Business partners Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger took shareholder questions for over four hours on May 2 during the shareholder event weekend. Then on Sunday, Warren Buffett fielded more questions from KETV NewsWatch 7.
The annual shareholder event question-and-answer session took place at the CenturyLink Center and is the pinnacle of the entire weekend. Many shareholders are glued to the words that Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett have to say, and many local topics come up as well including Iowa and Nebraska wind energy.
“I would hope that over time that both wind, solar will replace a lot of coal and gas for that matter. And it will incidentally. But unfortunately the wind doesn’t blow 24 hours a day, and the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day,” said Buffett to David Earl from KETV NewsWatch 7.
Earl: “Is it more about a tax credit for you or is it really about green energy?”
Buffett: “Well, it wouldn’t make economic sense without the tax credit, and that’s why there is a tax credit. The government wants to encourage wind energy and nobody would be doing anything, and it takes a subsidy at the present time. Not an overwhelming subsidy, but it takes that subsidy and no one would be developing it without that subsidy, which is why the government does it.”
Earl: “Is it good for those farmers in Iowa with the land?”
Buffett: “Well, the ones that lease to us seem to think so. They get paid very well for it, but some want to do it and some don’t want to do it.”
Earl: “We heard about a huge investment that MidAmerican Energy is making soon. Can you tell us where those wind farms are going to be?”
Buffett: “I don’t know yet. I’m not sure if they’ve been sited yet or not, but they’ve been authorized.”
Earl: “What is the state of the economy here in Omaha?
Buffett: “It is strong. Look at Nebraska’s unemployment rate. This is a very strong economy in Omaha, and I think it will continue that way.”
Buffett then points to investments in new construction that are happening all over the city and he mentions many of the millionaires that he’s made in Omaha that have found a way to give back to this beautiful city that they call home.
“The sums have been pretty big in some cases, and a lot of that has been focused on Omaha, and I think that’s terrific,” said Buffett.
Warren Buffett once again said this year that the meeting is not going to move away from Omaha. Shareholders really love to make the pilgrimage to listen to and share words of wisdom with Buffett. He’s the Oracle of Omaha after all.
“I’m not sure where it came from, but it has an alliteration to it. But I’m not sure what else,” said Buffett.
Buffett also spoke about the new impact of safety standards during the meeting, in regards to shipping crude oil by train. He said it is going to have an impact on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad and tanker car business owned and operated by Berkshire Hathaway.
You can watch the entire interview by visiting the KETV NewsWatch 7 website.