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Saturday, October 25, 2014

A coming oil glut? Part 1

The other day a post in the Intelligence Wheeling News-Register caught my attention. "Two geology professors do not expect to see a slowdown in Marcellus and Utica shale drilling just because the price of oil dropped from a recent high of $107 per barrel in May to $82.75 Monday." I agree with that conclusion although I'm not sure whether geologists have a better record than bloggers at predicting energy trends. One of the geologists makes the point that $70 per barrel oil might kill that boom and again I agree and would note that both bloggers and geologists have a better record than politicians in the area of energy trends. Governor John Kasich seems willing to bet the solvency of his state in the oil futures market. If only he can persuade enough Republicans to join him and his many friends from across the aisle to place a higher severance tax on oil and gas there will be tax cuts and Medicaid for all. Right now I would give him an outside chance of being rated as the best governor since Ted Strickland.
I have a sister who would line up behind Kasich to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Taxing oil companies more seems to be a panacea to cure any economic ill. But they have all that money! Yes, but they didn't get all that money by selling oil below their production costs and a severance tax only adds to the cost.
I have been bullish on Ohio's Utica Shale since before the first well was drilled but let's face it; it is expensive oil. It probably will not produce oil below $70 and we may find ourselves at that point sooner rather than later. Of course the wells will continue to pump but new drilling will decline. Currently the Utica is working 46 rigs and produces 40,000 barrels of oil per day. Let's look at the competition. Note-production figures are approximate.

Oil field Working rigs Oct. 14 Barrels per day
Bakken 192 1.1 million
Eagle Ford 216 1.5 million
Permian Basin 568 1.7 million

The Permian Basin is located in West Texas and New Mexico and is larger than the entire state of Ohio. Production figures declined through 2007 and the basin was generally considered to be drilled out. With the advent of fracking and horizontal drilling it will make the United States energy independent in the very near future. Everyday sees a new production record and the Permian could double production in just 2 years. Here the $70 per barrel price becomes relevant as the country's oil production runs up against its refining capacity. Good luck getting a new refinery permitted by Obama's EPA and crude cannot be exported owing to legislation enacted in the golden age of Jimmy Carter. Drilling will not cease but only the most productive fields will see new drilling. Tar sand oil from Canada may not be competitive meaning that permission to begin construction of the Keystone pipeline may moot.
It's not that Obama's obdurate unwillingness to further the common good has not had some success. The lack of pipelines has hobbled production in North Dakota's Bakken and much of the oil must be shipped via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, a concern owned by Obama crony Warren Buffet. It should be noted that the EPA killed construction of a new refinery in North Dakota after delaying the permit for 5 years.

I'll explore the impact of cheap oil on Ohio and the nation in another post.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Oh good! Ebola victim was screened at JFK

Yes, that should show the doubting Thomases who claimed that the CDC's enhanced screening practice was just another feel good gimmick.
When coupled with a terrorist attack on two NYC police officers on the same day the latest Ebola case is truly terrifying. It should be noted that when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio held a televised news conference they were joined by CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden on the phone. Nowhere to be seen or heard was the newly minted Ebola czar, Ron Klain.
Hellava job, Ronny.
Americans should be excused for thinking Klain's appointment was also a feel good gimmick. It's just an unfortunate coincidence that when the nation needed reassurance he was MIA. Meanwhile the New York power elite tried to explain why a doctor returning from treating Ebola patients was so incredibly irresponsible that he made no attempt to isolate himself but took public transportation and even visited a bowling alley the night before he was admitted to Bellevue. In a rational world he would have been quarantined until after the elections.
Trust us we know exactly what to do. NYC cops who secured Dr. Spencer's apartment disposed of the tape and their masks in a trash can on the street.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dealing with ISIS

Do you ever feel your world is falling apart?

