Lost In The Partisan Hype

Guy Benson posted an article today at Townhall about the American economy under President Trump.

The article quotes a Wall Street Journal article listing economic milestones:

The number of Americans claiming new unemployment benefits has never been so low for so long.  Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., decreased by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 233,000 in the week ended April 7, the Labor Department said Thursday. This means claims have now held below 300,000 for 162 consecutive weeks, cementing the longest streak for weekly records dating back to 1967...The current streak eclipsed the previous longest stretch that ended in April 1970. Taking into account the size of the labor force, claims today compared to the late 1960s and early 1970s are much lower…The consistently low claims levels point to labor market health because they mean relatively few Americans are losing their jobs and applying for benefits to tide them over until they can find new employment. After several years of consistent job growth, firms are reluctant to let employees go in a tightening labor market in which many available workers are quickly snapped up.

Wow.

Further good news:

Trump’s speech came amid surging optimism among American manufacturers thanks to the after-effects of the GOP’s recently-implemented tax reform law. More than 93% of manufacturers have a positive outlook on their company’s prospects in the U.S. economy – the second-highest level ever recorded by the National Association of Manufacturers –  its most recent quarterly survey revealed. Meanwhile, optimism among small manufacturers was at its highest level ever recorded throughout the survey’s 20 year history; 94.5% of companies reported that they were positive about their future. Wage growth among those manufacturers surveyed also rose at the fastest pace in 17 years…The survey showed that manufacturers expected full-time employment to increase by 2.9% on average over the next year, an all-time high by the survey’s standards. Companies also said capital investments are likely to rise by 3.9% over the next 12 months, while inventories are expected to rise by 1.7%.

The two main causes for the economic boom are cutting the regulations that make it difficult for businesses to grow and changing the tax codes so that Americans get to keep more of what they earn. Small business is one of the main engines of job growth in America, and changing the way small businesses pay taxes has a very positive impact on job growth. One other factor in the economic boom is the move toward American energy independence. Low energy costs and low taxes are two things that attract foreign businesses. Because America now has both of these assets, we are more attractive as a place for foreign business to relocate. We are more competitive in the global marketplace because of the policies of President Trump. That is a really good thing.

The Worldwide Impact Of Developing America’s Energy Resources

With the lifting of many of the restrictions on domestic oil drilling (and fracking) in America, the impact of American oil and natural gas on the world market has grown. Today Reuters posted an article about the impact of American energy on the global oil market.

The article reports:

Surging shale production is poised to push U.S. oil output to more than 10 million barrels per day – toppling a record set in 1970 and crossing a threshold few could have imagined even a decade ago.

So what does this mean?

The article explains:

The economic and political impacts of soaring U.S. output are breathtaking, cutting the nation’s oil imports by a fifth over a decade, providing high-paying jobs in rural communities and lowering consumer prices for domestic gasoline by 37 percent from a 2008 peak.

…“It has had incredibly positive impacts for the U.S. economy, for the workforce and even our reduced carbon footprint” as shale natural gas has displaced coal at power plants, said John England, head of consultancy Deloitte’s U.S. energy and resources practice.

The article notes that in an attempt to stop American energy development, OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) tried to discourage shale production of oil in America by flooding the market with oil (Saudi Arabia also played a role in financing movies and advertising containing misinformation about fracking).

The article notes:

The cartel of oil-producing nations backed down in November 2016 and enacted production cuts amid pressure from their own members over low prices – which had plunged to below $27 earlier that year from more than $100 a barrel in 2014.

Shale producers won the price war through aggressive cost-cutting and rapid advances in drilling technology. Oil now trades above $64 a barrel, enough for many U.S. producers to finance both expanded drilling and dividends for shareholders.

The article also  mentions American oil exports:

Efficiencies spurred by the battle with OPEC – including faster drilling, better well designs and more fracking – helped U.S. firms produce enough oil to successfully lobby for the repeal of a ban on oil exports. In late 2015, Congress overturned the prohibition it had imposed following OPEC’s 1973 embargo.

The United States now exports up to 1.7 million barrels per day of crude, and this year will have the capacity to export 3.8 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. Terminals conceived for importing liquefied natural gas have now been overhauled to allow exports.

