Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

GOOD NEWS! Heartland Institute is sponsoring the Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-6) to take place in Washington, DC from breakfast Thursday, June 30, to noon Friday, July 1, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. This event will be more modest than in the past, yet as informative and, perhaps, even more challenging to the orthodoxy. The principal speakers are S. Fred Singer, Craig Idso, and Bob Carter – all major contributors to the NIPCC reports. Of course, SEPP is a co-sponsor.

Details here: http://www.heartland.org/events/iccc2011

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The US Congress remains on vacation, thus there has been little political action except for pronouncements by President Obama. He has accused speculators and privately owned oil companies for causing the large increases in the price of crude oil and gasoline, which are expected to go higher once summer begins. Ignoring the failure of prior investigations, he ordered the Justice Department to investigate in the illegal actions of speculators. The prices of gold, silver, and food, are increasing, so the Justice Department may have its hands full. The President refuses to recognize the contributions of his administration to the escalating price of energy, something that he and many key administration officials previously stated they desired.

Although he states that he is in discussions with Saudi Arabia for it to raise production, Mr. Obama refuses to recognize that privately owned oil companies may appear large compared to other privately owned companies. However, in terms of reserves they are small compared with government owned oil and gas companies. According to PetroStrategies, Inc., a 2007 ranking of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, in terms of reserves, placed the largest privately owned company, ExxonMobil, at number 17 with 13,318 million barrels of oil equivalent, far behind number 1 Saudi Arabia Oil, with 303,285 million barrels and, number 2 National Iranian Oil with 300,485 million barrels, etc. No doubt the rankings vary, but these are indicative of the general orders of magnitude.

http://www.petrostrategies.org/Links/Worlds_Largest_…

The president fails to recognize that the rates of return on revenues for integrated oil companies are quite modest when compared with many other companies. According to rankings by Fortune, in 2010 ExxonMobil had profits of $19,208 Million on sales of $284,650 Million for a rate of return on sales of 6.8%. Companies such as McDonald’s, Microsoft, and Google achieved returns of 20% or more.

http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/fortune/compare_2010….

Mr. Obama is demanding that tax subsidies to oil and gas companies be eliminated and that the increase in revenues be used to subsidize alternative energy producers, thereby increasing taxes on the efficient for the benefit of inefficient producers of energy. Such an effort is nothing but raw political favoritism of certain industries. Please see the discussion on the number of the week.

Already, some international experts are expressing concern of the consequences of the administration’s policies. In “The Ten Inconvenient Truths that shape our new energy world,” published in the European Energy Review, Matthew Hulbert of the Swiss Centre for Security Studies describes why today’s oil markets are driven more by geopolitics than by geology, and there is a sharp disconnect between production, price and fear. Long-held fundamentals no longer exist.

Alarmingly for Americans, he states: “Political risk is just as acute, if not more deadly, in the US than anywhere else in the world.” Perhaps lumping America with Nigeria, Russia, Venezuela, etc. in protection of private property rights may be too extreme, but it gives an indication of the direction of the Administration’s oil policy.

As if on cue, an appeals panel of the EPA ruled that Shell Oil cannot proceed with exploratory shallow-water drilling on vast tracts that it has leased from the Federal government in the Beauford and Chukchi Seas north of Alaska, claiming the exploratory drilling may violate the Clean Air Act – Shell did not consider the emissions of an ice breaker that may be required during these operations. According to reports, Shell spent $2.2 Billion on the leases and a total of nearly $4 Billion during the 5 years it has been planning to explore these regions. Shell may come back another year, but, no doubt, emboldened by these actions, EPA bureaucrats will create other imaginative regulatory obstacles. Please see Articles # 1 and # 2 and referenced articles under “EPA and other Regulators on the March,” “Energy Issues,” Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past.”

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Number of the Week: $4 Billion. This is the amount that Mr. Obama claims to be the tax subsidies extended to the oil and gas industry. It is not clear how the amount is calculated. By contrast, in an article referenced in last week’s TWTW, the Department of Energy announced it has given $21 Billion in (not tax) subsidies to the alternative energy industry in the form of loan guarantees. A report by the US Energy Information Administration estimated, in 2007, subsidies to Natural Gas and Petroleum Liquids were $2,2 Billion and to Renewables were $4.9 Billion. Since the stimulus bill of 2009, direct subsidies to alternative energy producers have increased dramatically by orders of magnitude, but for the US these subsidies are not centrally compiled as far as SEPP has been able to determine. (Unlike the US, many nations, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, substantially subsidize gasoline.)

The tax subsidies, “loopholes,” to oil and gas companies are largely in three categories: 1) oil depletion allowance, 2) expensing indirect drilling costs, and 3) a tax credit for taxes paid to foreign nations during foreign operations (foreign tax credit). The first category is a favorite among independent producers (and similar depletion allowances are available for all mineral extraction, timber, etc.). The independent producers can pass the depletion on to individual investors. Since the mid-1970s, the allowance has not been permitted for integrated oil companies. The smaller producers will bitterly fight for this “loophole” and the larger producers will be blamed.

The second category permits writing off indirect drilling costs in the year incurred rather than capitalizing them and writing them off over several years. Closing this “loophole” would only change timing of taking the expense, not total amounts of the so-called tax subsidy. The third category is available for all international companies. Closing this “loophole” would discriminate against oil and gas companies in favor of other international companies such as General Electric.

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This week, the US Energy Information Administration announced the publication of its Annual Energy Outlook – 2011. The Outlook recognizes the significant increase in technically recoverable reserves in natural gas and in oil from shale resources. This edition better separates natural gas prices from oil prices than prior editions. For years, many analysts considered the prices of these commodities moved in parallel, but they no longer do. The outlook also updates the consequences of the administration’s drilling policies, including its moratoriums. Please see Article # 1 for a summary of the changes in the update. The complete report is referenced under “Energy Issues.”

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On March 5, TWTW carried an article by Meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo predicting possible significant storms in April for the southeastern US and the Ohio Valley to include possible major tornadoes and floods. Among the conditions prompting the predictions were the La Niña and the cold, lingering snow cover in the upper mid-west and Canada. He stated that tornadoes tend to be more frequent in the south and Ohio Valley during a cool, La Niña phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and tend to stay on the ground longer as compared with an warm El Niño phase, when the tornadoes tend to be in the lesser populated Great Plains. Also such La Niña conditions tend to produce “tornado swarms.”

Unfortunately, these predictions were all too correct. This week, the US experienced one of the worst one-day tornado outbreaks in recorded history. Immediately, some climate alarmists tried to blame these storms on human-caused global warming. Among others, tornado experts with NOAA refuted such claims. Roy Spencer, who lives in Alabama, which experienced the worst of the tornadoes, may have expressed the most penetrating comments. Please see articles under “Temperature and Extreme Weather.”

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This week marks the 25th Anniversary of Chernobyl, the worst nuclear power plant accident in history. As the long, slow process continues to bring the plant at Fukushima, destroyed by natural disasters, into cold storage, it is important to analyze the health information from Chernobyl. The actual cancers were far less than projected. The psychological stress, even for those thousands of miles away, was significant. Please see Article # 5 and articles under “Nuclear Fears and Responses.”

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SEPP Corrections and Amplifications: On April 9, TWTW carried an astute article from The Scientific-Alliance on Misleading Language used in discussing global warming / climate change in which we incorrectly stated the author believes action controlling greenhouse emissions is warranted. The author, Martin Livermore, thoughtfully informed us that he has no objection to controlling such emissions if it makes economic sense. We stand ably corrected. Please see another astute article from the same source on the difficulty of trying to tax the carbon dioxide content of imports under “Seeking a Common Ground.”

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ARTICLES:

For the numbered articles below please see:

http://www.sepp.org…

1. Annual Energy Outlook – 2011

Changes from Previous AEO, Key Updates

U.S. Energy Information Administration, Apr 26, 2011

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/chapter_changes.cfm…

2. The Gas-Price Blame Game – Round 36

Editorial, IBD, Apr 26, 2011

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.asp…

3. The Gas Price Freakout

Ready-made energy incoherence as a gallon climbs towards $4

Editorial, WSJ, Apr 28, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703956…

4. Why I Still Support Nuclear Power, Even After Fukushima

By William Tucker, WSJ, Apr 23, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704396…

5. Chernobyl 25 years later: Less cancer than feared — but more PTSD

By Lana Spivak, ACSH, Apr 26, 2011

No URL

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Climategate Continued

CRU Refuses FOI Request for Yamal Climategate Chronology

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Apr 25, 2011

http://climateaudit.org/2011/04/25/cru-refuses-foi-r…

Lobbyists who cleared ‘Climategate’ academics funded by taxpayers and the BBC

A shadowy lobby group which pushes the case that global warming is a real threat is being funded by the taxpayer and assisted by the BBC

By Jason Lewis, Telegraph, UK, Apr 23, 2011

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climate…

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Perceptive Article On the Sad State of Research Funding by Toby N. Carlson

By Roger Pielke, Sr, Pielke Research Group, Apr 28, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/per…

[“With respect to NSF funding in climate science, the current focus on funding multi-decadal climate predictions by the NSF fits with his characterization that they ‘are bureaucracies that promote top-down science to suit political and administrative ends.'”]

Wrong advice, wrong policy

By Bob Carter, David Evans Stewart, Franks, Bill Kininmonth & Des Moore, Quadrant, Apr 25, 2011

http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/…

[SEPP Comment: A government guided by advisors dispensing wrong notions will harm the citizens it is supposed to serve.]

Methane madness

By Tom Quirk, Quadrant, Apr 27, 2011

http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/…

Defenders of the Orthodoxy

No binding climate deal at Durban, warn US, EU

By Staff Writers, AFP, Apr 27, 2011

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/No_binding_climate…

[SEPP Comment: The end of Kyoto with no successor will hardly be unfortunate.]

Pain at the Pump? We Need More

By Daniel Esty and Michael Porter, NYT, Apr 27, 2011 [H/t David Manuta]

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/opinion/28esty.htm…

[SEPP Comment: What would New Yorkers say about pain at the subway?]

Seeking a Common Ground

‘Hidden’ CO2

By Martin Livermore, Scientific-Alliance, Apr 27, 2011

http://www.scientific-alliance.org/scientific-allian…

[SEPP Comment: Taxing CO2 emissions is not easy.]

Uncertain Climate Risks (Nature Climate Change)

By Ira Glickstein, WUWT, Apr 28, 2011

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/28/uncertain-clim…

[SEPP Comment: A realization that adding to the complexity of a model, that has never been verified, may actually increase uncertainty of projections!]

Communicating Better to the Public (by avoiding clear, frank language, or by personal attack)

Carbon-demonized by climate propagandists

By JoAnne Nova, Apr 29, 2011

http://joannenova.com.au/…

Cooling on global warming

The fight against climate change has fizzled, with much of the public not believing or not caring. That’s why Obama tries to change the subject to jobs when he talks about energy policy.

By Jonah Goldberg, LA Times, Apr 26, 2011 [H/t Bud Bromley]

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe…

Insults replace debate

By Andrew Tounson, Quadrant, AU, Apr 29, 2011

http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/…

Temperatures and Extreme Weather

Epic Tornado Outbreak ended Thursday with tornado report count up to 292 with death toll at 337 and climbing

By Joseph D’Aleo, Weather Bell, Apr 28, 2011

http://www.weatherbell.com/jd/?p=1188…

More Tornadoes from Global Warming? That’s a joke, Right?

By Roy Spencer, Apr 29, 2011

http://www.drroyspencer.com/…

Tornadoes whipped up by wind, not climate: officials

By Staff Writers, AFP, Apr 28, 2011

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Tornadoes_whipped_…

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

‘Imported’ Emissions Offset Kyoto Protocol CO2 Reductions

By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Apr 27, 2011

http://www.globalwarming.org/2011/04/27/imported-emi…

EPA and other Regulators on the March

Energy in America: EPA Rules Force Shell to Abandon Oil Drilling Plans

By Dan Springer, FOX News, Apr 25, 2011 [H/t Gretchen Randall]

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/04/25/energy-america-…

EPA’s Train Wreck Could Leave Many in the Dark

By Ken Blackwell, Townhall, Arp 23, 2011

http://townhall.com/columnists/kenblackwell/2011/04/…

Will a Lizard Stop West Texas Oil?

Editorial, IBD, Apr 27, 2011

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/570…

Politics of endangered species

Science can’t change the fact that environmental protection requires judgment calls.

By Jim Huffman, Washington Times, Apr 26, 2011

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/26/poli…

[SEPP Comment: One concern is that a number of government scientists have made highly speculative statements to claim certain species are threatened or endangered – for example, the polar bear.]

Energy Issues

Annual Energy Outlook – 2011

U.S. Energy Information Administration, Apr 26, 2011

http://www.eia.doe.gov/forecasts/aeo/…

EIA Outlook: U.S. Coal-Fired Fleet Will Shrink, Natural Gas, Renewables to Grow

By Staff Writers, Power News, Apr 27, 2011

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3673.html?hq_e=el&…

More expensive energy won’t make America richer

By Lee Lane, Washington Examiner, Apr 26, 2011

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2011/04…

Saskatchewan Greenlights C$1.24B CCS Demonstration Project

By Staff Writers, Power News, Apr 27, 2011

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3674.html?hq_e=el&…

Nuclear Fears & Responses

25 Years After the Chernobyl Disaster, Fukushima May Unravel Health Consequences of Nuclear Accidents in the Past, Present, and Future

Medical News Today, Apr 25, 2011 [H/t ACSH]

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/223124.php…

Fukushima Crisis Shouldn’t Blunt Long-Term Investment in Nuclear Power, Says MIT Report

By Eli Kintisch, Science Insider, Apr 26, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/04/fu…

Putin wants to export ‘world best’ Russian nuclear safety

By Staff Writers, AFP, Apr 27, 2011

http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Putin_wants…

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

The Ten Inconvenient Truths that shape our new energy world

By Matthew Hulbert, European Energy Review, Apr 26, 2011

http://www.europeanenergyreview.eu/site/pagina.php?i…

[“Political risk is just as acute, if not more deadly, in the US than anywhere else in the world.”]

More Oil Supply

By Michael Economides, Energy Tribune, Apr 28, 2011

http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/7266/More-…

Ten Franking Things Everyone Should Know

By Peter Glover, Energy Tribune, Apr 21, 2011

http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/7206/Ten-F…

Time for a Cease-Fire in the War on Oil

As gas prices soar past $4 a gallon, the administration chases deep-sea rigs from the Gulf

By Joseph Mason, WSJ, Apr 25, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704415…

Are Sky-High Gas Prices Good?

By Victor Davis Hanson, Townhall, Apr 28, 2011

http://townhall.com/columnists/victordavishanson/201…

Outside View: Gas prices and blame game

By Peter Morici, UPI, Apr 26, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Outside_View_Gas…

BP Oil Spill and Administration Control of Drilling

Spill Report Faults Transocean Rig

By Russell Gold and Angel Gonzalez, WSJ, Apr 23, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703387…

[SEPP Comment: No doubt will be highly questioned. The article may be behind a paywall.}

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy

The Smart Grid and Distributed Generation: A Glimpse of a Distant Future

By Kent Hawkins, Master Resource, Apr 28, 2011

http://www.masterresource.org/2011/04/the-smart-grid…

[SEPP Comment: The highly touted smart grid is not ready for prime time.]

Costly ethanol subsidies should be ended now

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Washington Examiner, Apr 28, 2011

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/201…

The truth about green jobs: a recruiter’s perspective

By Doug Thorner, Guest Commentary, Denver Post, Apr 29, 2011 [H/t Cooler Heads Digest]

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_17952665?source…

Questioning the European Green

Wind turbines ‘hit’ bat populations

Wind turbines are killing many thousands of bats contributing to a population decline that may be costing farmers millions of pounds, say researchers.

By Richard Alleyne, Telegraph, UK, Mar 31, 2011 [H/t John Droz, Jr.]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/8419796/W…

Oh Mann!

Horner: Michael Mann may have something to hide

By Norman Leahy, Washington Examiner, Apr 26, 2011

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/local-opinion-zo…

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

For a full list of articles see

www.NIPCCreport.org

Using Statistical Models to Understand Earth’s Climate: The Intertropical Convergence Zone

Reference: Bain, C.L., DePaz, J., Kramer, J., Magnusdottir, G., Smyth, P., Stern, H. and Wang, C.-C. 2011. Detecting the ITCZ in Instantaneous Satellite Data using Spatiotemporal Statistical Modeling: ITCZ Climatology in the East Pacific. Journal of Climate 24: 216-230.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/apr/26apr20…

The Climatic Impacts of Precipitating Ice and Snow

Reference: Waliser, D.E., Li, J.-L.F., L’Ecuyer, T.S. and Chen, W.-T. 2011. The impact of precipitating icer and snow on the radiation balance in global climate models. Geophysical Research Letters 38: 10.1029/2010GL046478.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/apr/27apr20…

Two-and-a-Half Millennia of European Climate Variability and Societal Responses

Reference: Buntgen, U., Tegel, W., Nicolussi, K., McCormick, M., Frank, D., Trouet, V., Kaplan, J.O., Herzig, F., Heussner, K.-U., Wanner, H., Luterbacher, J. and Esper, J. 2011. 2500 years of European climate variability and human susceptibility. Science 331: 578-582.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/apr/27apr20…

Effects of Elevated CO2 on Crop Water Relations

Reference: Burkart, S., Manderscheid, R., Wittich, K.-P., Lopmeier, F.J. and Weigel, H.-J. 2011. Elevated CO2 effects on canopy and soil water flux parameters measured using a large chamber in crops grown with free-air CO2 enrichment. Plant Biology 13: 258-269.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/apr/27apr20…

Other Scientific News

Eddies found to be powerful modes of ocean transport

By Staff Writers, SPX, Apr 29, 2011

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Eddies_found_to_be…

Catastrophic Amphibian Declines Have Multiple Causes, No Simple Solution

Contact David Stauth, Oregon State U. Press Release, Apr 15, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2011/apr/cata…

Other News that May Be Of Interest

Climate Change As Religion: The Gospel According To Gore

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Apr 26, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://blogs.forbes.com/larrybell/2011/04/26/climate…

China’s train wreck

By Charles Lane, Washington Post, Apr 22, 2011

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/chinas-train-…

The Chinese Role Model Collapses on the Progressives

By Ed Lasky, American Thinker, Apr 24, 2011

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/04/the_chinese_r…

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Chicken Fat Fuel Emissions Look Cleaner, Greener

By Gray Creech, NASA, Apr 22, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/aeronautics/features/aafe…

[SEPP Comment: How many chickens per hour of flight time?]

Please forward this Newsletter to those interested in Science and Environmental Policy. Thank you. Forward.

PLEASE NOTE: The complete TWTW, including the full text of the articles, can be downloaded in an easily printable form at this web site: http://www.sepp.org/the-week-that-was.cfm…

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14 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. Don’t kid yourself regarding oil: geology matters.
    In March, the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) suggested the oil supply would increase by 1.3 million barrels per day (mbpd) on global consumption around 88 million barrels per day, so about 1.5%. Then we lost Libya, -1 to -1.4 mbpd. And then Saudi Oil Minister al Naimi announced that Saudi Arabia had cut production by 0.8 mbpd and a Saudi OPEC Minister published a paper indicating that the Kingdom would hold production near current levels. Now, Angola and Iraq may beat previous estimates, say by 0.5 mbpd all in if everything goes well. So in a better case scenario, supply might be up a bit, or possibly down a bit. Much depends on Saudi Arabia, which has become something of a wildcard.
    We estimate global oil demand growth at 2.4 mbpd (vs 1.4-1.7 mbpd for the major agencies)–facing very little supply growth. So markets are quite tight, based on fundamentals.
    US oil consumption as a percent of GDP is currently 6%; historically the US has fallen into recession when the ratio exceeded 4%, and the US economy is unwinding accordingly.
    See a synopsis of my (pre-Libya) presentation to Congress on the topic here:
    http://ourfiniteworld.com/2011/03/03/steven-kopits-oil-the-economy-and-policy/

  2. we already have raw political favoritism to a lot of industries. Tax breaks are welfare for millionaires and billionaires. Most of those should be eliminated. If we eliminate energy subsidies, that would be a major step to balancing the budget.
    It would also be the end of “alternative” industries, and I for one, would be delighted. So would most people if they understood the real costs. And that last is where we have work to do.

