Saturday, November 1, 2014

Taking Down The Enbridge Sandpiper Poll -- November 1, 2014

I mentioned the other day I would probably take down the Enbridge Sandpiper poll in which we asked, "Is the Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline dead or just delayed?"

With all the news coming out of Minnesota this past week, it's a pretty safe bet that the Sandpiper won't be completed by 2020. In my mind the project is "dead" except for the lawyers, regulators, and bureaucrats "studying" the issue; time to move on.

The poll results:
  • dead: 21%
  • just delayed: 79%
I'll put the poll back up sometime in the future. Hope springs eternal.

On another note, it's a shame Warren Buffett bought Burlington Northern Santa Fe some years ago. The closest I can find to compare BNSF is the Union Pacific.

Check out the 10-year graph:{%22range%22%3A%225y%22%2C%22scale%22%3A%22linear%22}.

BNSF, BRK, and UNP investors need to thank Nebraska and Minnesota for the windfall.

By the way, when you get to the 10-year graph on UNP, be sure to look at the bottom of the graph and note the increase in dividends: from 13.5 cents/share in 2009, to 50 cents currently.

And, also note, that the shares split 2-1 back in June, 2014. I assume this means that one is effectively getting $1.00/share, but I could be wrong on that.

Reminder: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here. Don't change any travel plans based on what you read here. 

Nothing below has anything remotely to do with the Bakken. For personal use only.


In the Chase, starting position, tomorrow, Texas:
1. Matt Kenseth
2. Jeff Gordon
5. Kevin Harvick
7. Ryan Newman
10. Joey Logano
11. Carl Edwards
20. Denny Hamlin
26. Brad Keselowski
This is not a sports site. Do not consider making bets, or changing bets, based on anything you read here or anything you might have read here. This may or may not affect your Fantasy NASCAR team.


Time Magazine has an op-ed on the loss/crash of SpaceShipTwo/Virgin Galactic. When I read it for the first time, I agreed. My knee-jerk action was to agree with the writer. Now that I have had a few hours to think about it, the author is completely wrong. Completely wrong on so many levels. If I were a better writer, more articulate, I would say more, but not going to.

A Note To The Granddaughters

What an incredibly wonderful day. First, our younger granddaughter scored the only goal in the team's win 1 - 0 today. She is such an incredibly good team player.

Our older granddaughter also had an exciting day. She has been sick with viral pneumonia for the past week and a half and has not been in the water for the past eight days: not in competitive swimming or in splashball. Today one of the region's water polo fall tournaments was held in Denton, TX, and she played. Her team took second place and she got her first-ever water polo medal. With only one reserve/substitute for the team, she pretty much played every game without being taken out. I was quite impressed. Asked after the game whether she preferred competitive swimming or water polo, she said she enjoyed both and wanted to continue in both.

Another Note To The Granddaughters

This week I am watching Only Lovers Left Alive. I have watched it at least once every night for the past four nights; this is my fifth night watching it. From start to finish most nights.

Tonight I happened to pay a bit more attention to the wonderful scene when Eve is packing her books for her trip back to Detroit. I was curious which books she was packing and started to go through the movie/DVD in stop/start/slow motion. Then I googled; it turns out there is a whole webpage devoted to this very topic.

This is a list of the books she reads before packing or places special emphasis:
  • L'Orlando Furioso, Ludovico Ariosto, 1516 
  • Don Quixote, Miguel De Cervantes, 1605
  • La Creazione Di Adamo E Di Eva, Lorenzo Ghibeti, in Porta Del Paradiso, XV
  • Zwischen Zwei Revolutionen - Der Geist der Schinkelzeit (1789 - 1848), Ernst Heilborn, 1927
  • Les Anglais Au Pole Nord, Jules Verne, 1864
  • The Temple of the Golden Paviliion, Yukio Mishima, 1956
  • Basquiat, edited by Sam Keller and Dieter Buchhart, 1996
  • Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace, 1996
  • The Bastard of Istanbul, Elik Shafak, 2006
I think I've found a new blog to follow.

Drudge Report

I generally check in on Drudge Report three or four times every day, even though it is seldom updated more than once any given day. But I won't be checking in on Drudge until Thursday; the election news and the election results are going to be messy. I hate messy.  The only real question that bugs me is where Mr Obama will send federal troops first: Anbar Province (west of Baghdad) or Ferguson (west of East St Louis)?

From Only Lovers Left Alive

Can't Hardly Stand It, Charlie Feathers

For what it's worth, I added this to the wiki page a few minutes ago: A brief bit of "Can't Hardly Stand It" was also featured on "Only Lovers Left Alive."

Which led me to this:

I Forgot To Remember To Forget, Chris Isaak

Sounds like Jerry Lee Lewis on the piano.

As good as Roy?

