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  • Natural Gas: The New King Of Electric Power [View article]
    Sumit- Nice article. Do you have an analysis factoring in the $/KW cost of generating power from NG verses coal?
    Jul 14, 2010. 11:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BP Pays for the Spill but the Taxpayer Chips In [View article]
    Its likely the fines imposed upon BP plus fed civil suits will compensate from "lost" tex revenues.
    Jul 14, 2010. 11:16 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Transitions, Then and Now [View article]
    An even bigger question is energy source allocation. The US can no longer depend upon "free enterprise" to define what's available and where to use it. We desperately need a national energy policy to encourage companies to invest in the essential energy distribution infrastructure. Pre-defined uses of coal, nuclear, oil, natural gas, wind, solar, and bio must be cast in bronze.

    That critical element aside, in large measure, the fed is simply doling out loan and/or grant money to solar and wind interests. Many are turning out to be poor investments of our tax dollars. The Administration claims to have world class "scientists" within their energy advisory circle but that is more fiction than truth. While Dr Chu is a Nobel Laureate in Physics, he knows squat about this energy allocation and infrastructure subject. Yet the seed money continues to flow. The same scenario occurred with the stimulus money. The administrations "economic" team are all academics with little or no practical experience in the real world of business economics. And it shows in poor business hence job growth.

    Most projects maintain employment which I'm sure is nice for the recently unemployed. But what happens when the federal money runs out? No jobs are created; no syneregy, no progress out of this terrible black hole.

    Bottom line, what do investors do at this juncture? What are you doing?
    Jul 12, 2010. 01:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Bet on Low-Cost, High-Volume Shale Plays [View article]
    As I commented in prior posts, there is too much anti-BP sentiment for investors to ignore the Shale Fracing environmental problems. While the chemicals used was mentioned here by several contributors, one must also focus on availability of a sufficient water supply as well. In some parts of the country, citizen attention has even focused on water bottling companies drawing down "municipal " water supplies as their product sources. Again, investors need to have both eyes open and an ear to the ground, as the expression goes.
    Jul 12, 2010. 01:06 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Safe to Buy BP 'Junk' Bonds? [View article]
    A week ago, BP and Anadarko bonds with less than 24 months to maturity were rated BA1/BBB- yielding in the 6-7% range. Interestingly, an Atlantic-Richfield bond with 85% coupon selling for a premium at 104 would yield 6% but rated at A2/A.

    Proven oil reserves are hard assets and very liquid. I would tend to favor BP/Arco risk-reward scenario. Accordingly, bonds in this space still look good for income investors if these prices are still available come Monday (7/12) morning.
    Jul 10, 2010. 07:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Every Investor Should Know About Electric Vehicles [View article]
    Consistant with some of my prior posts, allow me to reiterate that use of Natural Gas for vehicle travel is dead wrong. Having been there done that, let me assure you the infrastructure cost alone could exceed the national debt. In large measure, pipelines currently in place run through the least populated space. They are mass movers similar to double trailer rigs on the nation’s interstate highways. To bring NG to the neighborhood "gas stations" with today's right-of-way restrictions and land cost reaches the stratosphere.

    While many long distance travelers can "gas-up" several miles from their home, the average passenger and delivery vehicle owner needs reasonable assess to fuel. That said, conversion of today's gasoline fueling stations to Natural Gas is very expensive. Add that to the thoughts of abutters to huge NG storage tanks verses today's gasoline. Some how the latter will seem much safer and tolerable than the former.

    Another major concern comes from the basic oil cracking process. Give or take a few percentage points through use of catalysts, for every barrel of oil refined there is a finite amount of products produced. About 46% is gasoline, 30% fuel oil (home heating, diesel, etc.), 10% jet fuel, 4% propane, 3% asphalt, 1% naphtha, etc. and 6% useless residue. Unless consumption is balanced within this group along with natural gas contribution, critically needed efficiencies and price stabilization cannot be obtained. Using electric and/or NG to propel vehicles in lieu of gasoline will increase the available supply of unallocated (sold) gasoline thus decrease prices . . . . . and around and around we go.

    The country desperately needs a national energy policy. Prime within this policy is material resource allocation. Nuclear, coal, fuel oil, natural gas, etc. for home heating, transportation, and power generation. Notice the term" material resources" as opposed to wind, etc. In my view, we need to build nuclear power to replace coal. Expand existing NG distribution to adjoining neighborhoods and power stations to replace home heating oil and use of #2 fuel oil to generate electric power respectively. Unfortunately, this will take government dictate actions as opposed to the "natural" flows of private enterprise.
    Jul 9, 2010. 05:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EMC Acquires Data Warehousing and Analytics Company Greenplum [View article]
    EMC is absolutely a software company. The Joe Tucci near decade era brought a massive change from pure data storage equipment to a primary software company. In addition, most of EMC extensive acquisitions are software oriented.
    Jul 8, 2010. 12:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BP Parent Company Likely Shielded From Oil Spill Lawsuits [View article]
    I guess geologists not having a clue when it comes to fishing is entirely excusable. Regards the classic fish such as grouper, as one moves from the continental shelf type depths into "open ocean", the type of fish in today's market don't exist. Fishermen are able to travel great distances otherwise in offshore New England, for example, as the shelf projects out that far. Not so outside the traditional Gulf fishing waters. In addition, boats must be bigger, more sea worthy, able to carry more fuel, supplies, and crew. In large measure, today's Gulf fleet has neither.

