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Oil and Gas 360 Articles

BOEM Offers GOM Leases at Reduced Royalty Rate for Shallow Water Leases

BOEM Offers GOM Leases at Reduced Royalty Rate for Shallow Water Leases

In a step towards fulfilling the Five-Year National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke made known on July 13th the availability of 75.9 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for lease for the purpose of oil and gas exploration. The acreage lies off the coast of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The sale will be held on August 16, 2017, and will include a reduced royalty rate for shallow water leases in order to encourage oil and gas exploration during the current low commodity price environment. Any leases that are in less than 200 meters of water are subject to a 12.5% royalty rate and those in depths greater than 200 meters of water are subject to an 18.75% royalty rate. The reduced rate is reflective of the program’s intent to encourage development, in the low commodity price[Read More…]

OPEC Output Pierces Ceiling at 32.5 MMBOPD

OPEC Output Pierces Ceiling at 32.5 MMBOPD

According to the latest S&P Global Platts OPEC survey released July 6, 2017, OPEC’s crude oil output increased by approximately 500,000 BOPD within the last two months, pushing the organization’s total output to 32.49 MMBOPD. OPEC’s June output was 220,000 BOPD larger than May’s output, Platts said. Rises in production from Libya and Nigeria assisted in keeping the organization’s output approximately 600,000 BOPD higher than its intended production ceiling of 31.9 MMBOPD—counting New Guinea and removing Indonesia. The rise in output comes at a time when OPEC’s production cut compliance level is at 116%, made possible by excess cuts by Saudi Arabia and seven other countries. Despite the promising compliance of OPEC countries subject to quotas, production increases from Libya and Nigeria pushed production over the intended ceiling.

President Trump, Secretary Zinke Begin Comment Period for 5-Year Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Program

President Trump, Secretary Zinke Begin Comment Period for 5-Year Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Program

“This is a truly amazing moment in the energy sector…” – Secs. Perry, Zinke and Pruitt At an event on Thursday, June 29, 2017, in order to help kick off what the Trump Administration has dubbed “Energy Week,” President Trump announced a public comment period for a new 5-year National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke will open the public comment period on a program to spur drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). OCS operations are under the regulator BOEM–the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, within Zinke’s Interior Department. “We are now on the cusp of a true energy revolution,” Trump told a crowd of executives, lobbyists and laborers at the Energy Department on Thursday, according to a story by Bloomberg. “We are a top producer of petroleum and the No. 1 producer of natural gas. We have so much more than[Read More…]

Two New Bills to Expedite Pipeline Approval Process Begin Markup

Two New Bills to Expedite Pipeline Approval Process Begin Markup

In an attempt to modernize the United States’ energy infrastructure, the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, within the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce, began considering a group of bills on June 20th, 2017, which are related to energy infrastructure and national energy security. Oil and gas related bills Two of the bills affect international cross-border pipelines and natural gas pipelines and have implications for the oil and gas industry: the “Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act,” and the “Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act.” Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act The Cross-Border Act is intended to create a more efficient process for the construction, maintenance, and operation of international border-crossing pipelines. In the current process, any entity wishing to construct a conduit to transport oil, gas, or electricity across the United States’ border must gain approval from the federal government. The new bill itself is[Read More…]

ExxonMobil Responds to NY Attorney General’s Allegations

ExxonMobil Responds to NY Attorney General’s Allegations

ExxonMobil Corp. lambasted New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after he made what Exxon calls, “inflammatory, reckless, and false allegations,” regarding the manner in which the company evaluates the impact of global warming on its assets and operations. The NY AG’s stance is that ExxonMobil misled investigators in its use of proxy costs to estimate carbon impact. ExxonMobil uses proxy costs to quantify the costs of greenhouse gas emissions and asserts that such costs approximate the range of potential future government actions regarding climate change. The Attorney General’s office stated that, “Exxon’s documents reveal a widespread lack of awareness among employees of the proxy cost policy, or how it should be applied,” and specifically that the use of proxy costs “may be a sham,” and that the company may be using “secret internal versions of proxy costs,” which are not made known to the public and to investors. The New[Read More…]

