Corner of Berkshire & Fairfax Message Board

General Category => Berkshire Hathaway => Topic started by: Libs on April 02, 2018, 03:42:22 PM

Title: Threats to utility plants / threat to Berkshire
Post by: Libs on April 02, 2018, 03:42:22 PM
This article is getting attention re vulnerability of the power grid. My question is: Is Berkshire legally separated in any way from its utilities? Could a massive power outage that brings a region to its knees for weeks / months/ years bring down Berkshire?

https://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/R45135.pdf
Title: Re: Threats to utility plants / threat to Berkshire
Post by: reddog66 on April 06, 2018, 10:10:58 AM
One of the rare times when I have something to add.


Please see attached.


To your question, in one of the severe plausible scenarios,  I don't know how much it would really matter.
Title: Re: Threats to utility plants / threat to Berkshire
Post by: boilermaker75 on April 06, 2018, 02:23:14 PM
US test of EMP in 1962.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfish_Prime

Starfish Prime caused an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), which was far larger than expected, so much larger that it drove much of the instrumentation off scale, causing great difficulty in getting accurate measurements. The Starfish Prime electromagnetic pulse also made those effects known to the public by causing electrical damage in Hawaii, about 1,445 kilometres (898 mi) away from the detonation point, knocking out about 300 streetlights,[6] setting off numerous burglar alarms and damaging a telephone company microwave link.[7] The EMP damage to the microwave link shut down telephone calls from Kauai to the other Hawaiian islands
Title: Re: Threats to utility plants / threat to Berkshire
Post by: John Hjorth on April 07, 2018, 12:10:18 AM
... My question is: Is Berkshire legally separated in any way from its utilities? Could a massive power outage that brings a region to its knees for weeks / months/ years bring down Berkshire?...

The holding company does not guarantee the debt of BHE. Depending of how extreme such an adverse scenario would be, I can't imagine BHE would not get the financial support needed from the holding company to ride it out. In a severly adverse scenario it would likely be a state and federal matter, too.
Title: Re: Threats to utility plants / threat to Berkshire
Post by: bizaro86 on April 07, 2018, 01:09:53 PM
The utilities are also separate entities. So theoretically if one region had something catastrophic happen (and I think a regulatory catastrophe is more likely than a physical catastrophe) they could always jettison one of them. IE if Nevada decides that utilities can't recover their capital or something, (and BHE loses the resulting lawsuits...) they would still have Iowa, or vice-versa.
Title: Re: Threats to utility plants / threat to Berkshire
Post by: reddog66 on April 15, 2018, 09:38:10 AM
Presented for your consideration.
Title: Re: Threats to utility plants / threat to Berkshire
Post by: Spekulatius on April 25, 2018, 05:22:01 PM
The utilities are also separate entities. So theoretically if one region had something catastrophic happen (and I think a regulatory catastrophe is more likely than a physical catastrophe) they could always jettison one of them. IE if Nevada decides that utilities can't recover their capital or something, (and BHE loses the resulting lawsuits...) they would still have Iowa, or vice-versa.

I also think they utilities can at least theoretically recover the cost of a natural disaster from their customers via increased rates.