    That aside, the bulk of "fish" caught in the Gulf is actually shell fish such as scallops, shrimp, crab, etc. Boats are usually visible from shore lines. Aside from larger crab, seldom travel large distances from shore.
    Jul 7, 2010. 12:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China's 'Lewis Turning Point': Twilight of an Era [View article]
    Unlikely you'll see very many "made in USA" items on store shelves or internet baskets in your lifetime. Yesterday, I bought a bright green box cutter made by Stanley so marked for $3.50. It was adjacent to a slightly smaller red one (but same blade size) made in China selling for $1. The exact red one was also displayed in Lowes for the same price.

    Manufacturing for common items has gone the way of the buggy whips, textiles, and furniture. While major producers such as GE continue to make appliances (although that Div. is for sale), jet engines, and locomotives, they're building factories overseas to serve that market. Nothing produced here will be "exported".

    In recent times, the US had an edge on technology and the ensuing products. That edge has all but disappeared less Apple, Intel, and scant others. The US education system has failed over the last 2-3 decades resulting in copious numbers of under educated and either under employed or unemployed trying to find jobs. Tech companies import engineers to fill a vast scarcity. Manufacturers continue to innovate driving productivity to all time highs. What factories are left in the US employ so few its hard to find them within the factory walls.

    I fear this bodes for continued high unemployment or significant underemployment. To make matters worse for the over-all economy, the US government is pouring stimulus money into maintaining jobs while creating very few. The academics running the economic team in the White House don't have a clue and their actions thus far is prima facia evidence. There's no synergy here. Stimulated growth means 1+1=3 not 2. Economics 101 simply.

    This does not help investors trying to figure out where to put their money which is becoming more and more scarce. I'm well educated and have been doing this for many years and with very good results. At this point its scary. Everywhere one looks, there is no good outcomes on the horizon.
    Jul 7, 2010. 12:22 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Stocks to Own Before Washington Puts a Price on Carbon [View article]
    Doesn't the real problem lay at the door step of the US Government. There is no semblance of an energy policy. A free wheeling, free enterprise solution is totally unworkable. The further we go down that path, given the huge costs involved, the more private enterprises avoid investing in most energy projects for fear of a unknown future. Hence, no progress beyond what existed nearly 50 years ago. Its time the elected officials got off their butt. Will the voters have the province to demand anything else?
    Jul 6, 2010. 09:42 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inventory Injection Numbers Bullish for Natural Gas [View article]
    I don't see any reference to the recent and vast discoveries of NG in Hydro-Fracture. Much of this is coming onto the market at fairly low prices reflecting the low finding and distribution costs. Seems to me this would be more of a factor than LNG, for example. Comments?
    Jul 5, 2010. 12:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Defensive Utility Dividend Stocks [View article]
    In lieu of, or in addition to, distributors without the overhead of generation, I suggest both ED and CNP. Including NST (the old Boston Edison) would be my third choice.

    Direct foreign ownership such as CPL seems a stretch given the lack of proximity advantaged familiarity, and other "off shore" transparency concerns. Investors may want to consider Brazil in general through the broader components in the ETF, EWZ.

    Finally, DUK and PGN are worth considering when looking in the 5 - 6+ % respective yield range. Growth prospects, albeit down everywhere, still favor the southeast region, in my view.
    Jul 5, 2010. 11:56 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Reasons to Root Against a BP Bankruptcy [View article]
    So what are you saying? Because the Gulf residents who fish and run restaurants, hotels, and leisure business don't count? This is their lifetime for several generations. Rig workers come and go. Here one month, in Nigeria the next. Remember, you're talking exploration not ongoing production, refining, and distribution. Less than 10% of your cited $65 billion in revenues and 58,000 employees work the exploration side. Now how does that compare to the fish and tourism relative impact? Let's keep things in perspective here

    You assume all the oil rig employees also came from/live in the immediate coastal area. You'd be surprised to learn its less than half. How many operating personnel are non-US citizens may also surprise you.
    Jul 5, 2010. 11:36 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Companies That Should Benefit From Cuba's Deepwater Drilling [View article]
    Perhaps now is time for the US to assert its safety interests and initiate procedures to ban all Cuban exploration pending the international agreement you refer to. Given the 50 mile span between the Horizon rig and the Gulf beaches, this is not an unreasonable posture by the US. It would, of course, require some initiatives by the Obama administration conspicuously absent thus far.
    Jul 5, 2010. 11:20 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas vs. Wind Stocks: Developing a Wealth of Natural Gas [View article]

    Snow accumulations are down in areas typically depending upon snow melt for a sustaining water supply. While Upstate New York and Northern New England are less dependent as the several states served by the glaciers in Montana, for example, snow melt is an important water supply metric for those eastern regions. Having lived in both areas for a number of years, general water supply issues are growing concerns.

    Upper New York snow cover is down and diminishing over the past several years. The lower geographical area retaining snow into the spring yields less subsequent melt run off, hence affecting an important water availability.
    Jul 4, 2010. 12:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment