minnesota and what does it get you: the equivalent of one small traditional generating station. All those sites will require new transmission lines in and out, and all that traffic and all those fried birds and all that pristine 10,000-lakes scenery interrupted by solar farms in Minnesota.

Here's the map:

The StarTribune is reporting:
Geronimo Energy has won state approval to build solar arrays across Minnesota to serve Xcel Energy electric customers. The $250 million Aurora Solar Project will be, by far, the largest solar generating effort in the state.
Geronimo Energy, an Edina-based renewable energy developer, is authorized to build large solar parks at 21 locations across the state for a combined output of 100 million watts, or the equivalent of a small traditional generating station.
All but one of the solar sites will be bigger than the state’s largest existing solar array in Slayton, Minn., which generates 2 million watts. The largest of the new solar sites, near Paynesville, will generate five times more than that — and cover an area the size of Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis.
One site -- remember, there are 21 sites -- one site will cover an area the size of Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. 

Just down the road, fourth-generation farmer Janelle Geurts said she and her husband, John, were alarmed when a neighbor made a deal with solar developer NextEra Energy Resources. “Honestly, our biggest concern is that we are trading off green growing fields that provide food,” she said.
NextEra? Where have we heard that name before? Oh, yes, this is the renewable energy company that has no wind farms or solar farms in its home stage of Florida, but it loves putting up wind farms and solar farms in North Dakota and Minnesota, buying land from gullible landowners and getting approval from PUCs mandated by legislators. Fast-tracked by the way before anyone catches on.

UNP Furloughs 900 Workers; Jamie Dimon To Lay Off 5,000

UNP furloughs workers due to less rail activity. The AP is reporting:
The number of shipments Union Pacific has been delivering so far this year is down about 3 percent, which includes a 30 percent drop in coal carloads.
The Association of American Railroads says rail traffic nationwide is down less than 1 percent, but coal shipments are nearly 7 percent lower.
Not to be outdone, JP Morgan will layoff 5,000 employees. The Wall Street Journal is reporting:
The layoffs won’t necessarily mean that overall head count at the bank will continue to fall; J.P. Morgan hires about 40,000 employees each year to fill open positions and add to its new class of analysts, the person said. And the layoffs aren’t anticipated to be as high as last year’s when the bank cut 7,900 mortgage jobs and exited several businesses. 
So, 900 jobs (UNP) and 5,000 jobs (JP Morgan). Seems a bit of headline hyperbole. Rail traffic nationwide is down less than one percent and JP Morgan hires 40,000 employees each year to fill open positions.

A Note to the Granddaughters

Because the granddaughters now spend less time at our apartment now that they've moved into a McMansion, May and I have re-arranged our 700-square-foot apartment to give ourselves more room, removing the "personal space" once reserved for the granddaughters. Wow, it seems we've opened up an area equivalent to a small den.

No sooner had we completed that when our older granddaughter said she was coming over tonight to work on a school project requiring computer, printer, card-making stock, book binding material, sharpies, stickers, etc. We quickly arranged the apartment again for that to be managed efficiently and effectively. I picked her up and brought her over to the apartment, and then to get out of their way I drove down to Starbucks. Normally I ride my bike, but another night of rain is forecast. In Boston I often rode my bike in the rain but that's because rain was the norm in Boston. Here in Texas, not so much. Except for the past three weeks. Also, it was hard to find parking in Boston, and the roads were atrocious with potholes. Except for some potholes on I-35E north of Dallas, I don't drive anywhere in North Texas where there are potholes.

I used to hate automobiles. But I love the little Honda Civic and every time I get in it -- especially at night -- I'm reminded of my cross-country trips to the Bakken. Tonight while pulling unto the frontage road as the sun went down I had fleeting memories of pulling off the freeway on those cross-country trips to stop at McDonald's to blog and catch upon e-mail. 

It looks like I will have another cross-country opportunity soon. The granddaughters -- the two older ones -- and May and I will be driving out to California in late June. The older granddaughter is already working on the itinerary; she wants to spend more time in Sedonia this trip.

The price of gasoline has crept up quietly to $2.65/gallon, least expensive grade in our neighborhood. Diesel runs anywhere from ten cents to twenty cents more per gallon than least expensive grade of gasoline.

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