Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesday Links: Warren Buffett to BNSF -- Use Natural Gas

RBN Energy: Brent futures, pricing, part II.

WSJ Links

Section D (Personal Journal): the calendar of fast food

Section C (Money & Investing):

Section B (Marketplace): 
Huge article -- railroad tests switch to gas
BNSF Railway Co., one of the biggest U.S. consumers of diesel fuel, plans this year to test using natural gas to power its locomotives instead.
If successful, the experiment could weaken oil's dominance as a transportation fuel and provide a new outlet for the glut of cheap natural gas in North America.
The surplus, spurred by new technologies that unlock the fuel from underground rock formations, has sent natural-gas prices plummeting. That has prompted industries from electric utilities to tugboat operators to switch to gas. If freight rail joins the parade, it would usher in one of the most sweeping changes to the railroad industry in decades.
"This could be a transformational event for our railroad," BNSF Chief Executive Matt Rose said of the plan, which hasn't been publicly announced. Shifting to natural gas would "rank right up there" with the industry's historic transition away from steam engines last century, he said.
Transformational for the railroads? How about the natural gas industry? This is huge. And you know it's gonna work. 

Diesel for Warren's locos: $3.97 last year, probably trending up; natural gas, 48 cents at industrial prices, and probably trending down.


Wal-Mart is increasing the number of its smaller-format stores ... and making inroads. Local communities attempt to stop Wal-Mart by banning stores greater than so many square feet; it was only a matter of time that Wal-Mart decided to beat them at their own game.

Section A
Public university costs soar. North Dakota singled out -- look at the graphic at the linked story. Up 30%.

Speaking of the sequester, which we weren't, but harkening back to an earlier article the other day, from an op-ed today in the WSJ:
In its bid to make the sequester as painful as possible, the White House announced Tuesday it is canceling all visitor tours of the White House 'during the popular Spring touring season.' This fits President Obama's political strategy to punish the eighth graders visiting from Illinois instead of, say, the employees of the Agriculture Department who will attend a California conference sipping 'exceptional local wines' and sampling 'tasty dishes' prepared by 'special guest chefs.'

You have got to be kidding. After all those Obama speeches telling corporations to quit holding conferences in Las Vegas, the president shuts down the White House but sanctions government employees taking wine-tasting trips to Napa Valley. With regard to White House tours for eighth graders: I guess this is a 'democratic' move. Eighth graders in Williston could never afford this luxury; might as well make it "equal" for all. Incredible. He continues to come across as a angry young man with a chip on his shoulder. Slightly less than four years and counting.

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