Category: Energy

Uncle Sam, King Corn, and Emergency Legislation

This summer has been warmer than average.  Living in Minnesota, the Midwest is known for being tolerable of all kinds of weather, but this summer has been unique.  One of the hardest-hit commodities, corn, is playing a critical role in our food chain and even more so, our pocket book.

I am a city gal who grew up in a small farming community, and when I dial back home, many farmers are in fear and apprehension of how long last years corn yields will last, due to the brutal 2012 summer drought.  This year’s crop yield is on track to be the worst in 15 years, and corn prices have already hit record high levels.   Almost 90% of the United States’ corn crops are in …

Reds Paint The Town Green in Rio

Last month, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The conference organizers themselves have given the conference the nickname of Rio+20.

This is because twenty years ago, in 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was held in Rio de Janeiro, a meeting commonly called the Earth Summit. At this original Rio conference, those who assembled decided that the future would be lost without alternative energy, public transportation, and what was called the “systemic scrutiny of production patterns.” Among the documents excreted by the conference was the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, which is mostly the typical stuffed-shirt garbage one would expect coming from a conference held by the United Nations.

However, within the Declaration …

Environmentalism: A Cult with a Ponzi Scheme

A long time ago, somebody figured out that people were afraid of nature. With this realization, our subject set out to carve a statue of a woman with a horned head dress, and declared the idol to be Ninhursag, the goddess of the earth. Our carver then set about convincing people that if they brought their best wheat, their best grapes, and their best lambs and calves to sacrifice to the goddess then they will be blessed with plenty and the grace of the divine goddess will rain down upon them, but if they refused they would be cursed with pestilence.

And thus the people, rending their garments and lamenting of their fear of the weather and their invented devil gods, brought their best produce …

Palin: “Cap and Tax” Is a Dead End

She’s not wasting time.  With just under two weeks left before Alaska Governor Sarah Palin gives the reigns over to her Lt. Governor, Sean Parnell, we see the gloves come off regarding President Obama’s cap and trade tax energy plan.  She writes in an op/ed for the Washington Post:

I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy. It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage.

American prosperity has always been driven by the steady supply of abundant, affordable energy. Particularly in Alaska, we understand the inherent link between energy and prosperity, energy and opportunity, and energy and security. Consequently, many of us in this

Losing Ground On Reality

I don’t want to be morbid, but I’m starting to lose confidence that we can find a balanced exchange of ideas any longer.  That the patently unproven and risky hypothesis that humans, are creating environmental change on a global scale, is now becoming a point of agreement by some of those arguing on the left and right about how to deal with “global warming”, is alarming.

In a pair of pieces presented in the Wall Street Journal today, Ian McEwan and Bjørn Lomborg present differing perspectives on how to deal with global warming.  But they are not the typical side of the discussion we’ve had in the past. The perspectives shown here are answers to the question “What should Obama do about Global Warming?”.

McEwan, …

Are Things Looking Up?

The Dow had it’s record highest point gain today up almost 940.  Although it was up a bit today, Oil prices have been retreating and have been steadily below $90/bbl for several days.  And have you noticed the price of gasoline has also been declining?

Of course, we all know it’s not over yet, but it’s good to see some positive signs.  Unfortunately, the price of diesel fuel has not come down with trhe price of gasoline, apparently due to supply issues worldwide.  And this will keep the price of consumer goods general higher.  Seems like this ought to be a priority, and not just now but for the long-haul, that is to ensure that the availability of fuels needed to transport goods (diesel being …

Burning Down The [US] House

Talking Heads:

No visible means of support and you have not seen nuthin yet

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The House of Representatives today passed the Senate version of the $700 Billion Bail-out.  For now, it’s over.  Bush signed the bill shortly after the vote, and we have not seen nuthin yet.

In case you haven’t noticed yet, the market is not exactly tripping over itself to show its appreciation.  After the announcement of the bill passage, the Dow lost all of the 200 or so points it had gained today, and then some. 

I haven’t even had time to read the bill yet, but have heard so far that there’s some pork.  It shouldn’t surprise me that our Congress, while debating the bill most …

The Senate Strikes Back

Our US Senators have approved a version of the $700 Billion Bail-out Bill that provides some new features:

  • New tax breaks for businesses
  • Raising the FDIC deposit insurance limit from $100,000 to $250,000

Normally, I am all about tax breaks for businesses.  I think that is one of the best ways to stimulate growth.

And without a doubt, raising the FDIC limit will help so many… almost rich people.  Okay, pretty much just really rich people.  I don’t even know anyone that has close to the $100,000 limit in a protected bank instrument, so I’m having a hard time understanding who benefits from this.  Maybe someone like Warren Buffet or Dan Rather, but not anyone I know.  I take that back, Buffet would have that …

Offshore Drilling Ban – Almost Expired

The ban on offshore drilling expires tonight at midnight Eastern Time.  At this writing, that’s just five hours away.  

Congress was incredibly preoccupied during the weeks following its lengthy vacation, and could not (supposedly) get the work done to extend the moratorium on drilling for this oil.  Such a ban would normally have been included in the $600 billion stopgap funding bill passed last week, but would have likely led to a fight that would have shut down the government.  Instead of chasing that fight, they’ve left it up to the next Congress to address this issueKeep that in mind on election day.

Tomorrow (October 1) is known by many now as Energy Freedom Day.  This might be temporary, but we’ll take …

The Economy Today

My cohort DJ is going to disagree with me.  Just you wait and see.

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Today did not scare me.  It did surprise me, because I didn’t think that Congress had the ability to face down the President, Treasury Secretary and their own part leaders all at the same time.  (For the votes of the Representatives from Iowa, see below, or this link for the roll call vote).

I am so proud of them!  From the above Reuter’s article:

“This isn’t legislation. This is extortion,” said Florida Republican Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite. “This is so embarrassing it turns the stomach of most Americans.”

That pretty much sums up my thinking on this.

As I mentioned yesterday, I think we should seriously …

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