Only The Lonely, Chris Isaak
A female who traveled from West Africa to the Portland area and had been self-monitoring for symptoms was hospitalized and quarantined after developing a fever, the Oregon Health Authority said. The patient woke up Friday, took her temperature and learned it was over 102 degrees, said Julie Sullivan-Springhetti of the Multnomah County Health Department. She was taken in a specially equipped medical transport vehicle to Providence Milwaukie Hospital.
Not easy to transmit ... that's why she was "taken in a specially equipped medical transport vehicle..." 
The disease is not easy to transmit but Canada joins Australia by ending the processing of visa applications from foreign nationals who have visited the three most affected countries. 
And although the disease is not easy to transmit, the death toll keeps rising: almost 5,000 people have died from Ebola during the current outbreak, the World Health Organization said Friday. The vast majority of the deaths have been in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. 
Our younger daughter will be departing Multnomah County on Tuesday to visit Ebola-Ground Zero in Texas.  

More Black, Now Comes The White -- November 1, 2014; ONEOK Announces Completion Of Projects

A reader sent me a nice article from The Minneapolis Star-Tribune: we're going to see a bit more color on the regional railroads. It used to be all black oil tankers; now we'll start seeing white propane tank cars. There just is not enough pipeline for all the propane that needs to be shipped:
More propane is shifting from pipelines to railways this fall as Minnesota marketers bulk up supplies of the fuel for crop-drying and winter heating.
At least three rail terminals in the state have expanded their unloading and storage areas in recent months, and a new rail terminal in central Wisconsin is scheduled to open in two weeks.
Driving the changes was the closure in May of the Cochin Pipeline from Canada that carried 40 percent of the propane used in Minnesota. An estimated 230,000 homes, farms and businesses in the state depend on the product.
The pipeline’s owner, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners of Houston, halted propane shipments late last spring and began sending light petroleum condensate the other direction: from Illinois to Canada’s booming oil industry in Alberta.
Helping to fill the void left by the pipeline has been CHS Inc., the nation’s largest farmer-owned cooperative and a major wholesaler and retailer of propane. The Inver Grove Heights-based company is investing $24 million to develop a more robust network to supply propane in the northern tier region of North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
And the Minnesota governor has signed an executive order temporarily easing propane delivery rules:
Governor Dayton signed an executive order Friday that allows propane delivery drivers a longer daily window to transport the product. They would still face limits on the amount of time they can spend behind the wheel. The order is similar to ones he's signed in the past to combat distribution shortages. Last year, propane shortages drove up heating costs.
I guess propane is less volatile, less dangerous this time of year. But our grocery store across the street here in Texas is taking no chances; the sign reads: no propane containers inside the store. 

Another article from the same newspaper has a story that I posted earlier; in fact, it may have been the very same article. I don't recall. But it's an extremely good article, coming at a time when there is a slump in oil prices. North Dakota looks to huge new investment in the state: plastics and fertilizer.
Even as it fills the railroads of the Upper Midwest with oil tank cars, the Bakken has allowed its natural gas riches to languish.
Less profitable than oil and more difficult to transport, natural gas has been so secondary in North Dakota that drillers still burn off more than a fourth of what rises from the ground. In satellite pictures, the flames sprawl across the Williston basin, lighting it up like a giant suburb.
A quiet transformation is underway, however, as the state bids to turn natural gas into a native business and drive down flaring.
A growing network of pipelines and processing plants has made North Dakota a recent target for billions of dollars of investment toward factories that convert natural gas into other products like fertilizer and plastic.
“It’s the natural progression of OK, now we’re pretty fully developing on the drilling side of things, and now comes the next component, which is the value add,” said Cullen Goenner, an economist at the University of North Dakota. “That’s where you really get the biggest bang for the buck, in terms of the employment and all those supplemental jobs, is in the value-added industries, more so than in just the extractive industries.”
A group called Badlands NGL announced in a news conference with Gov. Jack Dalrymple two weeks ago that it wants to convert cheap, abundant ethane into polyethylene, the raw material of plastic bags and bottles. The $4 billion factory would churn out rail car loads of the tiny, milk-white plastic beads.
A month earlier, Inver Grove Heights-based agriculture giant CHS Inc. said it will build a $3 billion fertilizer plant 90 miles west of Fargo. Another group with board members from the North Dakota Corn Growers Association, called Northern Plains Nitrogen, is trying to raise money for a $2 billion fertilizer plant just north of Grand Forks.
This could be a huge decade for North Dakota.

It should be noted that Hillary should get credit for these new projects. She never gets enough credit for all she has done building the Bakken. 

This really is quite exciting for North Dakota. These are huge projects. Had there been just one such project announced years ago, it would have been a big deal, but it seems very month another story comes out of North Dakota for a huge project.

