Showing posts from July 20, 2015

Shell Expects Oil Price Recovery To Take 5 Years

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[Someone get Joe Oliver and Stephen Harper fresh diapers. *RON*]

By Andy Tully,, 17 July 2015

Ben van Beurden, the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, and one of his senior executives envision low oil prices for some time unless energy producers cut production and the demand for fuel doesn’t rebound.

In a wide-ranging interview with Oil & Gas Technology published July 14, van Beurden spoke of competing benefits of the low price of oil for fuel demand, and its liabilities for those who produce it.
“Low prices have big implications for exporting countries like Iran, Russia and Venezuela,” he said.

“But also for shale-producers in the U.S., and even the domestic budgets of producers in the Gulf states. In consuming nations, low oil prices are an economic boon stimulating growth and demand.”

For the near term, van Beurden pointed to one key forecast that this year will see more worldwide demand than in 2014. “Compared to last year, the Internationa…

Is Advertising Morally Justifiable? The Importance of Protecting Our Attention

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[An excellent piece on how our attention is our personal property, and how it is being unsustainably mined and sold without our permission by the advertising industry. *RON*]

Thomas Wells, ABC, Religion and Ethics, 14 July 2015 Advertising is a natural resource extraction industry, like a fishery. Its business is the harvest and sale of human attention. We are the fish and we are not consulted.

Two problems result from this. The solution to both requires legal recognition of the property rights of human beings over our attention.

First, advertising imposes costs on individuals without permission or compensation. It extracts our precious attention and emits toxic by-products, such as the sale of our personal information to dodgy third parties.

Second, you may have noticed that the world's fisheries are not in great shape. They are a standard example for explaining the theoretical concept of a tragedy of the commons, where rational maximising beh…

How Did This Monster Get Created? The Decades of GOP Lies That Brought Us Donald Trump

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[Overcoming reason with hysterical, simple-minded, mindless, hate-fueled, shouted promises of salvation from the apocalypse. Donald Trump did not happen overnight. He's the product of a dangerous, cynical GOP strategy that dates back years. "To avoid niggling fact-checkers, in 1987, President Reagan’s FCC abandoned the Fairness Doctrine, a decision that meant that public broadcasters were no longer required to provide their audience with opposing viewpoints. Within a year, talk radio had taken off, with hosts like Rush Limbaugh hammering home the vision of a nation gone to ruin, awaiting redemption from the latest Movement Conservative candidate." *RON*]
By Heather Cox Richardson, / AlterNet, 19 July 2015

How did America get to such a place that someone like Donald Trump can command a lead in the Republican primaries? Trump is the product of a deliberate Republican strategy, adopted by Richard Nixon’s people in 1968, to att…

Premiers meeting shows national energy policy is 'a mess'

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[Agreed; this is an epic fail on the scale of Harper's Economic Action Plan. They included nothing of substance in their so-called strategy - whether for oil and gas or against. As a result, this is now a purely PR-oriented political document that allows the premiers to state publicly that they have responded to the issue of energy policy - while their result, in fact, amounts to their having done nothing at all. *RON*]

By Kyle Bakx, CBC News, 19 July 2015
Canada's premiers may have just agreed on a national energy strategy, but whether it will actually make any practical difference remains an open question.

When former Alberta premier Alison Redford toured the country in 2011 promoting a Canadian energy strategy, her vision was straightforward: come up with a national policy on exports of oil, gas and other forms of energy.
Redford hit one key point: Canada has a diversity of energy production.

But that variety does not seem to have produ…

The Greek Impact on Stock Markets: Why Austerity Is Not a Sound Economic Policy

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[Overall a piece with a very conservative slant on the Greek crisis (Hey! It's from Forbes!), but with good points on the failure of austerity to kick start failing economies. *RON*]

Katina Stefanova, Forbes, 18 July 2015
“The answer is quite categorically not.” — International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde on whether Greece’s bailout accord is viable without debt reduction. Source: Bloomberg News Greece comprises only 3.8% of European Union GDP, yet, the amount of attention spent by eurocrats, economist, journalists, and the general public on how the Greek crisis is unfolding is disproportionately high. Some journalists compared the attention to how ludicrous it would be if President Obama were dedicating the majority of his time to resolving economic issues in Alabama. However, how Greece is handled today, in my view, sets a precedent not only for the future of the European Union, but also for the $200-trillion debt-laden…

B.C. Legislature debates law on 25-year LNG deal

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[Climate change and the common good be damned! Unprecedented agreement would give industry relief from LNG-targeted tax increases, allow them to sue us for losses and, in a supreme example of regulatory capture, "lock in climate policy so that future governments have limited ability to strengthen it. We don't make that promise for individuals or any other sector in the economy." *RON*]

By Jason Proctor, CBC News, 13 July 2015
The B.C. Legislature is holding a rare summer sitting today to debate an unprecedented 25-year liquefied natural gas agreement projected to be the cornerstone of the province's financial future.

The government plans to pass legislation enabling the $36-billion deal with Pacific NorthWest LNG, a consortium led by Malaysian energy giant Petronas.

The consortium wants to build an LNG export terminal near Prince Rupert. The agreement would protect the business from tax increases made specifically to target the LN…

Latest pipeline spill provides more fuel for industry's critics

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["...the number of pipeline 'incidents' in Alberta rose 15 per cent last year despite the AER’s well-publicized efforts to reduce ruptures and spills," which would, in a sane world, hurt the industry's persistent call for increased access to markets. *RON*]
Stephen Ewart, Calgary Herald, 18 July 2015

A day after acknowledging an increase in the number of pipeline failures, the Alberta Energy Regulator is now investigating one of the biggest ruptures in the province in years.

Oilsands producer Nexen is estimating more than 31,000 barrels of emulsion — a mixture of briny water, bitumen and sand — spilled in the muskeg at its Long Lake operations southeast of Fort McMurray on Wednesday before the flow was halted.

The cleanup and an investigation by the AER is underway.

The Nexen spill was discovered just as the regulator was releasing its 2014-15 annual report that revealed the number of pipeline “incidents” in Alberta rose 15 …

Level 4 drought declared for South Coast and Lower Fraser

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[Still no rain forecast, low snow pack, low water levels, predicted drought conditions, ongoing wildfires busting the budget and killing our wildlife. I know! Let's "save" BC by greatly increasing liquid natural gas production! No climate change here - move along.... Notice: a) there is no mention in the government response of the renegotiation of the Columbia River water treaty with the US, b) the emphasis on water use reductions puts the onus on civilians, not corporations, and c) reviews of existing water licenses won't kick in until 2046!! See also: Fraser Valley farmers forced to abandon ripe crops. *RON*]

CBC News, 15 July 2015

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Christy Clark, Brad Wall want national approach on fires

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[A great illustration of money-blindness. Clark recognizes "the reality that due to climate change, these summers, these long hot burning summers, are not going to be the exception" yet she sees the issue as being the need for improved fire-fighting, not the need to take action to reduce climate change. No conception that this might relate to pipelines, tankers, or liquid natural gas. *RON*]

Canadian Press, CBC News, 16 July 2015
The premiers of British Columbia and Saskatchewan would like to see a national approach to fighting forest fires, fearing this year's wildfires are the new normal.

Saskatchewan's Brad Wall said Thursday he is grateful for the help his province has received from across the country and called for a partnership between the provinces and the federal government to ensure equipment is available where it is needed.

Training for military personnel on fighting fires also needs to be looked at, he said after a meet…