Archive for economy

Told ya so, frackers: Ohio geologists see link between fracking, sudden burst of earthquakes

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

frackers cartoon Clay Bennett

In a previous post, Frackers set sights on largest oil shale reservoir in US... near CA's San Andreas fault, I couldn't help but wonder how greedy Big Oil could ignore the terrorizing prospect of triggering the San Andreas Fault to erupt into The Big One. Apparently, the health of so many people and of our fragile environment means nothing to California frackers.

Did I just say "California frackers"? My bad. I meant Ohio frackers, too. Along with any other frackers, for that matter.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that in Ohio, geologists have found a connection between fracking and earthquakes. Clearly, they've been in contact with Captain Obvious. L.A. Times, previously:

"The process of reinjecting drilling fluids into the ground is thought by some to stimulate minor seismic activity around drilling pads, dubbed 'frackquakes.'"

Take it away, Captain Obvious:

obvious

Ohio geologists have found a probable connection between fracking and a sudden burst of mild earthquakes last month in a region that had never experienced a temblor until recently, according to a state report.

The quake report, which coincided with the state’s announcement of some of the nation’s strictest limits on fracking near faults, marked the strongest link to date between nerve-rattling shakes and hydraulic fracturing -- the process of firing water, sand and chemicals deep into the earth to eject oil and natural gas out of ancient rock.

Last month, Ohio indefinitely shut down Hilcorp Energy’s fracking operation near the Pennsylvania border after five earthquakes, including one magnitude-3 temblor that awoke many Ohioans from their sleep. [...]

They “believe the sand and water injected into the well during the hydraulic fracturing process may have increased pressure on an unknown microfault in the area,” the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said in a statement about the Poland, Ohio, operation.

You just know what frackers will do with the "unknown" word. How did former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld mangle it again? Oh yes:

And how did Hilcorp Energy mangle the truth again? Oh yes. They said they are “fully committed to public safety and acting in a manner consistent with being a good corporate citizen.” Because, hey, corporations are people, too, and they're the best corporate citizens EVER.

Sorry, Hilcorp, but you're no "citizen," but you are a disgrace. Hate to say we environmentally-aware types told you so about that whole "frackquake" thing, but well, we told you so. And don't get us started on climate change, the fracking chemicals that contaminate groundwater, and drought.

Speaking of which, if you've never seen Josh Fox's "Gasland," now's your chance. Our own lwdgrfx posted the entire video here.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Fox Biz: Weekly Jobless Claims Slide to Lowest Level Since ‘07 + Bonus #BlameObama News!

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

fox biz

The only way I know how to stop all of you nag-nag-naggers to stop bugging TPC to post more reporting from the most reliable name in news-- Fox-- is to post more reporting from Fox. So here you go, via an email alert from the one source you can trust: Fox. Fox Biz to be exact. They always come through for us, rain or shine, and today it's a ray of shine:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell to 300,000 last week from an upwardly-revised 332,000 the week prior. The reading was the lowest since May 2007. Economists expected claims to fall to 320,000 from an initially reported 326,000.

But wait! There's more! This news comes from a Gallup email alert:

After hitting a low point at the end of President Barack Obama's first term, U.S. leadership ratings worldwide rallied in 2013 as he began his second.

Waitwhat? President Obama's worldwide popularity is rising? But... but... Republicans have been relentlessly mocking the decline in his global approval numbers and called him "feckless"! (Which is kind of funny considering they also call him a dictator.)

What must this all mean? Could it be that they're *gasp!* wrong? (Again. Like they are about just about everything.)

Gallup:

Global Image of U.S. Leadership Rebounds

Median approval rating of 45% in Asia is highest on record.

Not to say there aren't challenges and that everything is hunky-dory, but per Gallup, "the image of the leadership of the U.S. showed signs of rebounding in 2013."

President Obama must have dictated that poll.

