NEW YORK ( Real Money) -- How do people think we are going to get our imported energy? Do they not realize that we either get the excess supply from Canada or we import it from Venezuela or the Middle East?
Last night I had Enbridge (ENB - Get Report) CEO Al Monaco on the show. Enbridge is the premier growth pipeline company in North America, with expected earnings-per-share growth of 10% to 12% over the next five years, a remarkable number for a company that transports oil and gas. That growth will allow it to give you a predictable 13% increase in dividends for that period. Given the company's track record of giving you a total shareholder return of 20% return over the past five years vs. a 1% return for the S&P Toronto index, that promise of dividend growth seems very realistic.
During that period, Enbridge expects to spend $36 billion building out pipelines from all of the new shales as well as from hard-to-reach Canadian oil fields, of which $26 billion has secured funding. Right now it is working $4 billion in pipeline projects.
That makes Enbridge among the largest employers in the United States and, when you consider all the ancillary jobs created by laying down pipelines, this Canadian company may be the largest single current hirer in the country. In fact, it's a jobs machine.I see only one risk to this terrific growth story: the environmental opposition to both the creation of new pipelines and to the kind oil, so-called dirty oil, that Canada produces. I see this risk because Enbridge pointed it out for us on its terrific two-day analyst presentation. They did it on a terrific slide called the energy dilemma where they contrasted the need for energy with the vocal opposition to what they do. This despite industry-wide recognition as the best in class in system safety and reliability. But the company did have a pipeline rupture in July of 2010 that caused 843,000 gallons of crude to pollute the Kalamazoo river, a beautiful stretch of water that's a tributary to Lake Michigan.