MidAmerican CEO says U.S. needs an energy policy

Greg Abel, Warren Buffett’s top energy adviser doesn’t expect any changes in U.S. energy policy, no matter who wins the November presidential election. And he thinks that’s a big mistake.

Greg Abel, Warren Buffett’s top energy adviser doesn’t expect any changes in U.S. energy policy, no matter who wins the November presidential election. And he thinks that’s a big mistake.

“If we can ever find a better way to store energy, solar, wind, wave all those things become far more valuable to our investors and customers,” Abel said.

Abel also talked about natural gas exploration and Berkshire’s view of alternative energy.

The enhanced technology used to uncover shale in rocky areas, through the fracking technique, has created a “dash to gas” that Abel believes could be premature.

“It’ll put pressure on renewables, and we need to be careful we don’t let that happen,” he said.

He also noted that solar will remain hot at least until 2016, when federal incentives expire.

Asked which industries he’d eventually like to enter, Abel smiled.

“I like playing with trains,” he said. “Burlington (the BNSF Railway Co., of Fort Worth, Texas) would be interesting to have as part of our family. They have a similar mold. They’re focused on customers, their customers are effectively captive and the have added pieces that they’re always trying to grow.”

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