UPDATE, via another Fox Biz email alert:

The Treasury Department reports the federal budget deficit fell to $37 billion in March from $107 billion in the same month last year. The fiscal 2014 deficit is running at $413 billion, down from the $600 billion gap the year prior.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Frackers set sights on largest oil shale reservoir in US... near CA's San Andreas fault

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

oil shale Monterey CA fracking Big Oil

California is trying to solve a riddle: how to tap into the largest oil shale reservoir in the United States, one that covers 1,750 square miles, roughly from Bakersfield to Fresno. I'm trying to solve a different riddle: How greedy Big Oil can ignore the terrorizing prospect of triggering The Big One, the health of so many people and of our fragile environment.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting on a gigantic oil trove that's trapped in San Joaquin Valley's Monterey Shale formation, 15 billion barrels, to be exact. While drilling and fracking could be a huge bonanza for oil companies and create a boom that could transform California's economy, the consequences could do just the opposite. "The process of reinjecting drilling fluids into the ground is thought by some to stimulate minor seismic activity around drilling pads, dubbed 'frackquakes.'" Yes, what California needs to kick start a thriving economy is a San Andreas "frackquake."

So far nobody has figured out an affordable way to extract the dirty, polluting fossil fuel. Good.

But that doesn't mean they haven't spent millions and millions of dollars trying. And, as the Times reports, "Oil companies are now paying farmers for their water rights, land and, in some cases, buying their homes outright to get at the reserves that might lie underneath."

Across the southern San Joaquin Valley, oil exploration sites have popped up in agricultural fields and on government land, driven by the hope that technological advances in oil extraction — primarily hydraulic fracturing and acidization — can help provide access to deep and lucrative oil reserves. [...]

The implications are profound, touching on public health, water use, water quality and the loss of agricultural land. The subsequent transformation also would alter the lives of families living in the resolutely rural communities dotting the valley.

For Tom Frantz, a retired teacher and third-generation farmer, the exploratory drilling is already too much.

"This is prime farmland and they have drilled between 200 and 300 wells in the last 10 years in the Monterey Shale," Frantz said. "Every one took out an acre or two of farmland. Every one has used hundreds of thousands of gallons of water. Each one has contributed to our air pollution. Each one has had spills on the ground of different chemicals and crude oil. Each one is emitting methane as we speak. If this thing happens and there are thousands and thousands of wells — that's scary because an accident is bound to happen," he said.

What may be great for California's economy could just as easily destroy it, along with the lives of its residents. Thankfully, the jury is still out on how this can be done profitably. Leave the damned oil shale reservoir alone. Money isn't everything. Life (as the hypocritical Drill Baby Drillers love to tell us) is.

More here.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Don't let Paul Ryan near your money

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Paul Ryan ugh this guy

He's ba-a-ack. Yes, Paul Ryan and his "budget" (quotes required, because it's not a budget, it's a redundantly cruel joke) have returned to make the 99% miserable as it caters to the top 1%.

In his Los Angeles Times column, the brilliant Michael Hiltzik takes Paul Ryan and his Very Serious Plan apart. He rips into Privatize Ryan's latest attempt to screw the middle class and the poor by cutting government programs, killing Medicare and Social Security, and thumbing his nose at everyone who knew better than to vote for him and his "severely conservative" running mate.

Read our lips, Paul: Austerity doesn't work.

Via AusterityNut.com

What's the definition of insanity again? Oh yeah:

insanity doing same thing over different results

Hiltzik also manages to get a word or two in about GW Bush's squandering of the Clinton surpluses on tax breaks for the wealthy and how he spent borrowed funds on wars without bothering to raise income taxes.

Take it away, Michael:

There should be a rule--or even a law--that politicians who propose "fixes" to Social Security should at least show they know something about the program. By that standard, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., would flunk. [...]

But the trust fund is still growing, because Social Security's income streams--the payroll tax, interest on its bonds, and revenues from income taxation of benefits--still are sufficient to cover current benefits, and then some. [...]

As I've written before, when you hear people like Paul Ryan talk as though the country can't afford to pay back the money by redeeming the bonds in the trust fund, what you're hearing is the sound of the wealthy preparing to stiff the working class. [...]

[I]f Ryan has his way, yes, the money will be stolen. It's up to you and me to make sure that doesn't happen. So, to put all these pieces together, there's no "dubious government accounting" involved here--the dubious accounting is all Ryan's. [...]

The most important factor is the one that people like Ryan want you to forget: The money in the Social Security trust fund came directly or indirectly from the payroll taxes paid by millions of American workers--100% of it. It was paid by workers in the trust that the government would pay it back. Paul Ryan is hinting, pretty strongly, that he doesn't want to pay it back. 

So why would you trust him? 

