Wednesday, October 31, 2012

U.S. Shale Energy Production Could Support 3.5 Million Jobs By 2035

Pretty impressive study, if it's right.  Which begs the question:  What will CA do?
The report, America’s New Energy Future: The Unconventional Oil and Gas Revolution and the U.S. Economy, finds that unconventional oil and natural gas production could produce significant growth in capital expenditures and employment, including:

• More than $5.1T in cumulative capital expenditures by 2035.
• Adding 1.2 million new jobs by 2020, and supporting a total of 3.5 million jobs by 2035.
• Almost $62B in additional federal, state and local tax receipts in 2012 and more than $111B in 2020, with a total of more than $2.5T in cumulative added revenues between 2012 and 2035.

Tobacco ban on UCLA campus coming in spring semester

This goes under the heading "How stupid do they think we are?"
Chancellor Gene D. Block said in a letter that tobacco products -- cigarettes, cigars, oral tobacco and electronic cigarettes, among them -- will be prohibited as of April 22.

"Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke remain the leading causes of preventable disease and death worldwide," Block said in the letter. "Cigarette butts, which are non-biodegradable, account for one-third of all the litter in California. Cigarette butts and cigarette smoke are toxic and degrade the quality of our air, water, forests and beaches.

"It is important to protect our community from these serious health risks and adverse environmental effects," he wrote.
So electronic cigarettes which generate WATER VAPOR causes pollution?  And cigarette butts arre to blame for ONE THIRD of all the litter?

Do they think we are idiots?

It's obvious this guy is a complete moron.

California, No Longer the State where the Future Happens First

First we'll start off from the middle:

In late August, David Roberti, a Democrat who served 27 years in the legislature, 13 as President Pro Tem of the State Senate, and who is now President of the BioEnergy Producers Association, wrote to Governor Brown, “Your administration stands on the threshold of a national embarrassment if nothing is done by the end of this week to provide Plasco Energy with the confidence to resume work on its municipal waste-to-renewable energy project.”

Now let's skip to the end:
It is difficult to write an article like this, but more than 250 million tons of post-recycled solid waste—a critical renewable energy feedstock–have been placed in California’s landfills since this Association began its quest for regulatory relief for this industry. Those who have blocked this effort need to be held accountable.

As to the Brown administration and the legislature’s environmental committees, the impression is left that accommodating a small number of environmental dogmatists is more important to the state than jobs, a cleaner environment, an improved economy and energy independence—and this at a time when the Governor is asking the citizens of California to support higher taxes.
Now we go to the beginning:
Among its statutory roadblocks, the state has a scientifically inaccurate definition of gasification, which, if taken literally, would require zero emissions from the entire biorefining process. Think how many petroleum refineries or power plants there would be in California if they had to meet this standard. Zero.

Throughout this time, an entrenched alliance of Democratic staff members for the legislature’s environmental committees, led by those of Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, have collaborated with elements in the environmental community to thwart every attempted initiative that would provide realistic standards of performance for this industry.

As a result, California’s emerging biobased technology companies have either moved out of the state, or sited elsewhere, thermal renewable energy projects amounting to at least $1 billion in capital investment.

So, pretty soon it will become too expensive to landfill the garbage there and that will move out of state where it will be cheaper.  Gasification is a great way to get rid of the garbage and convert it into a very, very clean burning diesel.  I've been involved in gasification technology now for four years.  It has a place in a portfolio of energy.

Except in CA.

PBS newsman sees danger in fragmented nation

I think he means that it not having the three main broadcast companies control the media makes the people harder to CONTROL.

A fragmented nation and a fragmented audience for news is making the country more difficult to govern, PBS News Hour co-anchor Jeffrey Brown said during a weekend talk at Western Washington University.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fourth company to receive money from Perry’s tech fund files for bankruptcy

Speaking of bankruptcies, I did a search for bankruptcies in Texas and hit this article.  Maybe one daywe'll learn to let companies rise or fall with private money instread of spending my hard earned money I had to fork over to the state government!

Terrabon is the fund’s second bankruptcy in the past four months, losses that severely cut into state estimates that the fund has delivered a $4.5 million return on investment.

The state’s venture capital-like fund has raised concerns about accountability and transparency, including a critical report from the state auditor’s office this past year. Perry’s political opponents have also hammered him over ties between campaign contributors and fund recipients.

Terrabon’s bankruptcy, which was filed in a Houston federal court in September, is the tech fund’s biggest hit to date and brings the total losses of four failed investments to $5.25 million. In the fund’s 2012 annual report released in January, Perry’s office estimated the portfolio’s 133 investments were worth $4.5 million more than what the state had handed out.

When first asked by The Associated Press about the fund’s four bankruptcies apparently wiping out the gains entirely, Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said the annual report was outdated and argued the fund’s value could have increased. She later amended her comment, saying the January report factored in the first two companies to go under in 2010, in what was a combined $2.25 million loss.

But the fund’s financial health remains unclear. Nashed said new figures are not expected until January, and further defended the fund by pointing to $592 million that the startups have collected from private investors.

California poultry company files for bankruptcy; will be eighth poultry firm to fold in the last year

Well, it look slike that Proppsotion regulating hen laying cage sizes won't be what does in the poultry farmers.
The bankruptcy filing showed that the company's largest unsecured creditors are feed company Western Milling, to whom Zacky Farms owes about $6.6 million, and poultry company Foster Farms LLC, which is owed about $1.2 million. "Zacky Farms will be the eighth poultry firm to be sold, entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy or shut down altogether since 2011, according to data from trade group National Chicken Council," Huffstutter reports.

California may lose 100 dairy farms

Wow.  This drought is killing CA farming

“High supply of milk must be met with high demand for milk and dairy products,” DePeters said.

Because of the extreme variability of milk prices, the CDFA creates a “milk pool” by combining the total amount of money of different milk products, and paying them out to dairy farmers.

“What’s clear is that California dairymen receive much less for their milk than other states,” Mitloehner said.

But dairy owners contend with another challenge — the price of feed for cows. Although the price of milk remains stable, feed prices have gone up in the last few years.

“Approximately 40 percent of today’s corn produced in the U.S. isn’t going to animal feed or human food, but into fuel — mainly ethanol,” Mitloehner said.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), corn grown for ethanol is predicted to compete with feed over the next 10 years. In 2010, corn grown for ethanol began to seriously compete with corn grown for feed when ethanol production surpassed feed production at 5 billion bushels. The USDA claims that in the next few years, the cost of corn and other crops used for ethanol will be at “historically high levels.”

However, ethanol isn’t the only reason for corn prices increasing.

“Corn and soybean prices affect the prices of other feeds. Plus the drought in the Midwest this summer also impacted price of corn and soybeans,” DePeters said.

The increased price of corn also means the increased price of alternative feed.

So you see what is happening?  It's that ol' stinker Unintended Consequences!  You pass a law REQUIRING ethanol which drives the cost of feed up since most is corn based. Then you control the price of milk keeping it artificially low such that farmers can't raise their product price to cover their feed costs, you have the makings of a shortage!

That's the CA and the US Government working hand in hand. I don't think they could have planned it any better.

Surprising results in poll on immigration laws in California

The onslaught of illegal immigration has been multigenerational.  Why am I not surprised?

And when you have a state awash in illegal immigrants, when you start asking these questions to various peoples how can you avoid them?  The illegals start affecting the results of the polls!


CALIFORNIA: Police Arrest Woman at Council Meeting for Exceeding the Time Allotment

Incredible.
RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A Riverside woman is facing misdemeanor charges following her arrest for speaking too long at a Riverside City Council meeting, the Riverside Press-Enterprisereported Thursday. Karen Wright, whose arrest was videotaped and obtained by the paper, was cited for disrupting a public meeting Tuesday night.

“The incident unfolded after Wright exceeded her allotted three minutes to speak at the lectern while commenting on a sludge hauling contract,” the paper reported.

Wright, 60, was initially handcuffed by two officers while she was on her knees. In video of the incident, Wright can be heard yelling in pain as officers tried to bring her to her feet.

“Can you see my wrists? You’re pulling and jerking on my wrists!” she said. “I cannot get up without putting my hands down!”
Click on the snapshot to the video.
 

