Last night we were examining the latest rail industry data supplied by the Association of American Railroads in its monthly Rail Time Indicators Report (.pdf).
This chart really caught our eye.
Suddenly, domestic transfer of petroleum products, via rail, is growing like crazy, far surpassing pre-crisis levels.
See, there’s a shale boom in America, most prominently in North Dakota, in a big area called the Bakken.
This chart from the Energy Policy Research Institute (a pro-domestic energy DC-based lobbying group) says it all.
Anyway, this is moving the needle big time domestically, as the above rail chart shows, but also as this look at domestic energy production form the EIA shows… the US is reversing its decline in domestic production.
Now obviously we’re aware that all this is incredibly controversial, as shale is associated with all kinds of environmental concerns, and controversial pipelines, and whatnot.
But the fact that somewhere there’s a sign of real secular growth is pretty intriguing.