"Shipping oil using tank cars on rail costs about $3 more a barrel than pipeline transport...and produces more global warming gases..." the State Department said." (photo below of Buffett's secretary seated near Michelle Obama at SOTU).
1/23/12, "Buffett’s Burlington Northern Among Pipeline Winners," Bloomberg, by Jim Efstathiou Jr.
"Warren Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC is among U.S. and Canadian railroads that stand to benefit from the Obama administration’s decision to reject TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL oil pipeline permit....
The State Department denied TransCanada a permit on Jan. 18, saying there was not enough time to study the proposal by Feb. 21, a deadline Congress imposed on President Barack Obama. Calgary-based TransCanada has said it intends to re-apply with a route that avoids an environmentally sensitive region of Nebraska, something the Obama administration encouraged.
The rail option, though costlier, would lessen the environmental impact, such as a loss of wetlands and agricultural productivity, compared to the pipeline, according to the State Department analysis. Greenhouse gas emissions, however, would be worse.
If completed, Keystone XL would deliver 700,000 barrels a day of crude from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico, crossing 1,661 miles (2,673-kilometers) over Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
Investors such as John Stephenson, who helps manage $2.7 billion for First Asset Management Inc. in Toronto said he anticipated the project would move forward next year. Pipeline shipping costs remain lower than rail, and a lack of readily available tanker cars may create a bottleneck.
The availability of tank cars may create a temporary “hiccup” in transport capacity, according to Tony Hatch, an independent railroad analyst in New York. Rail cars are “a pretty hot commodity,” as a result of demand from oil producers in North Dakota, he said....
Shipping oil using tank cars on rail costs about $3 more a barrel than pipeline transport, using prices in North Dakota, a differential “unlikely” to slow the development of oil sands crude if no pipeline is build, the State Department said. The gap is shrinking as larger storage terminals are built, the agency said.
Berkshire Hathaway fell $945 to $118,830 in New York trading today. ...
Environmental groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council have campaigned to stop Keystone XL because leaks could threaten drinking water supplies and processing Alberta crude produces more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil.
Railroads too present environmental issues. Moving crude on trains produces more global warming gases than a pipeline, the State Department said."...
"Guests applaud first Lady Michelle Obama during President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Front row, from left are, Adm. William McRaven, Jackie Bray, Obama, retired Capt. Mark Kelly and Jill Biden. Second row, from left are, Bruce Cochrane, Eric Schneiderman, Juan Jose Redin, Debbie Bosanek, Laurene Powell Jobs and Alicia Boler-Davis." ap, Philly.com