Monday, October 29, 2012

PETA wants sign to memorialize fish killed in crash

Dollars to donuts the memorial goes up.

An Irvine resident is requesting that the city install a sign to memorialize the hundreds of fish killed in a traffic crash in early October as they were being taken to Irvine Ranch Market.

In the letter, Dina Kourda, on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, asks the city's street maintenance superintendent to place the sign at the site of the crash on Walnut and Yale avenues.

The sign would read, "In memory of hundreds of fish who suffered and died at this spot," to remind tractor-trailer drivers of their responsibility to the animals who are "hauled to their deaths every day," according to the letter provided by PETA.

Europe left behind as shale shock drives America’s industrial resurgence

I was told by a friend in the oil and gas industry that America can now produce polymers cheaper than Saudi Arabia.

Europe will regret not more aggressively pursuing fracking.  I'll start off with a quote in the middle of the article:

As of last week, US natural gas prices were roughly one third of European levels. The German chemicals group BASF said it had become impossible to match the US on production costs.
Now for more details:

Royal Dutch Shell is planning an ethane plant in the once-decaying steel valley of Beaver County, near Pittsburg. Dow Chemical is shutting operations in Belgium, Holland, Spain, the UK, and Japan, but pouring money into a propylene venture in Texas where natural gas prices are a fraction of world levels and likely to remain so for the life-cycle of Dow's investments.

Some fifty new projects have been unveiled in the US petrochemical industry. A $30bn investment blitz in underway in ethelyne and fetilizer plants alone.
Read the whole article.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Do they think we're stupid? LA Times:Taxes aren't going to make the rich leave California, report says

What kind of idiots do they take us for?
“The highest-income Californians were less likely to leave the state after the millionaire tax was passed,” said the report.

The research was hailed by the California Budget Project, a left-leaning think tank in Sacramento. Chris Hoene, the organization’s executive director, said it “dispels one of the most persistent myths about state tax policy.”

This is a classic case of the Left believing their own lies.  How do I know this?  Look at France."French super-rich sell luxury homes to avoid taxes"
About 400 homes worth more than 1 million euro have been put up for sale since May when socialist Francois Holland came to power. The sales panic has been triggered by a 75% income tax on all earnings over €1million which will come into force later this year as a part of government’s efforts to cut the budget deficit.

“Now a large number of wealthy French families are leaving the country as a direct result of the proposals of the new government,” Sotheby's French boss Alexander Kraft told the Daily Mail. “These properties are then bought up by foreign investors looking for a stable real estate market like France to invest in,” he added.

The government’s plan to raise the top income tax rate to 75% has already sparked rumors in the media that France’s wealthiest people could leave the country to avoid taxes. Jean-Paul Agon, CEO of L’Oreal, warned that the tax hike would make it “almost impossible” for companies to hire top managers.

French people consider countries like Britain, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg as a preferable destination. Last month Bernard Arnault, chief of LVMH, the luxury goods group including Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton confirmed he had applied for Belgian citizenship. However, he denied that his decision was determined by tax planning. The demand from wealthy French for London luxury real estate soared by 30% in the first three months of this year, according to data.

What I find ironic is that the article is posted at RT which is short for "Russia Times".  You know them right?  That's the country that was part of the United Soviet Socialist Republic.  And here they are now being more capitalist than CA!

This should make you very, very sad.

Marines, police prep for mock zombie invasion

This is pretty funny.  Heh, heh.  Yeah.  They're just being clever since Zombies aren't real.

Right?

"No doubt when a zombie apocalypse occurs, it's going to be a federal incident, so we're making it happen," Barker said. Since word got out about the exercise, they've had calls from "every whack job in the world" about whether the U.S. government is really preparing for a zombie event.

Called "Zombie Apocalypse," the exercise follows the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's campaign launched last year that urged Americans to get ready for a zombie apocalypse, as part of a catchy, public health message about the importance of emergency preparedness.

The Homeland Security Department jumped on board last month, telling citizens if they're prepared for a zombie attack, they'll be ready for real-life disasters like a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack. A few suggestions were similar to a few of the 33 rules for dealing with zombies popularized in the 2009 movie "Zombieland," which included "always carry a change of underwear" and "when in doubt, know your way out."

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ugh. Indoctrinated lib-kids sing about how horrible the world will be if we don’t reelect Obama

Contrary to the blogger's statement, I think this is a pro-Romney ad.   I mean, Obama has been president for almost 4 years.  He had a Democratic Senate and House for two years and didn't do anything about much of what these deluded kids are singing about.  Obama let the oil fill the seas.  We still have endless wars and we probably have more Chinese stuff than we've ever had.  We still have poisoned air.  I mean, the list just goes on and on.  And this was with a Democratic President!

But to be serious, these guys that put this together should be ashamed of themselves for exploiting these kids.  The whole song is just one long Leftist slogan about how Republicans are for poisoning the water and the air, etc.  We've heard it a million times and the impact these statements had faded to nothing about 15 years ago.  I've heard these acusations for DECADES.  It wasn't true then and it isn't true now.

Morons.


Explosive CDC Omission: Norovirus Spread Through Reusable Grocery Bags

I've talked about this before.  And there is one phrase that one can never use unqualified:

"It's never happened before." 

And the spread of disease from re-usable bags is a prime example of this.

Among the public health agency's prescribed practices to stop the spread of the virus: "Practice proper hand hygiene … Take care in the kitchen … Do not prepare food while infected … Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces after throwing up or having diarrhea … Wash laundry thoroughly."

But nowhere in that exhaustive battery of norovirus dodges was a recommendation to avoid reusable grocery bags. Curious, considering that reusable-but-not-recyclable alternative to single-use plastic bags were recently linked to an unsavory outbreak of norovirus that struck a hapless middle school-aged girls' soccer team.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Facts are stubborn things

I covered this a year or so ago.  Illinois is in pretty bad shape and has run up a terrible debt and isn't paying it's contractors and suppliers.  Revisiting the situation, things haven't improved a whole lot.
Illinois’ state debt:
•Illinois' total state debt is $271 billion.
•Illinois' state debt per resident is $21,000.
•Illinois has roughly $8.5 billion in unpaid bills.

Illinois’ economic performance:
•39 states have a lower unemployment rate than Illinois.
•It will take 43 months for Illinois’ unemployment rate to recover to its pre-recession low, given the current pace of job creation and assuming no growth in the labor force.
•Unemployment in Chicago is stalled at 10.5%
•Illinois is 48th in job growth.
•Illinois is 48th in economic outlook.
•Illinois is 48th in economic performance.
•The rate of entrepreneurship in Illinois has been below the national average every year since 1996, with the exception of 2001.
•Chicago is tied with Detroit for the worst entrepreneurship rate among the 15 largest metropolitan areas in the country.
•Illinois has had 12 credit downgrades since 2008.
•Illinois has more units of local government than any other state in the nation.

Illinois’ pensions:
•Illinois has the worst funded pension in the nation.
•Illinois' pension inaction costs the state $18 million per day.
•Illinois pension funds need 19 percent annual investment returns in order to pay for the promised benefits.

Illinois' pension crisis is crippling our state and it's affecting everyone, including you.

Sometimes it all looks like a race to the bottom.  Illinois is in bad shape, too.


As Brazil absorbs excess U.S. ethanol, it’s also a source

It's called the "Ethanol Shuffle".  It's how CA is PERVERTING the world markets.  I find this outrageous and disgusting.  Eco-Fascists in trying to form a Utopia have instead made a Hell on Earth.

While the U.S. ethanol industry has been trying to expand its markets, it’s also been fighting a proposal to save one in California — which has actually been importing ethanol from Brazil, at the same time that Brazil is importing ethanol from the Midwest. Last year, the California Air Resources Board found that Midwestern ethanol production emits too much carbon dioxide, and proposed requiring California gas distributors to use less carbon-intensive ethanol.

The attorneys general of seven states sued the board, calling the measure an interference with interstate commerce. In December a federal judge ruled that the proposed regulation was unconstitutional; California is appealing the decision.
CA has lost all ability at governance.