Revision of NAFTA Could Have Big Impact on Energy Industry

Revision of NAFTA Could Have Big Impact on Energy Industry

Senate weighs in On June 8th, 2017, a bipartisan team of United States Senators Cornyn, Cruz, Hoeven, Moran, Heitkamp, Daines, Inhofe, and Murkowski sent a letter to the United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, urging him to consider how a revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) might impact United States energy interests. The letter stressed the interdependence of the United States, Canada, and Mexico energy industries, and asked that Ambassador Lighthizer consider including these six key points in his negotiations in revising and upgrading NAFTA: Free flows across U.S.-Canada-Mexico borders of all energy products including electricity, oil, natural gas, as well as derived products such as refined products, petrochemicals or other energy-intensive manufactured goods; Zero tariffs for the imports and exports across the United States, Mexico, and Canada of all energy products; Open access for U.S. investors to Mexico and Canada’s energy markets, with competitive and transparent[Read More…]

Energy Committee Advances FERC, DOE, DOI Nominees to Senate for Confirmation

Energy Committee Advances FERC, DOE, DOI Nominees to Senate for Confirmation

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources advanced four nominees to the Senate floor on Tuesday. The following nominees will move forward to Senate confirmation: David Bernhardt to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior, by a vote of 14-9 Dan Brouillette to be Deputy Secretary of Energy, by a vote of 17-6 Neil Chatterjee to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), by a vote of 20-3 Robert Powelson to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), by a vote of 20-3 “Secretary Zinke and Secretary Perry need their deputies in place to help them set strategic direction and run their departments on a day-to-day basis,” Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski said. “At more than four months and counting, it is also critical to restore a working quorum at FERC as soon as possible,” Murkowski said. “I recognize that calendar space is limited, but I[Read More…]

Alaska in Talks to Purchase ConocoPhillips’ Nikiski Kenai LNG Facility

Environmental Group Poses Legal Challenge to U.S.’s Largest Proposed LNG Project

The Center for Biological Diversity announced its attempt to intervene in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceedings on the state of Alaska’s plans to build the nation’s largest-ever liquid natural-gas project. Alaska LNG had been described as a “gigaproject” by those involved, with an estimated price tag of $45 to $65 billion. The Alaska LNG project until Jan. 1, 2017, involved a partnership of energy majors including BP (ticker: BP), ExxonMobil (ticker: XOM), ConocoPhillips (ticker: COP), and TransCanada (ticker: TRP). The project is viewed as a way to produce and ship LNG to Asia primarily. The project proposes an 807-mile pipeline, a liquefied natural gas facility and the shipping of 20 million tons of LNG abroad every year. Alaska’s Gasline Development Corporation, the only party currently pursuing the project, submitted its application to FERC on April 17. Gov. Bill Walker has asked the Trump administration to fast-track approval and exempt the project from[Read More…]

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

28 Colorado Mayors, County Commissioners Ask Gov. Hickenlooper to Override COGCC Vote on Martinez Case

Colorado’s anti-oil politics A letter to Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper from a group of sitting Colorado mayors, council members, trustees and county commissioners, dated May 15, 2017, made a plea to the Colorado governor “to override the COGCC vote and decline to file a petition for certiorari review of Martinez. We further ask that, if the Court grants certiorari on the petition of industry, that you decline to further participate in the litigation.” Most of the local government council signatories to the letter are from northern Colorado jurisdictions with oil and gas development activity. Many of these same jurisdictions had levied frac bans in recent years that were later overturned by courts. The sitting group of city and county leaders included Boulder, Longmont, Adams County, Broomfield, Commerce City, Erie, Fort Collins, Lafayette, Louisville, Thornton, Westminster and La Plata County. In their letter to Gov. Hickenlooper, the signatories said: “The COGCC voted on[Read More…]

Europe Feels Pressure to End Use of Diesel Fuel

Europe Feels Pressure to End Use of Diesel Fuel

Poor air quality driving European cities against diesel At the December C40 meeting in Mexico, the mayors of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens announced that they will stop the use of all diesel-powered cars and trucks by the middle of the next decade. The leaders of those cities are worried about diesel’s impact on air quality. BBC reports that leaders in other European cities also want to put severe restrictions on diesel with some calling for banning the fuel outright. In the UK, activists are calling for London’s mayor to join European metroplexes by doing away with diesel vehicles from London by 2025. London’s mayor has proposed an expanded clean air zone within the city, the BBC said. “We want him to go further and faster,” ClientEarth lawyer Alan Andrew told the BBC. “We need a national network of clean air zones so that the problem is not simply pushed[Read More…]

Canada’s Crude Oil Pacific Exports and Northern Gateway Likely Dead if Proposed Tanker Ban Becomes Law

Canada’s Crude Oil Pacific Exports and Northern Gateway Likely Dead if Proposed Tanker Ban Becomes Law

On Friday, the Canadian government introduced C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act It’s no longer living as a temporary moratorium or simply a political threat. On Friday Canada’s federal government introduced legislation that will turn its informal ban on crude oil tanker traffic off the North Coast of British Columbia into law. This new law, once enacted, would dash hopes of Canadian oil producers for a Canadian-domiciled Pacific export takeaway port to send its crude oil to Asian markets, and likely eliminate the need for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline that would have brought oil from Alberta to export facilities on Canada’s Pacific coast. “This legislation will prohibit oil tankers carrying crude and persistent oils as cargo from stopping, loading or unloading at ports or marine installations in northern British Columbia. It will provide a high level of protection for the coastline around Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound,” the government’s press release said.[Read More…]

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at Paris Agreement Ratification Ceremony.
From Paris to Hangzhou – Climate Response in Action.
H.E. Mr. XI Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China and H.E. Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America present the instrument for the Paris Agreement to the Secretary-General.

Climate-Related Financial Disclosure a Terrible Idea: IHS Report

New IHS report finds FSB’s climate risk reporting recommendations would undermine capital allocation decisions and could distort markets In December 2016, the Basel, Switzerland-based Financial Stability Board (FSB) put out the recommendation of its Michael Bloomberg-led task force that concluded that public companies should disclose climate-related risks in their financial filings. The FSB is the G20’s financial policy-making/recommending body. It is composed of financial regulators, central banks, finance ministries and international financial organizations that report to the G20. G20 is an abbreviation for the Group of Twenty, consisting of the governments of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union. “The FSB discharges its accountability, beyond its members, through publication of reports and, in particular, through periodical reporting of progress in its work to the Heads of State[Read More…]

In this Sept. 4, 2013 photo, One World Trade Center rises above the lower Manhattan skyline in New York. Twelve years after terrorists destroyed the old World Trade Center, the new World Trade Center is becoming a reality, with a museum commemorating the attacks and two office towers where thousands of people will work set to open within the next year. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

New York Banned Fracing but Spends $95 Million for Natural Gas Powered Buses

North American bus manufacturing giant New Flyer Industries Inc. (ticker: NFI), announced on Monday that it contracted with New York City Transit Authority (NYCT) to deliver 110 heavy-duty 60-foot articulated buses—fueled with compressed natural gas (CNG). The state-funded contract, a firm order for 110 XN60 Xcelsior CNG-powered buses, is valued at US $95 million, the company said in a press release. New Flyer said the natural gas powered buses come with a 20-year certified CNG tank and a fire-suppression system. The company said some of the components for the New York order will be manufactured in its Jamestown, NY facility. New Flyer employs about 5,000 people in the U.S. and Canada. Subsidiaries include Motor Coach Industries Limited and Motor Coach Industries, Inc. New York’s decision to formally ban hydraulic fracturing in 2015 made it the first state with access to significant natural gas resources to impose a ban. Neighboring Pennsylvania has benefitted[Read More…]

Edge of the Wattenberg: Colorado: Weld County Just Created its Own Oil & Gas Department