  3. Re: Obama administration contribution to the price of oil.
    Rule #1 for politicians: Always have a fall guy lined up that you can shift the blame to when things go in the toilet, especially if it’s really your fault.
    Rule #2 for politicians: Always take the credit when things go well regardless of who really should get the credit.

  4. Falling value of the US. Dollar, importation of 60% or our supplies of oil, increasing world demand, and no end in sight to the regulatory and fiscal idiocy in our Federal gov’t. Result? Price spike. It really is this simple.

  5. Strange how he’s wailing about the cost of oil, when government policies all appear to be aimed at reducing its usage. Increasing the price would be one way of reducing usage, hence the punitive taxes on fuels here in the UK.

  6. THis is nothing more than step one of the kabuki dance that will lead to nationalizing our oil industry.

  7. So, what’s the problem, just print more money…..
    Gov. John Kasich rips Obama a new one……….
    Gov. John Kasich to Obama: “Do your own job before you offer any opinion on Ohio’s solutions.”
    “The president of the United States has I think a $13 trillion debt. Why doesn’t he do his job? When he does his job and gets our budget balanced and starts to prepare a future for our children, then maybe he can have an opinion on what’s going on in Ohio.”
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/04/ohio-gov-john-kasich-sb-5-obama-public-unions.html

  8. Adam Gallon says:
    May 1, 2011 at 11:36 am
    Strange how he’s wailing about the cost of oil, when government policies all appear to be aimed at reducing its usage. Increasing the price would be one way of reducing usage, hence the punitive taxes on fuels here in the UK.
    =======================================================
    “Under my energy policies, energy prices will skyrocket.” Barack Hussein Obama

  9. @ Adam Gallon says:
    May 1, 2011 at 11:36 am
    Strange how he’s wailing about the cost of oil, when government policies all appear to be aimed at reducing its usage. Increasing the price would be one way of reducing usage, hence the punitive taxes on fuels here in the UK.
    It seems the same strategy is being used here in the USA in regards to obesity, which Mrs. Obama is on a crusade about. Increase the price of food, and people get skinny. If they get skinny enough, they die, hence also solving the dual problems of overpopulation and excessive use of natural resources. A win-win for the Emperors of the Universe! (/sarc)
    As of Apr. 26,2010 per BLS: “The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today released their Producer Price Index (PPI) report for March 2010 and the latest numbers are shocking. Food prices for the month rose by 2.4%, its sixth consecutive monthly increase and the largest jump in over 26 years. NIA believes that a major breakout in food inflation could be imminent, similar to what is currently being experienced in India.
    Some of the startling food price increases on a year-over-year basis include, fresh and dry vegetables up 56.1%, fresh fruits and melons up 28.8%, eggs for fresh use up 33.6%, pork up 19.1%, beef and veal up 10.7% and dairy products up 9.7%. On October 30th, 2009, NIA predicted that inflation would appear next in food and agriculture, but we never anticipated that it would spiral so far out of control this quickly.”

    **********************************************************************
    And has accelerated this year: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.htm
    Gasoline and food prices continued to rise and together accounted for
    almost three quarters of the seasonally adjusted all items increase
    in March. The gasoline index posted its ninth consecutive increase
    and has now risen 14.4 percent over the last three months. The
    household energy index rose as well, with advances in the fuel oil
    and electricity indexes more than offsetting a decline in the index
    for natural gas. The food at home index continued to accelerate in
    March, rising 1.1 percent as all six major grocery store food groups
    increased.