Another article on the situation:
California’s Air Quality Board (CARB) has established very strict Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions standards and these may be an influence on U.S. ethanol imports. The standards restrict imports of Midwest corn-starch ethanol into the state and favor imports of Brazilian sugar cane ethanol. (7) A lower court has affirmed the acceptability of these regulations. However, they may be tested again in a higher court. The regulations encourage imports of Brazilian and Caribbean-Basin sugar cane ethanol into California to reduce GHGs. Sugar cane ethanol imports are considered an advanced biofuel and help to meet the U.S. advanced biofuels mandate. Biodiesel is the only U.S.-produced advanced biofuels available in significant commercial quantities. Imports of Brazilian and Caribbean-Basin ethanol thus do not do not compete with corn-starch ethanol in meeting the conventional ethanol mandates. However, they do reduce the amount of the blend-wall restricted ethanol market that is available for corn starch ethanol.

Brazil’s exports of ethanol to California may tighten Brazilian ethanol supplies and may create an opportunity to export U.S. corn starch ethanol to Brazil. Thus, California’s policies have the potential to create uneconomical trade patterns and may not reduce global GHG emissions as much planned.

Stupid, stupid CA.  I'm sorry.  I generally try to stay away from words like this.  But I just need to be blunt.






Thursday, October 25, 2012

California Parents Protest Teaching Of Yoga In School

People think of Yoga as just exercise, but it isn't.
"Yoga is a physical activity that's completely mainstream," Baird told ABC News. "It's done in universities and churches around the world. I understand it has a cultural heritage coming from India, and there are people that use yoga in their religious practices. … We are creating lesson plans in kid-friendly language that is really redesigning the program. We are not using cultural references. We are not using Sanskrit. We've changed the names to gorilla pose, and mountain pose."

Broyles, and the parents he stands with, strongly disagree, however. They’re saying all poses and commands in ashtanga have religious significance.

"On the wall there was a poster that showed the ashtanga. There are words showing what the limbs are,” said Broyles. "The ultimate goal is to be absorbed into the universe, which is called samadhi. They had a poster depicting that. Fundamentally it is a Hindu religion being taught through ashtanga yoga."
What is so ironic about all this is, here you have several parents, not just one person objecting to Yoga being taught in schools.  But if ONE PERSON objects to Christian principles then the whole thing is thrown out.  Consider what happened in Texas recently.
An East Texas school district had prohibited a high school cheerleading squad from displaying large signs with Bible verses during football games. The ban came after an atheist who attended a game in the small town of Kountze complained that the sign was akin to the public school promoting Christianity, which would violate a Supreme Court ruling.
BTW, if you're interested, there is a morbid side of Yoga.   It is considered a preparation for death.   Didn't know that?  Well, then you aren't reading the right books...

California economy to recover even more slowly

Not good news.
The study guesses that job growth in San Francisco (including Marin and San Mateo counties) will slip from 3.4 percent this year to 2 percent next year, and that Oakland's rate (Alameda and Contra Costa counties) will fall from 2 percent in 2012 to 1.9 percent in 2013.

San Francisco's outlook for 2014 is even worse -- while the study shows Oakland's job growth staying flat that year at 1.9 percent, San Francisco's drops to 1.4 percent in 2014.

Firing Offense

Scott Adams endorses Mitt Romney because he hasn't killed anybody.

Well, Obama hasn't either, but Adam's reasoning is pretty good.  The end of his endorsement is pretty funny.  He references websites that mention his endorsement and their reactions. The Mediaite.com website is especially bad!

[Update: Congratulations to Politico for being the first to take this post out of context. I'm a little disappointed in Jezebel, Gawker and Salon for being slow to the party. Are all of their context-removers on vacation or something?]

[Update 2: Nipping on the heels of Politico, Mediaite.com weighs in with their own out-of-context outrage. They managed to throw in some charges of racism and something about rape. Well done.]

[Update 3: Kudos to Reason.com for doing a good job preserving the context of this post while still quoting from it. Notice their story headline shows they understand the central point of my post. And since their readership probably overlaps a lot with mine, my writing makes sense in their environment too. That rarely happens. -- Scott]

[Update 4: Meanwhile, at Huffington Post, where context goes to die, a key point in my blog post has been summarized as: ". . . cartoonist Scott Adams said he's under the impression Romney would be softer on marijuana than President Barack Obama." Is that how you would interpret my sentence "Romney is likely to continue the same drug policies as the Obama administration"? If not, you can't write for Huffington Post.

[Update 5: Daily Kos takes the context destruction trophy by proudly quoting from the Politico article's out-of-context treatment. Daily Kos scored a rare "double" by taking out of context a piece that was already out of context. Their under-informed readers chimed in to point out that they are sure I don't believe in evolution, which I've often publicly said meets the tests to be called a scientific fact. Another commenter points out that I must hate women because the Alice character is getting less time in Dilbert. You can't get that kind of insight anywhere but Daily Kos."

[Update 6: Newser.com gets an "A" for reporting the story objectively and even mentioning that context is an issue and readers can come here to see it in its native context. Nicely done.]

[Update 7: A little late to the party, but Gawker finally weighed in with a snarky dismissal of their misinterpretation of what I wrote. It's not a party until you guys show up. Can Jezebel be far behind?]

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New California Taxes Pay for Pensions, Not Schools

Is this what CA'ians really want?
Most Californians would be surprised to learn that 100 percent of education’s share of the tax increase proposed by Governor Jerry Brown will go to pensions instead of classrooms. But that would be no surprise to longtime observers of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which administers teacher pensions.

California's Choice

I know which way CA wil go...
Despite the ruin of California's once sturdy and world class economy, President Obama has an approval rating in the state of more than 55 percent, and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein leads in her bid for re-election by more than 20 points. Even more worrisome is that ballot Proposition 32, which would limit corporate campaign spending and the ability of unions to take money from worker pay checks to fund political activities, has narrowly fallen behind in the latest poll.

How Texas Pays the Bills

Over and over and over again I find articles that compare CA and TX.  And it is without a dobt  teh starkest comparisons one can make.  Why does TX succeed where CA fails?  TX succeeds because we don't think people are stupid.  We don't think people need to be watched over constantly.  We don't think businessmen are out to exploit the masses.  We don't think that workers are too STUPID to think for themselves.

In fact, the less you try to control, the easier it becomes for people to leave a job where the boss is too controling or dictatorial ( read: asshole) because there are many more jobs for the job seeker to chose from.  Excerpt from article:

Texas does not have an income tax, and that makes it attractive to many businesses and workers. Every few years, somebody comes along and proposes one, and the usual leftists (Texas has them, too) and government workers (but I repeat myself) cheer the proposal, and then a few months later everybody is asking, “Whatever happened to that guy who wanted an income tax?” My impression after many conversations with business and political leaders in Texas is that what is most attractive and effective about its tax climate is not the lack of an income tax or anything else about its particular structure, but the fact that it is predictable and stable. Nobody invests in Texas expecting to accidentally wake up in Connecticut or New Jersey two years later.

U.S. Luring Manufacturers Away From China?

The article sounds almost like an investement pictch.  But there is truth to this.
In a stunning turnaround, manufacturers here and abroad are building new plants in the U.S. due to America's low energy costs and near-limitless domestic reserves, says Elliott Gue in Energy & Income Advisor (www.EnergyandIncomeAdvisor.com).

Since China must import much of its energy, manufacturing costs there continue to escalate. Meanwhile, the U.S. looks "cheap" to manufacturers that are building energy-efficient plants fired by our low-cost natural gas.

Recent shale oil and gas discoveries in the U.S. have sent natural gas prices to the floor, while natural gas costs in countries around the globe are up to three times higher.

And manufacturers are waking up to the fact that U.S. energy production costs are now lower than anywhere else. After years of shifting their operations to Asia, Dow Chemical and other multinational chemical producers are building new plants in the U.S. Mega steelmaker Severstal recently expanded its Mississippi and Michigan plants and Airbus unveiled plans for a giant new factory in Alabama.

This new American manufacturing renaissance will be fueled by the ongoing development of domestic shale plays, which, according to estimates from the Energy Information Administration, could contain up to 862 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.