Edge of the Wattenberg: as Moratorium Expires Crestone Peak Attempts to bring Drilling Back to Boulder County

Crestone Peak applied to drill 216 wells in Boulder County Judge dismisses Colorado Attorney General’s lawsuit v. Boulder County after moratorium expires on May 1 Local control is alive and well in Boulder County By Bevo Beaven, Editor, Oil & Gas 360 A five year moratorium on drilling in unincorporated Boulder County, Colorado, just expired. Will oil and gas drilling return to Boulder County’s piece of the Wattenberg field, or is the political risk way too high? One Colorado oil and gas company is about to find out. Boulder County borders the western edge of the prolific Wattenberg oil and gas field in northern Colorado, where many oil and gas companies are drilling and completing wells–companies like Anadarko Petroleum (ticker: APC), Noble Energy (ticker: NBL), Bill Barrett Corp. (ticker: BBG), PDC Energy (ticker: PDCE), SRC Energy (ticker: SRCI) Crestone Peak Resources, Great Western Oil & Gas and numerous others.  Weld County is where[Read More…]

Canada’s Carbon Pricing Isn’t Working – Fraser Institute

Canada’s Carbon Pricing Isn’t Working – Fraser Institute

“Carbon-pricing in Canada doesn’t work the way ivory tower economists envision, and instead has become just another tax,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute’s senior director of energy and natural resource studies and author of Poor Implementation Undermines Carbon Tax Efficiency in Canada. The governments of Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia have all implemented forms of carbon pricing (carbon taxes, cap-and-trade). And the federal government plans to set a carbon price “floor” — a minimum value that each province must put on carbon emissions. In theory, pricing carbon can reduce greenhouse gas emissions without unduly harming the economy. But according to the study, for carbon taxes and cap-and-trade systems to work as envisioned, three primary conditions must be met: the carbon-pricing system must replace, and not be in addition to, other emission regulations; it must be revenue neutral and used to reduce other more damaging taxes such as personal and corporate[Read More…]

Ban on Sand for Oil and Gas Development Prompts Lawsuit in Minnesota

Ban on Sand for Oil and Gas Development Prompts Lawsuit in Minnesota

Is sand the new oil & gas battleground? Is sand the next battleground for energy development? The early salvos are taking place in Minnesota’s Winona County. In late 2016, Winona County commissioners voted to ban what the Minneapolis Star Tribune phrased in its report “the highly contentious industry of frac sand mining.” According to the report, opponents of frac sand mining “fear destruction of scenic bluffs along the Mississippi River, health problems from blowing silica sand dust, contamination of groundwater, and damage to roads and more accidents from the trucks that cart sand to and from transportation hubs.” The ban was passed by the county board of commissioners by a vote of 3-2 in November 2016. It prohibits the mining, processing or trans-loading of frac sand in Winona County. Minnesota Sands, LLC, a proppant provider, filed a lawsuit this week to challenge Winona County’s ban on the mining of sand[Read More…]

After Approving 7 Pipelines in 2017, FERC is Dead in the Water

After Approving 7 Pipelines in 2017, FERC is Dead in the Water

FERC is out of gas without a quorum For years, Marcellus and Utica natural gas transportation bottlenecks have seen producers crying for more takeaway capacity to move produced natural gas out of Appalachia. And just when they started to get some relief from FERC-approved pipeline projects, FERC ran out of gas—at least temporarily. So far in 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) certificated seven projects representing more than 7 Bcf/d of new pipeline capacity. In 2016, the commission certificated 17.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of new natural gas pipeline capacity. Pipeline certification involves reviewing applications for the construction and operation of natural gas pipelines and ensuring that applicants comply with safety standards. Receiving a certificate is just one step in the process of building and operating a new pipeline; and pipelines receiving certification in 2017 will not necessarily come online in 2017, according to a report by the EIA. FERC had already[Read More…]

Hearing Feb. 22: Bill Requires Colo. Cities that Impose Frac Bans to Pay Operators, Lessees, Royalty Owners for Losses