    The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in
    March, a smaller increase than in the previous two months. The index
    for shelter rose slightly, as did the index for medical care. Several
    transportation indexes posted significant increases, including new
    vehicles, used cars and trucks, and airline fares. In contrast, the
    indexes for apparel and for household furnishings and operations both
    declined in March.
    The all items index rose 2.7 percent in the last 12 months, the
    largest increase since December 2009. The energy index has now risen
    15.5 percent over the last 12 months, with the gasoline index up 27.5
    percent. The food index has risen 2.9 percent with the food at home
    index up 3.6 percent. The index for all items less food and energy
    has increased 1.2 percent with the shelter index up 0.9 percent”.

  10. The oil subsidizes (percentage of depletion) that the Obama Administration wants to eliminate on major oil companies does not and has not existed since since 1975; therefore, it will not have any effect on ExxonMobil or ConocoPhillips. Only small independent oil explorers and producers are still allowed to use percentage of depletion. Furthermore, depletion is similar to depreciation. More class warfare and smoke and mirrors from the Progressive Left.
    Keep Smiling 🙂
    Jeff

  11. “Mr. Obama is demanding that tax subsidies to oil and gas companies be eliminated and that the increase in revenues be used to subsidize alternative energy producers…”
    What a misguided policy, we are aleady pouring $$$ down a rathole trying to get blood (energy) out of a stone. The last thing we need to do is to take more tax from a competitive, profitable industry, that has a demonstrated competence to supply us with energy and give it to a bunch of the administration’s Cronies based on a false promise/hope that we can replace fossil fuels near term without killing our economy. This comment from Obama is made despite the fact that Exxon Mobil total taxes and duties to the U.S. government topped $9.8 billion in 2010. Think what the $$$ are for the entire industry.
    It really depends on Mr Obama’s semantics of what is a subsidy. Is it the same subsidy that Pelosi was talking about when she wanted to retroactively raise Royality rates for deep offshore drilling, Clinton offered reduced rates to incentivize expensive deep gulf production? They still pay into the treasury, a lowered rate is not a subsidy. Is it the subsidy of allowing companies (not just oil) who make profits overseas to not pay full double taxation if they bring some the already taxed profits home? All international companies, not just oil, are competing on an international playing field, and they will consider moving overseas or investing all profits overseas rather than bring profits back to the US if Obama has his way. The US has already restricted Oil/Gas exploration investment in the US with the no drill policy. So, they are investing overseas instead.
    Note below that ExxonMobil alone paid more US taxes over a 5 year period than they earned in the US!! And that they paid $1.6 Billion in income tax for 2010 although all the MSM folks falsely claims the Exxon did not pay income taxes in 2010.
    from
    http://www.exxonmobilperspectives.com/2011/04/27/gas-prices-and-industry-earnings-a-few-things-to-think-about/
    “ExxonMobil is one of the largest taxpayers in the United States
    Last year, our total taxes and duties to the U.S. government topped $9.8 billion, which includes an income tax expense of $1.6 billion. Over the past five years, we incurred a total U.S. tax expense of almost $59 billion, which is $18 billion more than we earned in the United States during the same period. Critics often try to ignore these facts by saying the oil and gas industry receives “subsidies.” But what they really mean is that they want to increase our taxes by taking away long-standing deductions for our industry while leaving these same deductions in place for other sectors of the economy.”
    Also it is interesting to note that the Industry contributed $25 Billion to the US treasury from royalities, and lease sales in 2010. How will the administration replace this income when they kill fossil fuels. Tax the Rich?

  12. Correction the date was 2008 not 2010
    Sorry
    “Also it is interesting to note that the Industry contributed $25 Billion to the US treasury from royalities, and lease sales in 2008 (not 2010). How will the administration replace this income when they kill fossil fuels. Tax the Rich?”

  13. One thing I find interesting in all this: By the standard of “How long does it take a journeyman carpenter to earn a loaf of bread?” gasoline is still cheaper than it was when I first started working. Current wages for the job I recently retired out of buy about 8 1/2 gallons an hour. When I first went to work as an operating engineer mumblety-mummble years ago, it was about six.
    Since the level of civilization we can have is directly related to the cost of energy…..

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