From what I know about Dow Chemical they are scaling back some of their plans for building new manufacturing facilities in the US until the economy picks up.

US may soon become world's top oil producer

....and gas in CA will still be the most expensive in the USA.
Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. This will be the fourth straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951.

The boom has surprised even the experts.

"Five years ago, if I or anyone had predicted today's production growth, people would have thought we were crazy," says Jim Burkhard, head of oil markets research at IHS CERA, an energy consulting firm.

The Energy Department forecasts that U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons, which includes biofuels, will average 11.4 million barrels per day next year. That would be a record for the U.S. and just below Saudi Arabia's output of 11.6 million barrels. Citibank forecasts U.S. production could reach 13 million to 15 million barrels per day by 2020, helping to make North America "the new Middle East."

California budget hole swallows mortgage aid

This reminds me of the Start Trek episode call "The Doomsday Machine". A weapon so powerful it would devour anything in its path.  Unfortunately, it also destroyed those who built it.

CA government is set to devour all in its path, too.

Sacramento’s insatiable appetite for spending has swallowed other well-intentioned funds. “From 1998 through 2010, California collected nearly $22 billion from a lawsuit settlement with tobacco companies and from cigarette taxes,” the Sacramento Bee reported in May. However, “(J)ust 6 percent of the money collected from a massive lawsuit settlement and from cigarette taxes went to tobacco interdiction and education programs ... far below federal spending guidelines for effectively curbing tobacco use.”

Based on this history, when Gov. Jerry Brown and other supporters of the Proposition 30 tax increase tell voters the extra money will go only to education, should they be believed?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Honda sees record gasoline prices as opening for natural gas Civic

I expected to hear more of this during the runup on gasoline prices.  If I were to live in CA, I would definitely own one of these.

In Southern California, natural gas retails for about $2.04 per gallon equivalent, or more than $2.50 less than a gallon of gasoline. It sells for even less, about $1 gallon, for people who install home filling equipment that taps into their residential gas line.

The car offers another benefit for California drivers. The natural gas-powered Civic qualifies for solo driver access in most carpool lanes.

Honda is the only carmaker to sell a factory-built natural gas-powered sedan in the U.S.

With more natural gas filling stations opening, the incentive of carpool lane access and the high cost of gasoline, Honda believes this is a good time to pitch its natural gas Civic.

“The signs are pointing toward increased market acceptance of this type of alternative fuel vehicle,” said Angie Nucci, a Honda spokeswoman. “The $3,000 CNG fuel card could be a tipping point for more consumer consideration.”
That $3,000 fuel card sounds nice!!  Wouldn't you want to be laughing at the closed gas stations and poor car owners with no other alternative??

Monday, October 22, 2012

This Is What a Blue State Looks Like: Rally for Nudity in SF

Hey, I'm a less regulation sort of guy.  I'm all for letting people do their own thing. And maybe nudity, (and that's big maybe) would fall in that less regs category.  But do you honestly think these people in their birthday suits are really for less regulations?  I doubt it!

The “Rally for Nudity,” as it was called, took place in the city’s Castro District on Saturday, October 20, drawing over a hundred mostly naked protesters fighting against a proposed new law that would criminalize nudity in San Francisco. That’s right — probably because no one ever thought such a law was necessary in chilly San Francisco, the city government has never bothered to pass a law forbidding public nudity, and recently a large group of dedicated nudists and exhibitionists have taken advantage of this legal loophole, parading around naked in public on a daily basis, mostly in the Castro District.

Now, responding to complaints from local businesses and clothed neighbors, the area’s City Supervisor — the perfectly named Scott Wiener (no joke) — has proposed a new ordinance banning public nudity in San Francisco. That was the final straw for the naked activists, who announced a clothing-optional public protest against the law on Saturday in Jane Warner Plaza, at the intersection of Castro and Market streets, a busy corner that has become the prime rendezvous spot for the city’s nudists.
Surely these dudes and dudettes realize that if you live by the State you die by the State.

Flamin' Hot Cheetos Banned From Schools In California, New Mexico And Illinois (VIDEO)

So they are going to snatch them out of kid's lunch boxes.  So, Flaming Hot Cheetohs are on par with cigarettes?  Except for one thing:  the kids can get the bags of contraband back at the end of the day.  So the kid will then open the bag and start to eat them once they are off campus.  If that's the case, the ban...does nothing!  It just makes every one's life a little more miserable.


California gas prices fall but are still a record for Oct. 22

The guy in the middle keeps inferring that it's all a big oil conspiracy.  CA, live with your decision. Don't make the rest of us look like you!!

Dan Walters: Bankruptcy filings by California cities may spread

Man,  I can't help but wonder when this is going to end...
Moody's named a number of cities whose fiscal health it will review and implied that some sort of blanket downgrading of local municipal bond issues may result – a step that could slam the brakes on governmental borrowing.

Moreover, the distress is not confined to cities, since dozens of school districts are already on state fiscal watch lists and one, Inglewood Unified, was just placed under direct state supervision as a condition of an emergency loan to stave off insolvency.

Each city or school district in bankruptcy or flirting with insolvency is a different case, of course. The city of Mammoth Lakes, for instance, filed for bankruptcy after losing a huge lawsuit over a development project.

A House Race Reflects Shift in California

Color me skeptical that 1) that the Democrat with lose and 2) if she does lose that the Republican will be any different from the Democrat.
Some polls show Rep. Lois Capps, a 74-year-old Democrat, has fallen slightly behind her GOP rival, 45-year-old Abel Maldonado, a former state senator with often-centrist views, in the 24th District. "It is one of the cliffhangers in California congressional races," says Barbara O'Connor, a political-science professor at California State University, Sacramento.

The matchup wouldn't have been conceivable two years ago in this district northwest of Los Angeles, populated by Democratic-leaning urban and suburban dwellers. Ms. Capps, a seven-term incumbent, beat conservative Republican challengers in her last three elections with 57% to 68% of the vote.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Walt Fricke: Plastic bag ban is not worth the hassle

They aren't worth the hassle.
High school students wanted plastic grocery bags banned because of their impact on landfills. Boulder City Council members recognized that these six-gram bags represent an insignificant burden on landfills and that none from Boulder are to be found in gyres in the Pacific Ocean.

How sugar may make you stupid

Oh brother!  Here we go!  A while back I wrote a blog comparing articles on the web written  about "research" on smoking and "research" on obesity.  It was truly amazing that they caused many of the same things.

Not it looks like there is a campaign in full swing to show that HFCS causes the same thing.  In this case, it's that HFCS just makes you STUPID.

In terms of humans, Gomez-Pinilla predicts such changes in the brain to happen within six months to a year.

“The implication(s) here (are) the high consumption and the chronic consumption for man,” Gomez-Pinilla said, adding research needs to be done on the specific affects on humans.

“We don’t know yet how long (the damage) can last.”
I work with three chemical engineers who down cokes for breakfast. They are three of the smartest guys I know.

What a crock.

San Diego media baron promotes conservative causes

That's the difference between conservatives and Leftists.  The Leftists never admit, or rarely admit, they are Leftists.  Conservatives will admit their bias almost everytime.  And the Left when writing about a conservative group or person 98% of the time lead with phrases such as "the conservative newspaper" or "the conservative person" or most often in an attempt to demonize the person will call him "radical right winger".

Oh yeah, and this guy is a RICH conservative, because we know Leftists aren't so we never have to go there...

The new media barons of America's eighth-largest city are upfront about wanting to use their newspaper to promote their agenda of downtown development and politically conservative causes — and they are making their points in a brash, bare-knuckle style.



Douglas Manchester and his partner John Lynch gave their 143-year-old newspaper a new slogan — "The World's Greatest Country & America's Finest City" — ran a front-page editorial that declared their plan to reshape the city's downtown waterfront their highest priority, and forecast doom if President Barack Obama wins re-election.




Man in California after stranding by no-fly list

Why do I think this man was put on the no-fly list?  Because the Federal Government is filled with incompetent workers who accidentally entered his name, that's why.  And the best thing we can do is take all this power away from them.