Exactly. Why would anyone trust this guy? Especially after the abysmal response to his previous Kill Medicare/Social Security proposals.

paul ryan really really bad screen grab

Please read Hiltzik's entire piece here.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Good news that will make GOP heads explode #Obamacare

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

ermahgerd good news

head explode

blame Obama 2

At about 4:15 EDT today we will be posting a live video feed President Obama's remarks on the good news regarding the Affordable Care Act. It will include this:

More than 7 million people signed up for health insurance through Affordable Care Act exchanges through Monday night's deadline, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

A total of 7,041,000 people enrolled, Carney said, and that number doesn't include sign-ups that took place in recent days through state exchanges. Carney did not immediately say how many of the enrollees were previously uninsured.

For more information... http://www.politico.com

And those numbers do not even include those still in the queue (a number we don't know), per a tweet by HuffPo's Sam Stein.

Repeal THAT, GOP. So much for the "death spiral":

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

But wait! There's more!

This time the good news comes directly from-- wait for it-- Fox! Yes, once again, Fox Biz (the name you can trust!) is helping us with our favorite GOP Head Explosion Cause: Obama victories. Check it out, via an email alert:

Manufacturing activity picked up slightly in March, with the Institute for Supply Management’s PMI gauge rising to 53.7 from 53.2 the month prior. Wall Street was looking for the gauge to rise to 54. Readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below point to contraction.

Wall Street is rallying on the back of strong factory data and auto sales, driving the S&P 500 to a fresh record high. The broad-market barometer is up 0.6%, while the Dow is up 100 points. Meanwhile, traders are selling U.S. Treasury bonds, sending the yield on the 10-year bond up by 0.04 percentage point to 2.761%.

Say you're sorry, Fox Biz. Wink wink.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Supply side economics doesn't work. "Trickle-up economics creates more demand."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

supply side economics trickle down peanuts cartoon via greekshares dot comImage via Greekshares.com

Supply side economics doesn't work. How do we know? We've tried it and look where we are today. That trickle-down theory that Republicans have bent over backwards to push has trickled down all right, the way dogs "trickle down" on hydrants.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Bring on supply side economics," Opinion, March 23

To quote Ronald Reagan, "There you go again." Ideologues like Brad Schiller tout supply-side economics once again as a possible cure for our economic woes.

Economists teach us about "supply and demand," but it really should be called "demand and supply," because without demand, supply is irrelevant. Demand is what drives everything, including job creation. If you have a line of customers snaking out the door, you will hire employees to meet that demand, regardless of taxes or regulation.

Our economy is about 70% consumer driven, so when median household income stagnates or drops, so do consumption and hiring. It's simple logic.

Trickle-up economics creates more demand than trickle-down because lower- and middle-income families will spend additional income, whereas high-income families invest their money. That's why the stock market has been booming while the overall economy has been weak.

You don't need a Nobel Prize in economics to figure that out.

Eric Geisterfer

San Pedro

***

Schiller's call to action is timely enough. It is just wrongheaded.

Yes, more attention to employment, and also wages, is critically needed. But Schiller fails to acknowledge the controversial nature of supply side economics, most starkly revealed in its desertion by the man who chaperoned its entry into the Reagan revolution. He ignores the already flush supply side, with corporations sitting on mounds of cash they won't spend to hire or expand.

Mostly, Schiller fails to realize that trickle-down Reaganomics remains the law of the land and needs no latter-day champion. The decimated marginal tax rate and the prevalence of stock-option CEO compensation remain and, along with corporation-friendly foreign trade deals, have hollowed out the middle class, creating monstrous wealth and wretched poverty characteristic of developing nations.

This piece would more appropriately have been published on April 1.

Curtis Selph

Lancaster

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

US economy grows, jobless claims fall to four-month low #BlameObama

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

It's the economy stupid pin Clinton US economy

Via MarketWatch.com, Exhibit A:

Applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in four months, offering further evidence U.S. layoffs have slowed sharply and perhaps a hint that hiring is about to pick up.

Initial jobless claims dropped by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 311,000 in the seven days ended March 22, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was almost 10,000 less than economists polled by MarketWatch had expected.

Next, Exhibit B: another email alert from your favorite and mine, Fox Biz! Yes, good old reliable Fox has come through for us again. Don't they realize that this is good US economy news? How can they continue to blame President Obama for all our nation's ills when they keep reporting this kind of upbeat stuff?

Ruh-roh Foxers, you're slipppppinggg...

The Commerce Department reports the U.S. economy grew at an annual pace of 2.6% in the fourth quarter, up from a previous reading of 2.4%, but slightly below the 2.7% rate Wall Street expected.

Say it with me now:

blame Obama 2

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare