Wednesday, November 21, 2012
WARNING: Off on one of my meandering rants.
Intriguing article in the Casper, Wyoming Star Tribune regarding Sasol Synfuels, a South African company, taking a position in the Wyoming energy field.
Companies like this plan in decades, if not centuries, so you start wondering what they see in our future. Casper has a mature oil and gas industry infrastructure and a well trained labor force. It sits adjacent to some of the largest coal deposits in the world. This is good grade coal, mainly steam coal, and easily surface mined. In opposition, a harsh regulatory climate with little relief in sight.
My guess? They think four more years of the Lightbringer and his unicorn herders will put us in a desperate energy downward spiral and make a good climate for contrarian investing.
I’ve blogged about coal to oil processes and coal to gas in the past.
There will be some investment opportunities spin off all this. While I’m getting to old to look at far off returns, others in my tribe are the right age, and are in the right location, to prosper. When these big companies start stomping around like elephants mating, some tasty morsels become available for the ambitious “little people”.
I do see one potential disaster for the western states; water. Watch the Lightbringer’s thugs start to mess with water rights. Things will get real pear shaped real fast. Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting. Think I’m joking? Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was a water rights lawyer back in the day. Since joining the Lightbringer’s administration, Salazar has become a weasel. Maybe he always was a weasel; just hid it well.
Get control of the water and you have the whole region by the throat. Want a real life example? California’s San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys. Can you say snail darter? Meet the Colorado pikeminow, Razorback Sucker,
Humpback Chub, and Bonytail in the Colorado River drainage. Arkansas River? Shiner and Speckled Chub. Rio Grande? Silvery Minnow. Platte, North and South? Pallid sturgeon.
For many years, a Colorado joke is, Goddamndenverwaterboard is one word. We may look back to that time as an innocent interlude.