Obama asserts executive privilege for Eric Holder's wife

Whatever else you may think of Obama give him credit for having brass. A more modest and more circumspect chief executive could never cultivate the effrontery to claim executive privilege for his attorney general's wife's email but that is just what the the President of the most transparent administration ever has done. This latest example of brazen lawlessness came to light in a FOIA lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch that seeks documents surrounding the Fast and Furious scandal.
The document details the Attorney General Holder’s personal involvement in managing the Justice Department’s strategy on media and Congressional investigations into the Fast and Furious scandal.  Notably, the document discloses that emails between Attorney General Holder and his wife Sharon Malone – as well as his mother – are being withheld under an extraordinary claim of executive privilege as well as a dubious claim of deliberative process privilege under the Freedom of Information Act.  The “First Lady of the Justice Department” is a physician and not a government employee.
Judicial Watch has not had time to review the massive document known as the Vaughn Index as it was not received until 8:34 PM yesterday, just hours ahead of the court ordered deadline. A cursory review finds:
  • Numerous emails that detail Attorney General Holder’s direct involvement in crafting talking points, the timing of public disclosures, and handling Congressional inquiries in the Fast and Furious matter.
  • President Obama has asserted executive privilege over nearly 20 email communications between Holder and his spouse Sharon Malone. The administration also claims that the records are also subject to withholding under the “deliberative process” exemption. This exemption ordinarily exempts from public disclosure records that could chill internal government deliberations.
  • Numerous entries detail DOJ’s communications (including those of Eric Holder) concerning the White House about Fast and Furious.
  • The scandal required the attention of virtually every top official of the DOJ and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Communications to and from the United States Ambassador to Mexico about the Fast and Furious matter are also described.
  • Many of the records are already publicly available such as letters from Congress, press clips, and typical agency communications. Ordinarily, these records would, in whole or part, be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.  Few of the records seem to even implicate presidential decision-making and advice that might be subject to President Obama’s broad and unprecedented executive privilege claim.
The Ambassador to Mexico! His boss would be Hillary Rodham Clinton? What difference does it make at this time?

CNN anchor Costello laughs at woman being beaten

  This is pretty incredible video.
  Carol Costello at CNN thinks it's really really funny to play audio of Bristol Palin's account of being assaulted.
  She finds it delicious dish to play audio of a sobbing young woman who is recounting her ordeal, finishing the segment with a smug "you can thank me later" for playing this clip, which she describes as "quite possible the best minute and a half of audio we've ever come across."
  I don't know what to say after watching this, other than wow.
  This isn't even prejudice anymore.
  It's vicious, mind blowing, full blown hate on display, most remarkably from a woman who expects to make her career in "journalism," which admittedly isn't anymore.
  It's pretty hard to believe these are the same people piously pursing their lips and pretending that the Republicans have a "war on women" while laughing at and ignoring violence against women, both in the US and abroad in Muslim states.
  Washington Examiner has commentary.
  I just don't want to hear another word about violence against women.
  I also want Costello fired.
  Meanwhile I'll wait for her to laugh at the next funny thing, like a disembowelment or the murder of thousands of Iraqi Christians.
  Yeah, that's the ticket.
  Shocking but, sadly, not surprising.

Yes we miss the oil slick

So that's the trouble with Obama's administration. It's still hobbled by the BP oil spill. It's odd that Senator Hagan should mention an event that happened in April of 2010 but then again it was Obama's first test of presidential leadership and a monumental failure at that. Obama, one supposes, should be grateful that she didn't mention Fast and Furious or the Benghazi attack. It would be interesting to see if Obama could out poll BP 4 years after the spill.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Classy Kay Hagan skips debate

It is not a good sign when a candidate's campaign hires a crisis management specialist 15 days before the election but that is what Senator Kay Hagan's team has done. I cannot remember another candidate skipping a scheduled one on one debate just prior to an election but the gentle lady from Greensboro did just that leaving her opponent Thom Tillis to debate an empty chair causing a clever wag at Twitchy to post "Eastwooding’ makes a comeback; Sen. Kay Hagan a no-show at debate".
It has been credibly reported that the Hagan family used stimulus funds, a bill that Hagan proudly voted for, to refurbish one of it many businesses, formed another company to do the work, and pocketed the savings instead of returning the unused funds to the government.
Now, rather than comment on the charges her supporter have elected to play the race card by distributing flyers depicting a lynching. That is real class! The North Carolina-based Fayetteville Observer reported on Monday that churchgoers in Cumberland County were appalled on Sunday when they were treated to an image of a Jim Crow-era lynching on a flyer warning of what may occur if Republicans take control of the Senate.

Yes, the Post-bellum South has many sins to for which to atone. Electing Kay Hagan is one of them.
It was too much for Rachel Maddow who skewered Hagan for throwing the debate and possibly the election.

Occupy occupies Ferguson

    Looks like CNN got the Fox treatment by the Occupy crowd, which has encamped itself in Ferguson. This video is quite remarkable. Littered with the F word, the "protesters" include in their "protestations" complaints about the way they were treated in places like Oakland, complaints about "Zionists" who apparently run the CNN News and general complaints about being misunderstood.
  It's pretty pathetic for these "adults" to spend their lives screaming invectives at reporters in hot spots around the country but here we are. 
  The general unrest, however,  in various cities is indicative of the trouble Occupy has tried to start for years while Obama is in office. Breitbart News notes that the main agitator is a "Pro-Palestinian activist" whose parents are Middle Eastern.
  Terrorism in a different form.