Showing posts from August 9, 2016

Suncor proposes leaving oil sands in ground to cut greenhouse gas emission intensity

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[Oh, such environmentalists! Now that it is uneconomical to do so, Suncor is boldly proposing that the government "allow" them to leave the most expensive to produce product in the ground. See also: Suncor Opens Conversation about 'Stranded Assets' in Alberta's Oilsands. *RON*]

Dan Healing, Canadian Press / Globe & Mail, 28 July 2016
A proposal by oil sands giant Suncor Energy to leave some of its more difficult-to-produce reserves in the ground, to reduce emissions and costs, is being endorsed by environmentalists – but not by rival producer Cenovus Energy.
CEO Steve Williams said Suncor has asked the Alberta government to allow it to “strand” some of its oi lsands reserves if they’re too expensive to produce, or if they’d add too greatly to the intensity levels of its overall greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are advocating in a modest way to work with government so that we can strand some of the oil in the oil sands,” said …

The US is a big outlier when it comes to income inequality

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[No surprise: the global bastion of capitalism is also a big outlier for income inequality.]
Elena Holodny, Business Insider, 8 August 2016

There are more billionaires than ever before — and they're worth a total of $7.7 trillion

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[A growing population, and more of a boys' club than ever, it is still the case that the population of Yarrow, BC is bigger than the global number of billionaires. *RON*]
Alex Morrell, Business Insider, 8 August 2016

Being a billionaire is now a more humdrum affair than ever before. The once rarefied cadre of humans with a net worth eclipsing $1 billion ballooned to 2,473 in 2015 — a new record, according to wealth information and insight firm Wealth-X, which released its annual Billionaire Census Monday.

Though the three-comma club is becoming more crowded, there's still only one billionaire in the world for every 2.95 million people.

Wealth-X also found that the richest people on earth are richer than ever before. The combined net worth of all billionaires increased 5.3% to $7.7 trillion — larger than the GDP of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, or Japan.

How far a dollar goes in each state

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[Unsurprisingly the states where you get more bang for your buck are the ones with bad economies. So, compare the list of high bang-for-buck states here with the list of states in the preceding article that refuse to allow people convicted of drug offenses to go on welfare. Also, I went to look at the Bureau of Economic Analysis website. There is a much more informative article there which looks at Real Personal Income by state. States like New York and California that have a low bang for buck more than make up for this in having much better paying jobs, so their real personal income is actually among the best in the nation. Looking simply at regional price parities, in other words, is not that informative. *RON*]

By Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post, 9 August 2016
You might think you know the value of a buck. But a recent Tax Foundation analysis provides a stark illustration of just how much further a dollar goes in some parts of the country…

States ease access to welfare and food stamps for convicted drug felons

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["You’re increasing the chances that they may reoffend because they don’t have the ability to make ends meet. Doesn’t this go against what we’re trying to achieve as they re-enter society?" This is glaringly obvious. The US has some of the most vindictive, counter-productive drug policies anywhere outside of nations that simply execute people for drug offenses. Recognizing that a very high portion of these felons will be black, read the list of states that still maintains a full ban. *RON*]

By Teresa Wiltz, PBS, 9 August 2016
ATLANTA — Twenty years after a federal law blocked people with felony drug convictions from receiving welfare or food stamps, more states are loosening those restrictions — or waiving them entirely.

In April, Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, signed a criminal justice reform bill that lifted the ban on food stamps for drug felons in Georgia. Alaska followed suit in July, although applicants must prove they are comply…

Putin offers Turkey's Erdogan closer ties

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[During the Obama administration, Russia has been dancing circles around the US in terms of meeting its geopolitical goals. *RON*]

BBC News, 9 August 2016
Russia is ready to restore economic co-operation and other ties with Turkey, President Vladimir Putin has told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in St Petersburg.

It is Mr Erdogan's first foreign visit since an attempted coup last month.

Mr Erdogan thanked Mr Putin, saying "your call straight after the coup attempt was very welcome".

Russian-Turkish relations soured last November when Turkey shot down a Russian bomber on the Syrian border.

The visit comes as Turkey's ties with the West have cooled over criticism of Mr Erdogan's purge of alleged coup-plotters.

Before leaving Turkey, Mr Erdogan referred to President Putin as his "friend" and said he wanted to open a new page in relations with Russia.