That export demand, along with surging production in remote locations such as West Texas and North Dakota, has led to a boom in U.S. pipeline construction. Firms including Kinder Morgan and Enterprise Products Partners added 26,000 miles of liquids pipelines in the five years between 2012 and 2016, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Several more multi-billion-dollar pipeline projects are on the drawing board.

Energy independence is important for America. Total energy independence will have a very positive impact on our foreign policy. Because tyrannical regimes in the Middle East have traditionally controlled the oil supply to the rest of the world, western countries have been required to support governments they should not be supporting in order to keep the oil flooding. Russia is another country that has used its pipelines to Europe as a way to control certain European countries. Energy independence will give America a degree of freedom we have not had for a long time. Hopefully we will use that freedom wisely.

What Some Economists Are Saying About President Trump’s Proposed Tax Plan

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about President Trump‘s proposed tax plan. The article reports on a new study from Boston University economists.

The article reports:

“We find that, depending on the year considered, the new Republican tax plan raises GDP by between 3 and 5 percent and real wages by between 4 and 7 percent,” the economists explain. “This translates into roughly $3,500 annually more annual real take-home pay for the average American household.”

Economists believe this growth can happen due to the plan’s aim to reduce the marginal effective corporate tax rate from 34.6 percent to 18.6 percent, which they believe will grow the capital stock by 12 to 20 percent.

The article concludes:

The study also says every American can benefit from this tax reform framework.

“The [Unified Framework] tax reform delivers small increases in lifetime welfare to current retirees and moderate ones to workers and future generations,” the study states. “All generations benefit from the policy. The old benefit slightly from higher rates of return on their investment, and the young from higher wages.”

The Boston University study is similar to the findings from the Council of Economic Advisers study put out earlier this week, which said that the average household income could increase by $4,000 annually if the corporate tax rate was cut from 35 percent to 20 percent.

“The truth is that a tax cut like this very conservatively will increase the median wage by about $4,000 a year over a relatively short time,” said Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. “If you look at some of the more optimistic estimates of the literature and then run the thing over time you could be looking at $10,000, even $20,000 higher wages relative to baseline, and that’s the message of this tax reform.”

The economy is growing right now at a much faster rate than it did under President Obama. There are a number of reasons for that. President Trump has been quietly removing the government regulations that were a drag on the economy. President Trump has also allowed the coal industry to resume operations and allowed other businesses to work toward American energy independence. As a result of this, gasoline and other energy prices are relatively low right now, making America a desirable place to do business. Also, the lower gasoline prices result in more money in all Americans’ pockets. Low gasoline prices impact everyone who drives–they are the equivalent of a tax cut for everyone. When people have more money in their pockets, they do things like go out to dinner, go shopping, or go to a movie. This puts money in the pockets of the people who work in those industries. Everybody wins.

Making America Energy Independent

There are a lot of entities that have a vested interest in preventing America from becoming energy independent. The obvious ones are OPEC and the Soviet Union. When you look at the money behind the anti-pipeline and anti-fracking movements, you will see a lot of Saudi Arabian money and a lot of Russian money. Why? Some scientists believe that the oil and natural gas resources in America reachable by fracking are larger than the oil resources in the Middle East. Fracking will quickly end OPEC’s monopoly on the world’s oil supply. It will also prevent the possibility of Iran at some point blocking the Strait of Hormuz. Thirty percent of the world’s oil travels through the Strait of Hormuz. Imagine the disruption of the world’s oil supply if that Strait was blocked. Right now, Russia is the largest supplier of natural gas to Europe. The pipelines run from Russia to Europe. Russia has been known to threaten Europe with shutting down the pipeline if Europe does not comply with Russia’s wishes. American oil and natural gas would also alleviate that threat. The environmentalists who are blocking the development of America’s fossil fuel reserves are serving as useful idiots for OPEC and the Russians. The elevated status these objectors were given during the Obama Administration is about to end.

The Daily Caller is reporting today that the Trump Administration is getting ready to open up new areas to offshore oil and gas drilling.

The article reports:

Industry sources familiar with the matter told Platts an executive order is in the works to rewind Obama’s decision to make large swaths of the Arctic and Atlantic off-limits to oil and gas drilling.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke told industry representatives the new drilling plan would be signed soon, according to Bloomberg. However, he gave few details on what the order could include.

The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) new five-year offshore drilling plan could take years to develop and would replace the Obama administration’s five-year plan finalized in November.

Like it or not, fossil fuel fuels the world’s economy. Until the free market is allowed to work to develop a reliable source of green energy, fossil fuel will continue in that role. The good news is that natural gas is an extremely clean-burning fossil fuel, and America has plenty of that.

The article concludes:

Trump is expected to sign the order by the end of April, and it’s sure to draw legal challenges from environmentalists who’ve argued Obama’s indefinite ban on Arctic and Atlantic drilling can’t be overturned.

Obama used Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a 1953 law governing offshore drilling, in an unprecedented way, blocking leases in the Atlantic Ocean and the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

Obama’s order took 125 million acres in Arctic seas and four million acres in the Atlantic Ocean out of future lease sales indefinitely. Supporters said the former president’s actions “permanently” banned drilling in those regions.

But the drilling ban is only permanent if Congress doesn’t change the law or Trump doesn’t move to test it in court. Past presidents have reduced the size of Section 12(a) designations but never fully repealed them.

The U.S.-held portion of the Arctic Ocean is estimated to hold 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The oil and gas industry has struggled to access these vast energy reserves but new discoveries in northern Alaska have reinvigorated some interest in the region.

Energy independence is both a matter of national security and economic success. Cheap fuel prices will bring industry back to America. American labor costs may be higher than the almost-slave labor that exists in some countries, but American quality control standards are also high. Lowering energy costs (and lowering corporate tax rates) will be a positive step toward reviving an American economy that has not been doing well in recent years.

Changing A Position In The Hope Of Changing The Subject And Gaining Political Points

I understand that politics is a strategy and is played to win, but I wish we could reach a place where the good of the country was more important than personal political gain. Unfortunately, we are not there. What would energy independence mean to America? It would probably result in a dramatic shift in our foreign policy. We would no longer have to cater to the whims of oil producing countries that fund terrorism and do not allow their citizens to live in freedom. We would not longer be borrowing money from other countries to give to countries that hate us. At least we could do it with our own money.

What would it take for America to be energy independent? I would suggest building a few new oil refineries. Since 2008 we have built three refineries. The last refinery built before 2008 was built in 1998. (This is according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.) We would also have to find ways to better tap into our energy resources and transport the petroleum products we produce. On February 12, 2014, I posted an article about the people who are making money because the Keystone Pipeline is not being built. A number of those people are in Congress voting on the Pipeline. Somehow I don’t think that is in the interest of the American people–I think they are voting on their own financial interests.

Meanwhile Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton has come out in opposition to the building of the Keystone Pipeline.

Fox News has the story, and contrasts her current position with her past position:

In 2010, then-Secretary Clinton indicated potential support for the project as she told a San Francisco audience, “We’re either going to be dependent on dirty oil from the [Persian] Gulf or dirty oil from Canada.”

She was right about that, now she has changed her mind.

It is interesting that the unions support the Pipeline because it will mean jobs. The extreme environmentalists oppose it.

Yesterday Politico reported the following:

Two major unions have decided to delay endorsements in the presidential race — a move labor insiders attribute in part to the uncertainty Vice President Joe Biden’s potential run has inserted into the Democratic primary.

The decisions are a setback for Hillary Clinton, who has been courting the labor giants in the hopes of an early lock down of two powerhouse unions that can organize millions of members and resources on the ground. And they come against the backdrop of a Clinton campaign show of force — in terms of establishment donors, delegates and endorsements — as Biden weighs his options. Adding the support of two of the most muscular unions now would have sent a powerful message there is little room in the race for the vice president.

The two unions are the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). It will be interesting to see what happens next.

What World Is He Living In?

This is part of the transcript from the speech President Obama gave to the graduating cadets at West Point:

Four and a half years later, as you graduate, the landscape has changed. We have removed our troops from Iraq. We are winding down our war in Afghanistan. Al-Qaida’s leadership on the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been decimated, and Osama bin Laden is no more. (Cheers, applause.) And through it all, we’ve refocused our investments in what has always been a key source of American strength: a growing economy that can provide opportunity for everybody who’s willing to work hard and take responsibility here at home.

In fact, by most measures America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world. Those who argue otherwise — who suggest that America is in decline or has seen its global leadership slip away — are either misreading history or engaged in partisan politics.

Think about it. Our military has no peer. The odds of a direct threat against us by any nation are low, and do not come close to the dangers we faced during the Cold War. Meanwhile, our economy remains the most dynamic on Earth, our businesses the most innovative. Each year, we grow more energy independent. From Europe to Asia, we are the hub of alliances unrivaled in the history of nations.

I will admit that I am very partisan, but that is not why I believe that America’s global leadership is slipping away. We have an American marine in prison in Mexico because he made a wrong turn. We have an American pastor in prison in Iraq because he is a Christian while his wife is in America. If America were stronger, both of these people would be at home in America.

American energy independence will be achieved despite the government, not because of it. The Obama Administration has blocked oil exploration on federal land. The Obama Administration has also blocked construction of the Keystone Pipeline. The administration has spent millions of dollars investing in technology that has not yet been proven to work. The Obama Administration is a roadblock to energy independence–not a facilitator.

This is the link to a transcript of the speech. Please read the whole speech and draw your own conclusions.

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Why We Need The Keystone Pipeline

The Financial Times reported yesterday that American increased the amount of oil it imported from the Middle East last year.

The article reports that by the end of November the U. S. had already imported 450m barrels of crude oil from Saudi Arabia, more than we imported in 2009, 2010, or 2011. This is the first time since 2003 that Saudi Arabia has accounted for more than 15 percent of America’s oil imports. The Gulf region accounted for more than 25 percent–a nine-year high. This is happening at the same time that demand for crude oil has declined slightly since 2004 due to increased efficiency, an economic slowdown, and the increased use of natural gas.

This is foolish on the part of America. Because of our dependence on Middle-Eastern oil, we are forced to make political and foreign policy decisions that are not in our best interest. Whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, there is currently a clash of civilizations between western freedom and Islamic nations and radicals that do not support freedom. We are supporting these radicals with our oil purchases. If you look at the changes in the United Nations over the past thirty years, you will find that the new empowerment of Islamic groups was financed by Americans buying oil. The anti-Semitism that has ruled the United Nations in recent years is funded by Americans buying Middle East oil. Saudi Arabia, who is an awkward ally at best, is one of the major financial backers of terrorism and extreme Islam around the world, and we keep giving them oil money.

It is time for America to declare its energy independence. That does not mean wind and solar–so far they do not work. We live in a carbon-based world economy. We might as well acknowledge this and get on with life. The Keystone Pipeline would be a positive step in that direction.

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Following The Money On America’s Domestic Energy Front

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about the Matt Damon movie, “Promised Land.” The movie is essentially an anti-fracking movie that plays fast and loose with the actual truth. The movie was funded by the United Arab Emirates. We are supposed to believe that they are neutral parties in America‘s quest for energy independence. Yeah, right.

The article reports:

But the movie is actually worse than a garden-variety, ill-informed environmentalist fantasy, in which companies–especially energy companies–are villains, and whoever opposes development of resources–especially energy resources–is a hero. The original script for Promised Land portrayed anti-fracking activists as disinterested, admirable whistle-blowers. But while the film was in production, it came to light that several of the main real-world anti-fracking activists were peddling frauds:

The article then goes on to list some of the cases that have proved that the complaints against fracking are not valid.

The article explains how the movie dealt with the anti-fracking fraud:

News stories about these frauds were widely enough circulated that the filmmakers were concerned that moviegoers may be aware of them, and it could make the premise of their movie laughable. So, did they respond by telling the truth about the anti-fracking movement? Of course not. Did they cancel the film and eat their losses? Don’t be silly! No, they changed the script. In the finished version of Promised Land, “the fraudulent environmentalists are secretly working for the gas company to smear the environmental movement.”

I have a few questions about this whole fracking thing. “Why is the environmental movement so against America becoming energy independent?” Wouldn’t the environment be cleaner if every country used its own energy sources? Isn’t the use of local resources a better idea than taking a chance on oil spills by transporting oil all around the world? Are the environmentalists themselves using less energy to show that they practice what they preach?

Almost every country in the world has an energy source. The only country that I am aware of that uses almost 100% green energy is Iceland. They have harnessed the volcanoes the country sits on and used the superheated steam from the volcanoes to provide electricity. Obviously, every country does not sit on volcanoes and can’t do that, but America sits on large deposits of natural gas, a relatively clean source of energy that can be retrieved by fracking. We need to use our own resources. The United Arab Emirates needs to find new customers!

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This Might Explain The President’s Energy Policy

President Obama has been in office for more than three years now. One of the things that will be a problem for him in the coming election is the high price of gas at the pump. The President is threatening to take away the tax deductions from oil companies that all other businesses have–singling them out for higher taxes. That will further increase the price of gas at the pump. A video has surfaced recently that might explain some of these actions.

Yesterday CNS News reported that in 2010 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz stating that the “general philosophy” of the EPA is to  “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies. And we wonder why we haven’t made serious progress in the area of energy independence.

The article reports:

Soon after Armendariz touted the EPA’s “philosophy,” the EPA began smear campaigns against natural gas producers, Inhofe’s office noted in advance of today’s Senate speech:

“Not long after Administrator Armendariz made these comments in 2010, EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.

“In all three of these cases, EPA initially made headline-grabbing statements either insinuating or proclaiming outright that the use of hydraulic fracturing by American energy producers was the cause of water contamination, but in each case their comments were premature at best – and despite their most valiant efforts, they have been unable to find any sound scientific evidence to make this link.”

This is the link to the YouTube clip of Administrator Armendariz’ statement. Here is the video clip: 

If we want to be energy independence, we need new leadership.

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American Industry Triumphs–Even When It Is Not Allowed To !

Escopeta Oil and Gas Spartan 151 jackup oil ri...

Escopeta Oil and Gas Spartan 151 jackup oil rig being towed, Kachemak Bay, Alaska (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is something very ironic about this story. One of the reasons that the American economy is recovering so slowly is the high price of gasoline. That price is pretty much set by OPEC (made up of countries that generally do not like us) and the falling value of the American dollar.  One of the solutions to that particular problem would be for America to develop its own oil resources and become energy independent. The Obama Administration has done a fairly good job of blocking any attempt to make that happen (offshore drilling, drilling in ANWR, Keystone pipeline, etc.). American oil companies have been limited in where they can explore for oil and where they can drill. Because American oil companies are in business to make a profit, they are going elsewhere!

Breitbart.com reported yesterday that Exxon Mobil has been hired by Russia to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean–you know–up where the Obama Administration prevented Americans from drilling.

The article reports:

Think about how backward things are under Obama—the largest oil company in America is going to be drilling in waters around the Arctic where they expect to find 85 billion barrels in recoverable oil. And instead of sending it to Texas refineries, and thereafter to gas stations across America, the oil will be sent to Russia and refined for their use.

By the way, if extracted at the rate of 1 million barrels a day, 85 billion barrels of oil would last for 85,000 days.  85,000 days equals well over 200 years.  Yet here we are, listening to Obama telling us the future is one of wind farms, electric cars, and a companies like Solyndra.

Perhaps we’ll get lucky and Russia will sell us some of their oil. If Obama keeps us in this energy stranglehold we’re going to need it.

It seems that one of the casualties of the Obama Administration’s energy policy is common sense.

 

 

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Roadblocks On The Way To Energy Independence

The Washington Free Beacon is reporting today that 70 House democrats voted for the Keystone Pipeline yesterday. The Keystone Pipeline was included in the Transportation Bill that passed the House yesterday by a vote of 293-127.

The Hill reported yesterday:

The bill creates another clash with the White House over the Keystone pipeline — a project at the heart of the Republicans’ energy agenda and their election-year attacks against the president.

Obama, facing divisions in his political base, has delayed a permitting decision on the project until after the election and threatened to veto the House bill over the pipeline language.

The House vote continues what has been a difficult path forward for transportation program funding, which often has bipartisan support.

Congress last month enacted a 90-day extension of highway programs before it left for a two-week recess, and the Speaker had hoped to use the break as one more chance to win support for the five-year transportation bill he has been pushing for months over objections from his conference.

Unless it is approved, the Keystone Pipeline will be a campaign issue this November. The majority of Americans are in favor of building it. Its construction will create jobs and lower gas prices at the pump (although I am not sure how quickly gas prices will go down). It will be interesting to see how the President and the Senate handle this.

 

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The Truth About Oil And Gas Production In America

Yesterday John HInderaker posted an article at Power LIne about President Obama’s claim that he has increased oil and gas production in America during his term as President.

This chart says it all:

The chart makes very clear that private lands have increased their production of oil and natural gas and public lands have not. Please follow the link above to the article. The article provides a time line of what the Obama Administration has done to limit oil and gas production on federal land.

The article concludes:

…A week ago I was talking with a Republican Congressman from Minnesota who described an encounter with President Obama, in which he tried to explain to Obama that FDA regulations are devastating the medical device industry, of which Minnesota is a major center. After the Congressman had explained the problem, Obama put his hand on his shoulder and said, “There isn’t really much I can do about that. The FDA is an independent agency, you know.”

The Congressman described this as an instance of Obama’s “cluelessness,” but I think he gave the president too much credit. Obama knew perfectly well what the consequences of staffing the federal alphabet-soup agencies with hard-line left-wingers would be. He tries, now, to distance himself from the terrible consequences of his own appointees’ actions, but he is fully responsible for them. The Obama administration has gone out of its way to make you poorer. Anyone who votes to re-elect the president deserves another four years of misery.

We need to pay attention–this matters.

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Defeating The Keystone Pipeline (Again)

Yesterday Politico reported on the vote in the Senate opposing a highway bill that would have allowed the Keystone Pipeline to move forward. The vote was 56-42. The 56 vote supported the Pipeline, but 60 votes were needed to break the filibuster.

President Obama had strongly lobbied the Senate to vote against the measure.

The article reports:

Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) wryly congratulated Obama on his lobbying efforts.

“That was very strong work by President Obama himself, making personal calls to Democrats,” Lugar said. “He understood that a majority of the American public and a majority at least of the Senate are strongly in favor of this project.

“So I suppose you give credit to the president for once again blocking something, but I don’t think the president really wants to do that indefinitely,” he added.

“We got a majority in the Senate,” said amendment sponsor Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), who noted that two senators — Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) — were absent. “So we would have had 58 votes had all Republicans been able to be here.”

The fact that this vote was taken has a lot to do with election year politics, but it also has a lot to do with America’s energy independence. As Iran continues to threaten to close the Strait of Hormuz, we need to consider our energy needs and how to meet them without Middle Eastern oil. Alternative energy is not yet sufficiently developed to be a viable substitute.

I have no doubt that there will be more votes on the Pipeline as the November election approaches.

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Why America Needs To Be Energy Independent

President Obama’s blocking of the Keystone Pipeline had an obvious negative impact on jobs–the pipeline would have created thousands of jobs instantly–but it had a more dangerous long term impact on America’s energy independence. Alternative energy will not give us that independence at this time–we are a carbon based economy. The fruits of the decision to block the Keystone Pipeline and limit domestic energy production are becoming very obvious today.

Reuters is reporting today that Iran has stopped selling crude oil to British and French companies in retaliation for sanctions imposed because of Iran’s nuclear program.

The article reports:

Iran was supplying more than 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) to the EU plus Turkey in 2011, industry sources said.

By the start of this year imports had sunk to about 650,000 bpd as some customers cut back in anticipation of an EU ban.

Saudi Arabia says it is prepared to supply extra oil either by topping up existing term contracts or by making rare spot market sales. Iran has criticized Riyadh for the offer.

The European country most impacted by the Iranian move is Greece.

CNBC reported today that in December Saudi Arabia cut its oil production and exports.

CNBC reports:

Iraq, another frequently-cited supplier to make up for part of the Iranian oil shortfall following European Union sanctions,  reported no major changes to its supply and export regime. Authorities there are pursuing an ambitious production expansion plan with the aim of reaching 12 million bpd by 2016.

The Reuters article reports:

Brent crude oil prices were up $1 a barrel to $118.35 shortly after Iran’s state media announced last week that Tehran had cut oil exports to six European states. The report was denied shortly afterwards by Iranian officials.

“We have our own customers … The replacements for these companies have been considered by Iran,” Nikzad said.

This is not good news for the western world. Now is the time for America to develop any and all of its energy sources. Even if we drilled everywhere today, we would still be facing a summer of at least $5 a gallon gasoline, but if we drilled everywhere today, we would at least have a better outlook for the future.

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Why We All Need To Pay Attention Before The Next Election

Yesterday Investors.com posted an article about a campaign ad the Obama campaign has created. The ad is total fiction, and the article explains why.

One of the claims in the ad is that the Obama Administration has decreased America’s dependence on foreign oil. The ad fails to mention that during a recession American oil consumption decreases and thus the amount of oil we import decreases. The article also fails to mention that gasoline consumption is down because the price of a gallon of gas has almost doubled under President Obama. The article includes a chart:

The article also deals with some of the other claims in the ad. President Obama claims that according to the Brookings Institution his administration has created 2.7 million clean energy jobs and is expanding rapidly. Again, that doesn’t line up with the facts. The article reports:

“Overall, today’s clean economy establishments added half a million jobs between 2003 and 2010, expanding at an annual rate of 3.4 %” — a half-million over eight years being a tiny gain. And that “this performance lagged the growth in the national economy, which grew by 4.2% annually over the period.”

We need to remember that Spain ended its government sponsored green energy program because for every job they created, two jobs were lost. We need to learn from the Spanish experience.

Overall the ad is a very nice-sounding group of lies. I am sure it is the first of many such ads. As voters, we need to learn to fact check all political ads from all candidates. Statistics can be twisted to say anything the person citing them wants them to say. Polls can be skewed according to who is polled. As voters, we really need to pay attention to what is said during the campaign and how much of what is said is actually true.

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Iran Is Ramping It Up–Is Anyone Listening ?

My Way posted a story today about Iran’s warning to the other oil-producing countries in the Gulf not to boost their oil production if Iran’s oil production is reduced because of western sanctions. Iran’s OPEC governor made the threats just as Saudi Arabia announced that it would increase its oil production if Iran’s oil production decreased.

The article states:

Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy, is widely seen as the main counterweight to Iran in the region. Any attempt by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which a sixth of the world’s oil flows, would also affect the export abilities of the major Gulf producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar.

While momentum appears to be building for the sanctions by the West, China, another major buyer of Iranian oil, has come out against the measures.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was in Saudi Arabia on Saturday for meeting with officials in which the two countries “pledged to work together to further expand all-around exchanges and cooperation,” according to China’s Xinhua news agency

Wen said the two sides “should expand trade of crude oil and natural gas and energy-related cooperation as to deepen their energy partnership,” Xinhua reported.

There are a couple of things going on here. First of all, America is vulnerable to this sort of garbage from Iran because we have not developed our own energy resources. Second of all, young Iranians (who make up more than half of the country) do not support the current government of Iran. A war against the Americans would allow the rulers to unite the country against a common enemy (us) in order to stay in power and continue their nuclear program. Third, Russia and China will support any action by any country that creates a problem for America. The weaker we become, the stronger they have a chance to become. Fourth, can you imagine the bully Iran will become when it completes its nuclear program?

Part of the problem here is America’s failure to become energy independent and part of the problem here is that the Iranians see President Obama as a weak President that they can push around. Neither one of these things is good for the future of America. If the voters are smart, we will have a new President in 2013.

 

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One Explanation For The High Unemployment Numbers

States that border the Gulf of Mexico are show...

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The Offshore Marine Service Association (OSMA) has posted a video at YouTube explaining the impact of the ‘permatorium’ the Obama administration has on American drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Washington Examiner posted a short story on the impact of the ‘permatorium’ which included this statement:

But other than pointing to staggering unemployment figures and gas prices that remain nearly double what they were when the president took office in 2009, it’s difficult to convey the magnitude of the Obama energy crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. The consequences of this crisis far exceed in terms of human and economic losses those occasioned by the Deepwater Horizon disaster that was used to justify the Permatorium in the first place.

Lifting this ‘permatorium’ would help unemployment and also bring down the cost of gasoline which would help all Americans.

 

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