During a layover at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent told Hicks he was on the no-fly list and couldn't continue.

Hicks was stuck for six days at his own expense, unable to board either commercial or military planes. He still wants to know what happened and why, and he wants to recoup his expenses from the government. He has filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act for answers from the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

"They have not apologized nor given me any reason," Hicks said.

Hicks, a former volunteer firefighter in Hancock County, suspects he was placed on the list because of his outspoken views.

Hicks has worked for a military contractor and said he has had high-level security clearances.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

All I can say is it's about time.  I have been puzzled and amazed as I talked with black Christians whose beliefs fall almost dead in line with mine.  But when the subject of  Republicans vs Dems comes up I would get this "Oh, you're one of THEM" looks.  I would walk away shaking my head wondering what just happened.
“I am now sensing, hearing, talking to people — for the first time in 40 years, the black community is having a discussion about whether they ought to be Democrats, whether they ought to vote Democrat,” the Virginia minister said. “That’s never happened.”

In May, Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage after years of straddling the fence politically.

“Ministers are being questioned by their members: How can we vote for President Obama?” Jackson said. “I’ve even had some ministers who are on the left frankly, politically saying, We gotta figure out how we quiet everybody. We gotta figure out how we get everybody back in the camp, because they sense that people are awakening and saying, now wait a minute: If I have to choose between Jesus and the Democrat Party, Jesus and Barack Obama, then Jesus is going to be my choice.”


 

California's Gas Price: Is There a Villain?

An island unto itself...
How isolated is California? While the rest of the U.S. is consuming less imported oil and more domestic shale oil from fields like the burgeoning Bakken in North Dakota and Eagle Ford in Texas, California is importing more oil from countries such as Ecuador and Iraq—now up to roughly half of what it consumes.

The state also mandates a special blend of cleaner gasoline—with the strictest specifications in the nation—especially in the extended summer months. The cleaner and pricier gasoline, in a driving market that's larger than many countries, has been a plus for the state's air quality, a goal Californians sought. But the trade-off is that during emergencies, California stands alone.
To give you an idea of the stark differences, I put this chart  together of gas prices over time between CA, NV and OR:

The Real Mitt Romney — on CBS!

The press made a big deal of this ONE TIME O'Bama stepped out and helped someone.  Wow!  What a stand-up guy!  Look how generous he is!

But then came Mitt.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Author Elizabeth Nickson Discusses Eco-Fascists

The always thoughtful Ed Driscoll interviews Miss Nickson about her new book.  She has a good bit to say about CA.
Some of the topics we discuss include:

How does eco-fascism prey on the citizens in the hinterlands of western states such as California, Washington, and Oregon?

What is eco-fascism’s impact on the logging industry?

What is the relationship between eco-fascism and Obama’s crony corporatism?

Will California’s cap and trade program finish off state’s already moribund economy?

For those of us who haven’t drunk the green Kool-Aid, is there any hope for the future?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

California Low Carbon Fuel Standard Accused Of Discriminating Against Out-Of-State Businesses

If this article is implying what I think it's implying, CA is going to find itself looking like Hawaii.  Out in the middle of nowhere.
Out-of-state refiners and ethanol companies say the score discriminates against their products because transportation to California alone raises it. They argue the law violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution by imposing limits on interstate commerce.

"Even if there is no discrimination, you still have a regulatory scheme whose whole purpose is to penalize imports, to penalize out-of-state conduct in an effort to control in-state emissions," Peter Keisler, a lawyer for the fuels industry, told the court.
Will companies outside of CA change how they do business with CA?  Of course, but not all of them.  In the end, CA will be the worse for it and will pay even more with fewer players hawking their wares. While the rest of the country moves forward, CA will stuck in the stone age.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A California Businessman Has Attempted The World's Largest Geoengineering Project In The Pacific

This sounds sort of cool...but you have to wonder if this is one of those unintended consequences of Cap n Trade.
Satellite images appear to confirm the claim by Californian Russ George that the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometres. The intention is for the plankton to absorb carbon dioxide and then sink to the ocean bed – a geoengineering technique known as ocean fertilisation that he hopes will net lucrative carbon credits.

George is the former chief executive of Planktos Inc, whose previous failed efforts to conduct large-scale commercial dumps near the Galapagos and Canary Islands led to his vessels being barred from ports by the Spanish and Ecuadorean governments. The US Environmental Protection Agency warned him that flying a US flag for his Galapagos project would violate US laws, and his activities are credited in part to the passing of international moratoria at the United Nations limiting ocean fertilisation experiments.

Muni debt-backed energy plant in California falters

What a shame.  I'm trying to find some information but it looks like a lot of it has been wiped.  I have to go into google cache stuff to read about the process.  Looks like this is a story that is finally coming to an end.

The human waste comes in at 70% water. That's a LOT of water to have to remove.  There aren't many good ways to efficiently remove that much water with that much solids.  The other problem is sanitizing the waste which requires a lot of energy.  Then there is the enormous waste water you have to remove and treat before the water is discharged to rivers and streams. In fact, I see a secondary source of solids just from the waste water treatment that they probably recycle back to their SlurryCarb process.

I'm familiar with a multitude of filtering and separation methods.  I'm sort of at a loss to figure out what went wrong.  I wish I had more information...

The Orange County Sanitation District ended a contract in July with EnerTech due to the inability of the company's Rialto facility to handle the volume of biosolids sent to it on a consistent basis, district spokesman Jim Colston said.

The facility was under contract to take 225 tons of processed sewage sludge from the district per day, which was processed into a coal substitute, Colston said.

EnerTech could not be reached for comment.

Berman said there is a possibility the company's California facility could be taken over by buyers looking for a similar o p eration. Or, he said, the facility may be put up for auction.

Berman said he not aware of any secured claims ahead of bondholders, adding that it is too early to say how much they will recover: "Until I know for a certainty, I don't guess."


Environmentalists sue California to stop fracking

And what will the Enviro-whackos point to when they say that Fracking isn't safe?  Where in CA will they point and say "fracking is killing us!".  Fracking has been going on for decades in CA and NO ONE EVEN KNEW IT.

John Krohn, spokesman for oil and gas industry group Energy In Depth, pointed to the regulators' new rules on fracking and also said that California already had strict oil and gas rules that protect groundwater.

"But fringe environmental groups will not settle for anything less than a ban, which is why they are taking the regulators to court," he said in a statement.

The lawsuit acknowledged that fracking had been taking place in California oil wells since the 1950s, but the plaintiffs asked that the regulator not allow any more fracking until it has prepared "programmatic" environmental impact reports to cover the practice in various types of wells around the state.

California city bans smoking in multi-family homes

What?  You thought you owned that condo or townhouse?  Think again!
The City Council in San Rafael, a community of 57,000 people about 15 miles north of San Francisco, voted unanimously for the ban, following a handful of other California municipalities that have outlawed smoking in buildings with as few as two units.

"We are happy to blaze a trail," Mayor Gary Phillips said before the vote. "We're most happy to be in the forefront of the issue because we think it will greatly benefit our residents and those visiting San Rafael, and we think it will set the tone for other cities as well."

Tobacco-control experts predicted that the tough smoking ordinance in San Rafael could touch off a larger movement in other states and cities.
This is why I have "masterplanned" communities and condos.  I can't stand the rules.  The townhouse community we live in is very small (5 units) so we have great control over the rules.

Dan Walters: The reality of what's happening with California gas prices

Rather charitable comments from Mr. Walters.  But then he goes on.

Gov. Jerry Brown didn't demagogue, and did the smart thing. He directed the state Air Resources Board to allow refiners to shift to the winter blend a bit earlier than usual, which expanded supplies from refineries elsewhere. Prices are now drifting downward.

Looking ahead, however, California's gasoline prices will continue to climb, at least slowly, because the same Air Resources Board is planning to mandate even more exotic gasoline blends to reduce carbon emissions in the name of reducing global warming.

Once again, California will be going it alone. Once again, Californians will pay the price, whatever it may be, and once again, those most affected by gasoline prices won't be politicians or those who campaign self-righteously for stricter environmental regulations.

Those most affected will be those in the lower reaches of the economic pecking order.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fracking is an opportunity for California and not a threat

As I've said before, I have mixed feelings about CA stumbling onto the right thing.  Stumbling?  Because as of now and with all that I've read CA could never do the right thing on purpose.  It would only happen by accident.

CA has to do the right thing not only fiscally, but morally as well.  If not both, the added drilling will only embolden CA to cook up more hairbrained, messed up plans to squash businesses.  In the meantime, another breath of fresh air coming out of CA.

Despite its impressive track record, activist groups with extreme anti-industry views — such as Washington, D.C.-based Food & Water Watch — want hydraulic fracturing banned as a de facto means of putting the oil and gas industry out of business, and millions of oil and gas workers out of their jobs. These groups claim that fracturing technology is unsafe, but that is simply untrue.

Just ask the Obama administration and its expert advisers.

“There’s a lot of hysteria that takes place now with respect to hydraulic fracking,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told Congress earlier this year. “It can be done safely and has been done safely hundreds of thousands of times,” says Salazar, who oversees oil and gas activity on roughly 700 million acres of federal lands, including 47 million acres in California. According to Stanford University geophysicist Mark Zoback, an adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, “the mystery surrounding hydraulic fracturing has actually been exacerbated and people have been paranoid, really for no reason.”

This paranoia includes the mistaken belief that fracturing shale contaminates groundwater and causes damaging earthquakes. “Fracturing fluids have not contaminated any water supply,” Zoback says. As for earthquakes, Zoback says the seismic energy released by the process is “about the same amount of energy as a gallon of milk falling off a kitchen counter,” and the National Academy of Sciences recently concluded fracturing “does not pose a high risk for inducing felt seismic events.”

California greenhouse gas rules face major court test

I guess the laws being just plain stupid isn't quite enough in a court of law.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence O'Neill found the California rules violate the federal commerce clause because they reach across state borders and discriminate against out-of-state businesses, favoring, for example, California corn ethanol over corn ethanol produced in the Midwest. The low carbon standard, the judge warned, "impermissibly treads into the province and powers of our federal government."

In fact, nine states, from Nebraska to Ohio, oppose California in the 9th Circuit, saying its rules "penalize" their ethanol producers.

Environmental groups and California Attorney General Kamala Harris defend the law, saying Congress has given the green light for California to enforce such regulations. And they say California has the right to reject fuels that are produced in a climate-threatening way.

"The kinds of arguments the industry is making, if accepted by the court, would scale back the states' historic role," said Sean Donahue, a lawyer for the Environmental Defense Fund.

The attorney general urged the 9th Circuit to uphold the rules, saying they are "intended to create incentives for low-carbon alternatives to petroleum, not the protectionist purpose of benefiting California-produced fuels."

The fuel industry insists the California regulations go too far. And it argues the strict regulations will hit consumers hard because of the cost of limiting fuel production options.

The rules will contribute to higher prices in California, said Rich Moskowitz, general counsel for the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers association. And he predicts the court case will have broad implications for similar state regulations.
I think states can make whatever laws it wants for the most part.  But obviously, there has to be some intelligence behind them. Something lacking in CA laws.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released... and here is the chart to prove it

I think I've seen this chart before.   Can't recollect where...
The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.

The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.

This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

BUSINESS-KILLING CUTS TO STATE COURT SYSTEMS

As states and cities try to cope with reduced budgets, the court systems find themselves without the needed funds to carry out their business.  I had mentioned that many are turning to for-profit court systems.  In the meantime, the litigants (is that the right word?) are getting nichkeled and dimed in a sort of "no-frills" version of law and order.
In many court systems that have had their budgets cut, courts are passing more of their costs onto litigants. In Superior Court in San Francisco, court reporters used to be provided for free in civil cases — important because, among other things, a transcript is needed if a party wishes to appeal. Last year, the court shifted that cost to the litigants themselves in most civil cases. The daily court reporter’s bill can easily exceed $1,000.

A particularly common stratagem to compensate for reduced state funding is to increase filing fees. Since 2008, according to the NCSC, 26 states have increased their filing fees.

For example, in California, among the hardest hit state courts in the country, basic filing fees for a civil case have climbed from $335 in 2008 to $435 in 2012. For more complex cases, which are frequently business-against-business disputes, the filing fees have almost doubled, surging from $550 in 2008 to $1,000 today. On top of the basic filing charge, there are other fees assessed at various phases of a case, such as for filing motions.
Oh, you want a judge? Well, that'll cost you!

Had Enough Therapy? California, Running Out of Gas

Pursuant to my last blog entry, Mr. Schneiderman chimes in with some good words on why CA has found itself in it's unenviable position:

Even the most inveterate atheists have to admit that God does not approve of California.

Naturally, Californians have a right to the most stringent environmental regulations in the nation. They voted for them; they own them. It only seems just that they should pay for them. It’s God’s way of teaching people to take responsibility.

If you have been following the news coverage of the California gas crisis you, as I, have probably come away with the impression that it’s all the fault of a refinery fire or some such accident. This spin makes it all sound like … an accident, an act of God.

This morning a Wall Street Journal editorial showed, on the contrary, that the California gas crisis is a man-caused, or as the green crowd likes to say, anthropogenic calamity.

Calif. govt. killing small businesses

Small businesses in CA are getting whacked hard by regulations and taxes.  More so that large businesses.
According to John Kabateck with the National Federation of Independent Business-California, small businesses end up paying 37 percent more than large businesses to comply with California’s growing giant book of regulations.

That’s a frustrating statistic.

Small businesses pay 18 percent more for health insurance than larger businesses.

The cost of tax compliance for small business is 65 percent greater than big businesses.

Mounting paperwork, reporting requirements and the costs of the taxes are much more costly to a small business, which often has to hire additional employees just to administer the many different regulations and multi-agency tax paperwork.

The ignorance and selfishness of lawmakers choosing to increase regulations and taxes on small business owners instead of cutting state costs is killing the geese which lay California’s golden eggs.

Climate Law Is Good Business for California

This article is interesting not for what it says but what it does not say.  It mentions the $5 gas in CA and just chalks this up to old fossil fuel dependence that's causing it.  Do they think we are that stupid?  CA decided to create an untenable situation by legislating a gasoline blend that no one else in the entire country uses.  So when the supply is interrupted, who suffers?  Well, we in TX didn't suffer.  Did our prices go up?  Maybe 5 cents.  Not a whole dollar - or whatever the godawful amount was in CA.

The price went up because YOU in CA created the situation for it to happen.  There is no one to blame but yourself.  YOU DID IT.  You created a climate in CA where NO ONE wants to build a new refinery.  NO ONE wants to grow an industrial plant.  TX didn't do it.  NV didn't do it. YOU. DID. IT.

So now you think the solution is "green energy" with the total exclusion of fossil fuels?

You have created a situation that we call "limiting the degrees of freedom".  I did some work in a pharmaceutical plant about 20 years ago.  Riding home with the lead engineer he was dismayed with the situation with our client.  "Gary, we can't do anything.  Everytime we make a suggestion we get shot down.  We can't go forward with anything.  They find fault with everything we bring up."

"Jack, I call that limiting your degrees of freedom.  The client is hamstringing you.  The answer is hardly the ideal solution, but the answer could be the best solution."

Jack smiled and said he liked that concept and would use those words with the client.  He did and the client backed off and allowed us to explore various solutions.  The whole effort was one of the finest pieces of engineering I was ever involved in.

And so it is with CA.  There is no ideal solution.  To think that wind and solar are the ideal solutions is idiotic, dogmatic and self-defeating.  CA must unleash Private Industry to supply the answers.  Because your bureaucrats are bumbling, fumbling idiots.


PA GOP to allow fracking on college campuses

I can't think of a more public place than a college for fracking to occur.  If I were the radicals on campus I would set up observers to watch what was happening.  In fact, I would think there would be an ombudsman to oversee the fracking.  In fact, I would think the radicals would be chomping at the bit to finally have the evil frackers in their back yard so they can finally once and for all show the world how horrible fracking really is.

Also, the fracking would only offset tuition?  Personally, the fracking should completely PAY for the tuition! This is really a win-win situation.  I've highlighted the fact that several Texas cities have leased land to drillers in the past to supplement their city budget.  It's a great idea.




Extra! Extra! “Fracking is Safe!” Says New Study

This person is pretty much against fracking, but this blog post seems fair.
It may indeed seem suspicious that the industry funded its own study, but it did so per the requirements of last year’s settlement of a 2008 lawsuit.

The settlement also required that PXP agree to reduce the number of wells drilled, commission additional studies on health and air quality, and determine the effects that fracking could have on the surrounding area.

The lawsuit, filed by a coalition of organizations on behalf of community members, had been sparked by an incident in early 2006, when noxious fumes released by PXP’s drilling operations wafted through nearby residential areas. Complaints about the odors came from as far as two miles away, and a number of residents had been forced to evacuate the area.

Friday, October 12, 2012

IC Manage’s CEO moves to Austin, will run local office

Looks like a slow move of attrition.
The company, which provides design and IP management systems, will initially employ up to three workers at 701 Brazos St. and plans to eventually hire more employees, company officials said.

Shiv Sikand and Drako — formerly CEO of Silicon Valley-based Barracuda Networks Inc. — founded the company in 2003.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

“Why I Moved My Company to Austin”

This is the sort of stuff CA governments need to read:

“We moved it here because it is most of the things California is not,” he said. “There are low levels of unionization, moderate taxes, moderate regulation. It’s a good climate for business.” On the other hand, the company is moving its clinical trials to San Antonio because of Austin’s lack of a medical school. Baehr felt like Austin could improve on its business climate but was drawn by its lifestyle: Schools, parks, community, arts and cost of living. Although when he and his wife were checking out the town on a day when it was 108 degrees his wife commented: “I must really love you.”

California Climate Program Ready to Roll

This is the quintessential quote that shows how completely DEAF CA government officials are:
“While no aspect of this program has been free from controversy, an initiative that would have suspended the entire program was overwhelmingly rejected by the voters in 2010, in the depths of the recession,” Nichols noted at last week’s Board meeting. “Since that time, the sponsors of that initiative and others who have opposed every measure directed at reducing emissions from the industrial sector have taken to proclaiming their support for AB32 while attacking every single piece of the ARB's program to implement that law.”

Nichols singled out the California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA), Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and the California Chamber of Commerce, which have been ramping up opposition to AB 32 – targeting the upcoming cap-and-trade auction component -- through newspaper ads and other avenues as the Nov. 14 date for the first auction approaches.
The CA idiots think that Big Business is just plain MEAN and HATE people and want DIRTY air MUDDY water and wants to KILL people.

This is more than I can stand.

Ad blitz drains support for California GMO-labeling plan

No where in the article does the author suggest people aren't stupid and can see labeling is just plain stupid.

Support for the GMO labeling proposal has plummeted to 48.3 percent from 66.9 percent two weeks ago, according to an online survey of 830 likely California voters conducted for the California Business Roundtable and Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy by M4 Strategies.

At the same time, the proportion of respondents likely to vote "no" on the measure - known as Proposition 37 - jumped to 40.2 percent from 22.3 percent two weeks ago, according to the survey results released on Thursday.

"Clearly the 'No' side has more money and the advertising is having an effect," Michael Shires, a Pepperdine professor who oversees the survey, told Reuters.

Funding for the effort to defeat the "Right to Know" ballot is led by chemical giants Monsanto and DuPont, each of which owns businesses that are the world's top sellers of genetically modified seeds.

A 'fuel island'; no easy answer to fixing California's record gas prices

This article is good in that it gives a little of the history behind the "special gasoline" that is used in CA. I say get rid of it and go back to the standard used by other states.
The state's special blend of gasoline dates back to 1971, when Gov. Ronald Reagan's administration required that fuel sold during the summer be refined in a way that causes less evaporation.

The way to reduce evaporation is to lower what's known as the “Reid Vapor Pressure.” The Reagan rule in 1971 required that no gasoline could be sold in California with a pressure above 9 pounds per square inch during summer.

Eventually, in 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency copied that summer standard for every state. But California decided to go further. Former Gov. Pete Wilson's air board lowered the standard to 7 psi in 1996. No other state is that low. Smog levels today are dramatically lower than a generation ago.

A study by economists at the University of Michigan and University of California last year found that California's summer gasoline blend adds 8 to 11 cents per gallon, and saves 660 lives a year. But much of California still doesn't meet the health standards under the Clean Air Act.
In a state that has the largest population in the nation totaling in the tens  of millions, how is it they are able to calculate the lives saved of 660?   Most likely, this is the high end of the probability distribution curve.  In reality the number is probably spread from a high of 660 to a low of ... zero.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hungarian-born businessman runs pro-GOP ad warning of “slippery slope” to socialism

This man reminds me of a man I met a few years ago.  He was a German-Hungarian who owned a bar in Hungary.  He wanted to add a new alcoholic drink to his menu.  He told me of the super hoops and red tape he had to content with.  Most poignant was the nameless bureaucrat while carefully studying his papers and forms said with a suspicious slant "A new drink?  Sounds very capitalist."  Such things as he was doing just isn't done in a communist country.

Below is the nationwide ad Mr. Peterffy is running.

"Eye Of The Sparrow" — A Bad Lip Reading of the First 2012 Presidential Debate

If ALL presidential debates were like this!

Walter Williams: Can California end flight of wealth?

Walter Williams puts an idea on the table for CA.  I wish he hadn't done this. I can just see some Leftist CA'ian reading this and deciding it's a good idea.  And all of a sudden there will be a proposition on the ballot.  The government has ginned up hatred for the rich, I can just see this passing!
Given the widespread contempt for personal liberty and constitutional values, there might be a way for California politicians to solve their fiscal mess. They can simply stop wealthy people from leaving the state or, alternatively, like some Third World nations, set limits on the amount of assets a resident can take out of the state. This would surely be within their jurisdiction and would not raise any constitutional issues, because it would serve a compelling state purpose. In other words, if California were to set up border controls to stop people, as East Germans did at Checkpoint Charlie, before they cross the state line, such action would be protected by the 10th Amendment.

The fact that many Californians have managed to get their assets out of the state complicates the issue. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution authorizes Congress "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes." This is known as the commerce clause. There's no question that people who pull up stakes and leave California affect interstate commerce; California has less tax revenue, and recipient states have more. What California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris might do is sue Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Oregon in the federal courts for enticing, through lower taxes and less onerous regulations, wealthy California taxpayers.

Were California to take such measures and have a modicum of success, one wonders how many Americans would be offended by such an encroachment on personal liberty. After all, how would forcing an American to remain in a state differ in principle from forcing him to purchase health insurance?

Analysis: Cities hit by recession ask voters to approve more debt

Another article.  In some ways Houston is worse that some CA cities.

Houston's debt service is already 16.5 percent of total spending, more than double that of either Seattle or San Francisco. Houston's property tax rates are the lowest of the three. They have remained at $0.63875 per $100 of assessed value from fiscal 2009 to 2012.

Houston's debt service in proportion to spending had not gone up between 2007 and 2011, but Craig said "the fact that debt is relatively high suggests there is not a lot of room to fix the big problems to come."

Still, Moody's gives Houston the same rating as San Francisco: AA2, which is considered high-grade. One factor that helps Houston is its policy of limiting the average life of its bonds, currently to about 11 years.

State comptroller raises the red flag on debt

TX...not CA.  And Houston in particular.  I had mentioned this before that TX loves to spend our money.
Houston, for example, has total outstanding debt of $13.1 billion. With a population of nearly 2.1 million, debt per capita is $6,264. Most city debt, the comptroller's report points out, is backed by fees and other revenue sources.

"We could do a better job on being smarter about borrowing," Combs said. "Are we really being careful before we build another building?"

Voters will be considering $2.7 billion in bond issues on the ballot this November from the city, Houston Community College and Houston Independent School District.
Apparently, the $13.1 billion is not the recent number.  The local radio talk show is throwing around $22 billion.

I don't ever remember voting "yes" on any bond.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

VDH: Bankrupt California No money for crumbling roads, but billions for high-speed rail.

VDH chines in and as always lays it all out there for you.

A refinery fire, a power outage, a uniquely Californian gasoline formula, years of regulating refineries into stasis — all that has finally caught up with the state, as prices soar at the pump. Yet what perplexes about California in extremis is the liberal ability for our state government simply to ignore its own regulations, which it has been using to paralyze businesses for years. For example, a panicked Governor Brown just asked the state air-resources board to suspend the law that requires gas stations to sell our special summer fuel formula through the month of October. The state asserted that a one-time suspension would increase supplies and yet not materially affect our air quality — which begs the question: Why, if that is true, would such a regulation have been passed in the first place?

...

There are many lessons from California. One is that the vision of the present administration is already here — and it simply does not work.

California voters only have themselves to blame for soaring pump prices

I'm surprised this is on the NBC website.  Is the problem that obvious?
For years, California's gasoline supply chain has been tighter than just about every state except Hawaii, leaving motorists vulnerable to even minor crimps in the supply chain. That, along with the second-highest gasoline tax in the country, is why it costs more to fill up in California than it does elsewhere in the U.S.

And the reasons are almost entirely the result of policies and regulations enacted at the behest of California's voters.

Salmon make a comeback in California

Wow.  Amazing.  And with all of that Global Warming going on and that DAMN DAM that hasn't been removed yet.  Could it be...could...it...be...that the people in CA really have no idea why all the salmon disappeared and are even more clueless as to why they are back?  Could it be that the environmentalists are STUPID and are not nearly as smart as they like to think they are?



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

Report: California's business tax climate ranks 48th in U.S.

And if you think it's bad now...
California's tax climate for businesses is the third worst among the states, according to a report from the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit advocate for low taxes.

However, if state voters approve either Proposition 30 or Proposition 38 on the November ballot, California's ranking will drop even lower, said Tax Foundation Vice President Joseph Henchman, who runs the group's Center for State Tax Policy.

"We have run the numbers, and we will write a (separate) piece on that soon," he said. "We believe (Proposition) 38 does more damage (to California's business tax climate) than 30 does."

Live discussion: California recycling fraud a costly problem

This is the reason only a handful of states have these programs.  And why have these anyway?  People can sell their scrap cans to private companies and get money that way.
California's generous recycling redemption program has led to rampant fraud. Crafty entrepreneurs are driving semi-trailers full of cans from Nevada or Arizona, which don't have deposit laws, across the border and transforming their cargo into truckfuls of nickels. In addition, recyclers inside the state are claiming redemptions for the same containers several times over, or for containers that never existed.

The illicit trade is draining the state's $1.1-billion recycling fund. Government officials recently estimated the fraud at $40 million a year, and an industry expert said it could exceed $200 million. It's one reason the strapped fund paid out $100 million more in expenses last year than it took in from deposits and other sources.

"The law says California has to make it easy to recycle … so anyone with a devious mind, it's so easy, they can just go right in," said Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Dave Chapman, who has investigated fraud rings in recent months.

Under the state's 25-year-old recycling law, California charges consumers a deposit on most beverage containers sold within its borders. Anyone who brings empty containers back to one of about 2,300 privately run recycling centers can collect 5 cents for most cans and bottles and 10 cents for larger containers.

Only products sold in California are eligible. But a can is a can — and many recycling centers in California aren't that interested in where they come from.

SPECIAL – Fox News Reporting: Behind Obama’s Green Agenda

The Right Scoop embedded this Fox News Expose' on their website.



EPA past the 80/20 rule decades ago.  Well into the realm of diminishing returns.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Towards state socialism

Even in the face of raw Socialism, the people still voted Chavez into office.   The majority of Venezuelans have determined that Socialism is the correct model for government.
Over the years the official rationale for nationalisation has changed. The earliest takeovers were justified on the grounds that the company (or farm) was unproductive. The government then decided that “strategic” areas of the economy should pass into state hands. So in 2007-08 it took over private-sector oil and electricity businesses, as well as telecommunications, the cement industry and Sidor, an iron and steel firm privatised in the 1990s.

The government also now controls a quarter of the banking system. Mr Chávez said recently that any bank which declined to “co-operate with national development” by assigning credit according to government priorities would also be taken over. Nowadays officials openly state that their aim is to implant a socialist economy.

Paradoxically, despite the takeovers, the state's share of GDP seems still to be around 30%, the same as it was in 1998. That is partly because the private sector expanded rapidly during the 2004-08 oil boom. But it is also because many nationalised companies now produce less than when they were in private hands. Much of the food industry has been confiscated in order to “ensure food sovereignty”. But the result has been a sharp increase in imports. Earlier this year, more than 130,000 tonnes of decomposing food imported by PDVAL, an arm of the state oil company, was found in ports and on wasteland.

There are one or two exceptions. Officials say that output at Enlandes, a nationalised milk firm, has risen by 50% in two years. The science minister said recently that CANTV, the main telecoms firm, had 65% more customers since its nationalisation, though he provided no details. But more typically, once companies are in state hands their staffing levels rise, prices fall and they become dependent on government subsidies, according to Richard Obuchi of IESA, a business school in Caracas. In addition, they tend to make a smaller range of products.

The construction industry has been badly hurt by nationalisation. Cement and steel rods have become scarcer (there is a thriving black market in both). Sidor produced 4.3m tonnes of steel in its last year in private ownership; this year it hopes to make 2m tonnes. Another reason that housing schemes have slowed or halted is that the government has banned developers from adjusting prices in line with inflation, which is running at over 30%. Earlier this month Mr Chávez expropriated six new estates under construction, to the horror of most buyers. Developers, the president says, are “bandits” who will not be compensated for the seizure.

The story is repeated in almost every area the government has moved into. Electricity nationalisation contributed to power shortages that saw severe rationing earlier this year and continuing unscheduled blackouts across the country. The oil industry, the bulk of which was already state-owned, has seen production of both crude and refined products fall (by how much is a matter of dispute).

Polls suggest that most Venezuelans disapprove of the nationalisations and firmly support private property. But Mr Chávez seems to be following the advice of Alan Woods, a Welsh Trotskyist who has become an informal adviser. Mr Woods, who is better known in Caracas than Cardiff, publicly urged the president to respond to his electoral setback by “accelerating the revolutionary process”, expropriating land, banks and the main industries. Venezuelans had better brace themselves for more nationalisation, scarcity and economic decline.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

California, the Venezuela of North America

This blog is a continuation of an entry that I called The United States of California.  In that entry I laid down the possibility that California, even in the face of complete disaster would still elect Leftists into office.  At first blush, this just doesn't seem possible or sane, but we have history to guide us and tell us that it happens.  A good case in point is Venezuela.

From whatever angle you look, Venezuela should not be where it is.  The country has some of the largest oil reserves in the world and should be on top of that world.  What we see happening instead is a slow and steady decline into irrelevancy.

Oil production:

Inflation:

PVDSA deteriorating infrastructure:


 
 
And even in the face of all this, Chavez was just re-elected to yet another term.
 
So, tell me at what point in the downward spiral will CA make the right, tough decisions and do the right thing?
 
I don't think it will.  I just pray to God the USA doesn't get sucked down with CA.
 
 



Natural gas gold rush: Is your state next?

A good article on the prosperity that fracking is bringing the northeast.  And those whose lives were lulled into serene pastoral settings are jangled by the onslaught of business.

Personally, I think the decaying northeast NEEDS to be jangled and stood up on its head.  They have forgotten their past.  They've neglected their heritage.  I think it's about time they got shook up!!
"Oh my heavens, yes, the boom is here," says Ohio State University agricultural extension agent Mike Hogan, who until recently worked in two eastern Ohio counties, Harrison and Jefferson. Both sit atop the Utica shale, about 10,000 feet down and prized for its "wet" natural gas, rich with liquid ethane, butane, propane and heavier liquids that can be made into gasoline.

As natural gas prices are down and gasoline prices top $3 a gallon in most of the country, the action in hydraulic fracturing has found a home in eastern Ohio.

"The number of trucks on the roads is incredible," Hogan says. "But the money is more than welcome here.