Hearing Feb. 22: Bill Requires Colo. Cities that Impose Frac Bans to Pay Operators, Lessees, Royalty Owners for Losses

  Important hearing for HB 17-1124 at Colorado State Capitol — Feb. 22 Legislators in Denver have proposed a bill that would require a local government that interferes with oil and gas operations in Colorado to compensate oil and gas operators, mineral lessees and royalty owners for all costs, damages and losses from the interference. The Colorado Alliance of Mineral and Royalty Owners (CAMRO) sent out a request today asking oil and gas operators, lessees and royalty owners to attend a hearing at the Colorado State Capitol at 1:30 p.m. MST tomorrow, February 22, 2017. The hearing concerns HB 17- 1124, introduced on Jan. 26, 2017, which specifies that operators, lessees and mineral/royalty owners be compensated for loss of use or production as a result of a local government ban or moratorium on oil and gas development. “The bill specifies that a local government that bans hydraulic fracturing of an[Read More…]

Trump Administration Action Signals Plans to Move Forward with Keystone XL and Dakota Access

Trump Administration Action Signals Plans to Move Forward with Keystone XL and Dakota Access

Trump executive action could expedite energy pipeline projects President Donald Trump signed executive actions to accelerate the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects and to decree that American steel should be used for pipelines built in the United States, according to a report from Reuters. Trump also signed an action to speed up the environmental review and approval of high-priority infrastructure projects as part of a wider policy to rebuild U.S. infrastructure. The orders issued by the executive office do not grant the final permits needed for the pipelines, but will move both projects toward approval. Keystone XL, which will be owned and operated by TransCanada Corp. (ticker: TRP), requires a presidential permit since the project traverses the international border with Canada, while Enterprise Transfer Partners’ (ticker: ETP) Dakota Access needs an Army Corps of Engineers easement to build under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. Both pipelines have become[Read More…]

President Declares “Indefinite” Offshore Drill Ban for Alaska and Atlantic Coastal Waters

President Declares “Indefinite” Offshore Drill Ban for Alaska and Atlantic Coastal Waters

White House Issues Memorandum Withdrawing Bulk of Alaska’s Arctic OCS and Portions of Atlantic OCS from Oil and Gas Drilling Today the White House pulled the plug on offshore drilling leases in the bulk of the Arctic offshore Alaska and portions of the Atlantic outer continental shelf (OCS). “The United States is designating the vast majority of U.S. waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas as indefinitely off limits to offshore oil and gas leasing, and Canada will designate all Arctic Canadian waters as indefinitely off limits to future offshore Arctic oil and gas licensing, to be reviewed every five years through a climate and marine science-based life-cycle assessment,” the White House said in a joint statement with Canada.   The Arctic withdrawal encompasses the entire U.S. Chukchi Sea and significant portions of the U.S. Beaufort Sea, according to a simultaneous statement put out by the Department of Interior. The[Read More…]

Oklahoma’s Osage Nation wants Oil & Gas Development to Hit the Accelerator—Now

Oklahoma’s Osage Nation wants Oil & Gas Development to Hit the Accelerator—Now

Osage Nation’s desire to continue its legacy of oil wealth is being stymied by the U.S. government; tribe wants oil companies to explore new plays, generate new oil production Seizing upon economic growth opportunities associated with their tribal lands has been a hallmark of the Osage Tribe’s financial success for the past 208 years. Located in Oklahoma, the Osage Nation has a long history of smart deal making and being expert negotiators. An 1870 treaty with the U.S. government provided that the remainder of Osage land in Kansas be sold and the proceeds used to relocate the tribe to Indian Territory, according to Wikipedia’s history of the Osage Nation. “By their delays in agreeing to removal, the Osage benefited by the change in administration; they sold their lands to the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant, for which they received $1.25 an acre rather than the 19 cents previously offered to them by the US.” The Osage[Read More…]

