Friday, September 19, 2008

Warren Buffett Makes a Nuclear Play

warren_buffett Watching the movements of billionaires is the sport of business pages, and no billionaire is watched more closely than Warren Buffett - well, unless it's Bill Gates, to whose foundation Buffett will eventually leave his fortune. So when Buffett makes a buy - or a play, as those same business pages like to say - money sniffing noses scent the air around their hutches.

So without further ado, here's the Wall Street Journal on Buffett's latest play:

So how to read Warren Buffett’s $4.7 billion purchase today of Constellation Energy? Most likely, as a vote of confidence in the future of nuclear power in the U.S.

...

Some 60% of Constellation’s 8,700 megawatts of generation capacity comes from nukes. And the company’s plan is to build more, it told investors in July: “The primary objective has been to develop the strategic option to pursue new nuclear, and we continue on that path.”

As writer Keith Johnson points out, Buffett has been in and out of the nuclear business before, so this latest move might mean that Buffett sees government plugging some economic holes to make building capital-intensive nuclear plants more attractive.

It's a fair comment and we agree with it. While Congress lately has been sidetracked by offshore drilling, any eventual energy bill is going to be all in on renewable energy sources, and nuclear, wind and solar (etc. - hydro, natural gas, "clean" coal) are going to be big winners.

And - how unusual! - so will Buffett.

Buffett himself - almost cheesecake. Well, if Bill Gates can do it - see here (the photo originally came from a Seventeen shoot) - why not Buffett.

1 comment:

Joffan said...

Buffett seems a little overdressed for the sauna, in that picture.
;-)

I have already seen the fighting retreat of the anti-nukes from their previous delight at Buffett's (MidAmerica's) decision not to continue with new build in Idaho. It seems that we now have a little more of that story - why build a greenfield plant in Idaho when you're about to purchase a compnany much further along with the process in a location with better infrastructure?