This post originally appeared Jan. 30 at 9:30 a.m. ET on Real Money.
NEW YORK (
) -- Dear Warren:
I have seen you on
so many times that I feel like we know each other well enough for me to suggest a plan to you concerning our country's massive oversupply of natural gas, and what you, as owner of
railroad, can do to change things in our country.
First, buy up as many natural gas royalty trusts, and perhaps natural gas drillers and operating companies.
Second, call President Obama and tell him to pass a law to mandate that all diesel locomotives must be switched to a natural gas-based fuel within three years. Trains are the easiest surface transportation items to convert because the weight of the fuel tanks is not a problem. Moreover, the railroad business is one of the largest users of diesel fuel, a really bad fuel that causes a lot of pollution. Our air would be so much better without diesel ... and our balance of payments would like it very much, too.
Third, even if President Obama does not mandate a conversion, you can convert to nat gas, sending the price of natural gas up -- and you would make money on that anyway. Win-win.
Naturally, with natural gasses at a rock-bottom, generational low, the electric utilities that are using coal in old plants should be doing the same thing: replacing coal with natural gas that they own.
Similarly, trucking companies should be buying up natural gas or locking in long-term supplies because natural gas will become the trucking fuel of the future if the railroads covert to locomotives fueled by natural gas.
If the transportation industry switches all of our eighteen-wheelers and locomotives to natural gas, our balance of payments will really be happy.
Oh, please also ask President Obama to mandate an end to the heating of any structure in this country with polluting heating oil.
Think of all the jobs that will be created, and think about how many more jobs will be created in our energy industry, if we stop shutting-in natural, as we are now beginning to do.