Oklahoma is the Most Attractive Place for Oil and Gas Investment: Fraser

Oklahoma is the Most Attractive Place for Oil and Gas Investment: Fraser

Oklahoma finished No. 1 as the best place where ‘policy does not deter upstream investment’ Canada’s Fraser Institute says that Oklahoma has beaten Texas in something else. According to the Canadian think tank’s annual global survey of petroleum sector executives, Oklahoma is the most attractive jurisdiction around the world for oil and gas investment. “Most U.S. states are bucking the global trend of decreasing confidence for investment, and Oklahoma’s top spot in this year’s ranking demonstrates how coherent environmental policy and sound regulation can improve investor perception,” said Kenneth Green, the Fraser Institute’s senior director of natural resource studies and co-author of the Global Petroleum Survey. The survey ranks 96 jurisdictions worldwide based on their barriers to investment (e.g. taxation, costly regulatory obligations and uncertainty over environmental regulations) and on the volume of oil and gas reserves. This year, Oklahoma finished first in the Policy Perception Index, a comprehensive measure of the extent to[Read More…]

Colorado Voters Decide to “Raise the Bar”

Colorado Voters Decide to “Raise the Bar”

Colorado passes Amendment 71, which would require 2% of voters from each of its Senate districts to sign petitions for constitutional changes, including future measures attempting to ban hydraulic fracturing Colorado voters decided to pass Amendment 71 – or Raise the Bar, as its proponents refer to it – Tuesday with about 57% of voters in favor of the measure. The new amendment will make it more difficult to pass changes to the Colorado Constitution, a salient problem for the state’s oil and gas industry, which breathed a sigh of relief when a citizen-enviro sponsored measure earlier this year failed to gain enough signatures to make the ballot. The measure would have effectively reduced the surface area available for drilling in the state by 90%, according to a study from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC). It would have served to effectively shut down oil and gas drilling[Read More…]

Positive News for Keystone XL and Cross-Border Energy Projects

Positive News for Keystone XL and Cross-Border Energy Projects

Former Enbridge CEO Daniel sees possible re-application for Keystone XL Former Enbridge CEO Patrick Daniel told BNN today that he is believes Donald Trump’s victory will be positive for cross-border energy pipeline projects, starting with the Keystone XL pipeline, the final application for which was turned down by the Obama administration a year ago after seven years of permitting activity. Daniel told BNN that Trump’s presence in the Oval Office should “slice through the red tape ensnaring projects like TransCanada’s (ticker: TRP) Keystone XL.” “Obviously, this is good news for something like the Keystone XL pipeline, the opportunity to reapply, and it does provide an additional outlet for Canadian crude oil,” Daniel said. “This is positive for that specific project, there’s no doubt.” Daniel said the Republican sweep of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives should help take much of the political wrangling over pipelines out of the process.[Read More…]

Oil Production by Presidential Term

Oil Production by Presidential Term

Regardless of who is living in the White House, global demand and supply cause price movements and drive production of crude oil. SAFE has added the presidential terms to the bars of crude oil production since the end of Dwight Eisenhower’s term. The U.S. presidential election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Don’t forget to vote. The website Diffen.com presents a comparison of the two major candidates’ tax plans: Candidate Comparison Chart – Tax Plans Donald Trump’s Tax Plan versus Hillary Clinton’s Tax Plan comparison chart Donald Trump’s Tax Plan Hillary Clinton’s Tax Plan       Tax Philosophy Cut taxes for everyone Increase taxes, especially on high-income earners. Tax Brackets – Ordinary Income Three – 12%, 25%, 33%. Earlier proposal: 10%, 20%, 25% Eight – 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, 39.6%, 43.6% Tax Brackets – Investment Income Three – 0%, 15%, 20% Complex. Long-term gains will be redefined to assets held > 6[Read More…]