For example, ONEOK just announced:
Tulsa-based ONEOK Partners LP announced it has completed work on three major projects in the oil and gas-rich Niobrara and Bakken shales of the Rockies and northern Plains.
Work is done on the Garden Creek III natural gas processing facility in North Dakota, the Bakken NGL Pipeline expansion in Wyoming and the Niobrara NGL lateral pipeline, also in Wyoming. These projects totaled more than $500 million in capital expenditures.
Completion of the Garden Creek III brings the company’s Williston Basin processing capacity to more than 600 million cubic feet per day in natural gas. ONEOK has increased its processing thereby 500 million daily cubic feet since 2010.
The three projects are part of the partnership’s previously announced $8.3 billion to $9.0 billion capital-growth program through 2016. ONEOK Partners has natural gas and natural gas liquids pipeline and processing assets throughout the central U.S.
And again, please send a thank you note to Hillary, Barry, and Pocahontas for building these plants.

Ahead Of The Curve
A Note For The Granddaughters

This is so cool: in today's WJS Review section. The new buzz on Wall Street -- two phones - a phablet and a clamshell. It turns out the writer -- a slim-suited tech minimalist -- felt silly when making a phone call on his Samsung 5.5-inch-long "slab." His solution: a clamshell for making phone calls. He still carries his phablet but makes his calls on his clamshell. As regular readers know, I only carry a clamshell. It took about two weeks to find a replacement battery but now I'm connected again.

The 800-Pound Gorilla

The front-page story in this week's Bloomberg Business: Stimulate This! John Maynard Keynes has the last laugh on what works for the global economy.

This segment is particularly interesting:
If Keynes were alive today, he might be warning of a repeat of 1937, when policy mistakes turned a promising recovery into history’s worst double dip.
This time, Europe is the danger zone; then it was the U.S.
What’s called the Great Depression was really two steep downturns in the U.S. The first ended in 1933. It was followed by four years of output growth averaging more than 9 percent a year, one of the strongest recoveries ever.
What aborted the comeback is still debated. Some economists blame President Franklin Roosevelt for signing tax hikes and cuts in New Deal jobs programs. Others blame the Federal Reserve. Dartmouth College economist Douglas Irwin argues that the Roosevelt administration triggered the relapse by buying up gold, removing it from the U.S. monetary base. The move to prevent inflation succeeded all too well, causing deflation.
Whatever the cause, Britain and other trading partners were dragged down, and U.S. output plunged and didn’t fully recover until America’s entry into World War II.
“We are really at a kind of 1937 moment now,” says MIT’s Temin. “It’s a cautionary history for us.”
The writer's focus is on the global economy and emphasizes "this time Europe is the danger zone."

I wonder if the the writer should be so sanguine about the US economy.

The writer notes the three "things" that economists blame for the US Great Depression:
  • FDR raises taxes just as recovery was taking off (this, by the way, is the #1 accepted explanation)
  • the Federal Reserve
  • buying up gold
The latter two seem to have little relevance today (comparing what the Fed did in 1937 with what the Fed is doing now) and the gold story certainly has no relevance.

The 800-pound gorilla? The nation's biggest tax hike is yet to go into effect. Most of ObamaCare was deferred, delayed, or waived by executive action and won't go into effect until 2015 and 2016.  The good news: it's very possible, that tax hike will be offset by the fall in US energy prices. 

Algore's State Hit With 16 Inches Of Snow -- Warmists Predicted More Snow; Ski Lifts Opening In The East -- November 1, 2014

This was yesterday:
Global Warming
Climate Change
Extreme Weather
Ice Age Now

Headlines today suggest an earlier winter than some had expected with CO2 levels exceeding  400 ppm:

Today: earliest record snow in South Carolina. The Weather Channel is reporting:
Saturday morning, a record early-in-season snow coated parts of South Carolina to usher in the month of November.
Snow was observed as far south and east as Columbia, the earliest flakes on record in the city. A couple inches of snow coated grassy areas near Greenville and Pelion, South Carolina. Power lines were downed in Greenville, Greenwood, and Lexington Counties due to the combination of strong winds and wet snow accumulations.
Four to five inches of snow was reported in Asheville, North Carolina while 2.5 inches was measured in Boone, North Carolina. Seven inches was measured near Marshall, North Carolina (2280' elevation). 
Mt. LeConte, Tennessee (6400' elevation) measured 16 inches of snow. Numerous roads were shut down in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including U.S. 441.
The UN will report today that AGW is not settled science. The AP is reporting:
The IPCC says scientists are now 95 percent certain that the buildup of such gases from the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation is the main cause of warming seen since the middle of the 20th century.
The UN used to say "100% certain." As in "settled science."

I wonder if the report will mention that there has been no evidence of warming for 19 years and all agree that current cooling trend is likely to last 35 more years.

Meanwhile, South Carolina records earliest snowfall in 100 years.

Why The 1,400-Year Cutoff?

I always enjoy the UN reports on global warming. The most recent report, issued in October/November, 2014, says: "The period from 1983 to 2012, it says, was likely the warmest 30 year period of the last 1,400 years."

I was curious about why the "chose" 1,400 years. Humans (Homo sapiens) have been around for 250,000 years. It is well know that in "recent history" the most significant period of global warming was during the Viking Age. The Viking Age (793 - 1066 A.D.) was just before the, 1,400-year cut-off by the UN. Another inconvenient truth.