Tag Archives: Iran

On Obama securing Iran deal: PBS’s Gwen Ifill, “Take that Bibi.” (PBS’s calls Ifill’s tweet a “self inflicted wound”)

Seriously, this is a journalist? This is someone who has moderated presidential debates, presumably will moderate more, and who hosts the PBS Newshour? This is not OK.

Look, Bibi Netanyahu isn’t my favorite guy in the world. I have serious issues with Israel and particularly with how Israel influences our foreign policy and with the never ending flow of American tax dollars which finds its way into the pockets of the powerful in Tev Aviv and Jerusalem.  But this sort of thing from yet another news anchor just reflects how completely full of themselves the #oldmedia are.

To PBS’s credit they have addressed the issue and seem to understand the seriousness of Ms. Ifill’s statement. Really, they have. (To our shock.)

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Why gas prices are rising despite oil’s plunge

Remember that downdraft in gasoline prices right before Christmas? That was a nice stocking stuffer for many Americans. I know I liked it and I don’t even have to commute. Indeed that was the first economic break the middle class had gotten in quite a while. And we can thank the Saudis for opening the oil spigots which ultimately drove the price of gasoline down.

We are now seeing another push down in oil prices, but to date we have not seen a commensurate decline in gasoline prices. So what gives?

(From CNBC)

BP recently shut down its largest crude-oil processing unit in the Midwest after heavy damage from a malfunction. Lipow said California gas prices are still feeling the blows from an explosion in February at an Exxon Mobil refinery in the Los Angeles area.

“It’s those two regions that have brought up the national average. We actually have more than adequate supplies as refiners are operating at historically high levels,” Lipow said.

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Iran deal launches lobbying war

The Israeli lobby is generally not happy. They don’t like the Iran deal. The Saudi lobby (smaller but still powerful) is probably nearly as unhappy. Now the game begins on the Hill.

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With an Iran/US agreement will we soon see $20 a barrel oil?

Many believe that the precipitous decline in the price of oil that the world just saw was Saudi Arabia’s reaction to Obama cozying up with Riyadh’s sworn (literally) enemy, Iran. Saudi Arabia essentially dropped an “oil bomb.” The blast from which the world appears to have absorbed for the most part.

Now the spigots are still on but the flow of oil isn’t increasing. As such the price of crude has more or less stabilized at between $45-$55/barrel. The bombing for the time being has stopped, or at least isn’t escalating.

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Bloomberg: How OPEC Weaponized the Price of Oil Against U.S. Drillers

Cheap gas feels good. It made for a more pleasant Christmas. But it should be remembered that many of the very best, highest paying jobs created since the onset of the great economic slowdown (in 2013 oilfield workers in North Dakota made on average over $112,000/year – many without a college degree) in the USA have been in the energy sector, and primarily in hydraulic fracking. Say what you want about the practice but it has been a (the?) key source of economic growth (such as it has been) for the United States over the last 4 years. Additionally, and this is not well known, fracking has (and the cheap natural gas which has come with the practice) pushed down USA carbon emissions markedly. As of October 2013 carbon emissions were at 1992 levels and dropping. Think about that. If one is concerned about global warming, and we know some of our readers are, that should be cause for celebration.

And before people start freaking I out, I have absolutely no horse in the fracking race. In fact there is a pipeline scheduled to go in just south of me transporting fracking product from West Virginia to the coast which I am not terribly keen on.

Saying this however the fracking revolution has been a huge benefit to the US economically and at least as important from a geopolitical perspective. We are now a net exporter of oil. We are the biggest producer in the world! 5 years ago people would have laughed at the idea that our reliance on foreign oil could be reduced so quickly, if at all.

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