DAPL Moves Towards Completion, “Keep it in the Ground” Gets Crazier

DAPL Moves Towards Completion, “Keep it in the Ground” Gets Crazier

After Setbacks in Court, Activists Take Matters into own Hands The battle over energy infrastructure draws on. Emboldened by President Obama’s rejection of Keystone XL last year and halting of work the Dakota Access Pipeline, activists have shifted their focus from fracking to protesting pipelines. Pipelines are new flash points for climate activism and are subject to a fairly complicated approval process and regulations that vary by state. DAPL Drama Slowly Moving Forward In a conference call hosted by Baird Equity Research on Wednesday, Bloomberg Intelligence Senior Energy Analyst Brandon Barnes laid out the three venues where the pipeline’s future is being decided; negotiations between Energy Transfer Partners, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the U.S. District Court for D.C., and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Current status and potential scenarios were also discussed. On Sunday evening, the D.C. Appeals Court denied the injunction request[Read More…]

West Virginia Suffers Worst Industrial Job Loss since the Recession

West Virginia Suffers Worst Industrial Job Loss since the Recession

Coal industry sheds 21% of its West Virginia jobs, no longer state’s largest industrial employer West Virginia shed more industrial jobs over the past twelve months than at any year since the end of the recession, according to a new report in the 2017 West Virginia Manufacturers Register®, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers’ News. According to the report, West Virginia lost 3,243 jobs between August 2015 and August 2016, a 4.3% decline. West Virginia is home to 1,696 industrial companies employing 72,422. Coal leads W.Va. job losses The job losses were led by West Virginia’s coal industry, which shed 1,861 jobs or 21%, falling from its top spot as the state’s largest industrial employer within the space of the past year. Coal mining now ranks third in the state for industrial jobs, employing 7,184. Chemical manufacturing now employs the most in the state; in 2nd place, industrial machinery[Read More…]

Is the U.S. Government Too Big to Fail?

Is the U.S. Government Too Big to Fail?

Assets: South of $5 Trillion; Liabilities: North of $21 Trillion In February of each year, the Government Accountability Office puts out an updated snapshot of the books, written in plain language. Since Congress is working and this is an election year, it’s prudent to revisit the basic assets and liabilities graph published in the latest Financial Report of the United States Government – Fiscal Year 2015, quoted below, from the publication: What We Own and What We Owe The chart summarizes what the Government owns in assets and what it owes in liabilities.   As of September 30, 2015: The Government held about $3.2 trillion in assets (mostly $1.2 trillion in net loans receivable (primarily student loans) and $893.9 billion in net property, plant, and equipment). Beyond these assets, other significant Government resources not reported on the balance sheet include stewardship assets, natural resources, and the Government’s power to tax and[Read More…]

Texas Rep. Pete Olson Calls for a National Energy Policy

Texas Rep. Pete Olson Calls for a National Energy Policy

“America lacks a comprehensive energy policy. I have long felt that the moment a policy is set in stone, the sooner the reality on the ground begins to change” There have been calls for a national energy policy weaving in and out of U.S. geopolitical chatter for decades. The Arab Oil Embargo lit a fire under that discussion in the 1970s when the U.S. citizenry found itself stuck in long gasoline lines, or passing by gas stations where signs said “Out of Gas.” The fuel wasn’t available. The gas-saving 55 MPH national speed limit was a “policy” that came out of that energy crisis, as did the creation of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This week, House of Representatives Energy and Power Subcommittee Vice Chairman Pete Olson (R-Texas) wrote a piece in the Houston Chronicle in which he called for a national energy policy. But he didn’t exactly present a detailed, comprehensive[Read More…]

EU’s Early Ratification of Paris Climate Agreement Upends Trump Plan to “Cancel It”

EU’s Early Ratification of Paris Climate Agreement Upends Trump Plan to “Cancel It”

President Trump likely would ignore it, President Clinton would champion it The European Union approved a fast-track ratification of the Paris climate change agreement yesterday, less than a year after it was signed in Paris, upending a Donald Trump promise to cancel the agreement if elected president. In September, in a ceremony in Hangzhou, China, the UN Secretary General received the legal instruments for joining the Paris Agreement from the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters, China and the U.S.  India ratified the treaty earlier this week. The Paris Agreement, adopted by 195 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) last December in Paris, calls on countries to “combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future,” according to a statement by the UN. The agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting[Read More…]