Were it not for a caller to the Herman Cain radio show this morning spilling the beans on Warren Buffett’s railroad, vis-a-vie the XL pipeline, this story would have remained buried. It’s about BNSF Railway, a railroad transportation company wholly owned by Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway.
BNSF figures to be the major player in petroleum shipments from the Bakken fields in North Dakota to the Texas refineries. In other words, the XL pipeline route. And to ship east to Philadelphia refineries and west to refineries in California, Oregon and Washington.
Warren Buffett is a big Obama contributor and supporter. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But when you see Obama doing everything he can to not sign on to the XL pipeline, and last week the environmental lobby along with Robert Kennedy Jr. tying themselves to The White House fence in protest to the XL pipeline, you can see the forces at work. The only special interest group that supports Obama but wants the XL pipeline is Big Labor. Why? Because it means jobs.
So Obama has a tough call (money or jobs) to make. You have your quid pro quo to Warren Buffett and the environmental lobby on one hand, and creating hundreds of thousands of high-paying union jobs on the other. The latter would also strengthen our energy security in the long-term, cut oil dependency on the Middle East and Venezuela, will contribute to making the United States an oil producer instead of an oil purchaser, and would lower energy costs. Oil producers say shipping crude by pipeline in North Dakota adds up to $1.50 to its cost, compared to $2 or more a barrel for rail shipments. Also tied to the oil costs are food cost.
To the oil companies, it doesn’t matter one bit how the crude they produce is transported. It does matter to the folks that have to buy it. The lower the cost of transportation, the lower the cost of energy. The lower the cost of energy, the lower the cost of food, fuel, heating. The poor would benefit more from lower prices on food and energy than those eeevil one percenters would. Opening the Keystone XL pipeline should be a no-brainer. But Obama won re-election. He doesn’t have to act like he cares for the poor or middle-class anymore.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, at least here on The Lunch Counter, let’s see if the media ever catches up and calls out Obama on being beholden to his favorite lobbyists/contributors as they are quick to say, “on the backs of the poor.”
Links: Buffett Railroad Sees Crude Cargo Climbing 40% | BNSF Railway | Warren Buffett cleans up after Keystone XL | No Keystone XL? Big Oil will just take the train | BNSF expands Bakken rail ability from N.Dakota, Montana