Keystone Pipe Lies

Wow…Keystone XL…50 permanent jobs and nearly $50,000,000 in “property taxes” **over the next decade** for the country. Meanwhile…


“[Keystone XL] would have the capacity to deliver up to 830,000 bpd, of which 730,000 bpd of capacity has been set aside for [tar sands] and the remaining 100,000 bpd of capacity set aside for [Bakken] crude oil,” the report details.

Which at current prices…roughly $75/barrel * that’s $62,250,000…per day…not per decade (and nearly $22,721,250,000/year…so a few hundred million for lobbying is barely material).

Anyway, the main reason this is a big deal is because Koch Industries has a big piece of the tar sands oil, but has to pay more to send it anywhere for refining. The problem with the pipeline for most is that it increased risk (i.e. after the Koch Bros assholes die in the next few years and their heirs are even bigger dicks and stop maintaining the pipeline and it pops) for the people where it exists with no actual benefit to those people.

It is a perfect example of the “publicize the risk and privatize the profit” type project that NEARLY EVERYONE claims to hate in reality. While it is true, yes, some Dems have also been bought by the Kochs and support the project, there is NO QUESTION that one the main reasons guys who hate politics just gave hundreds of millions of dollars to politicians is to get their pipeline built.

And now that it worked, it’s going to be the first bill the lame-duck-prelude-to-the-Jim-Crow-Congress** sends to the President’s desk.

One of the things I’m so happy for is that oil and gas prices have PLUMMETED as they so often do in this boom and bust industry. Investments in explorations and infrastructure (yes, including pipelines) has long term effects on market prices. We’ve had a boom in drilling and exploration and infrastructure (extraction/fracking), and so the prices have plummeted.

Had they *not* plummeted previously, the claim that the transportation of the raw materials part of the price of gasoline was *really going to change* because of Keystone XL, might have actually gained some traction. Had we BUILT the pipeline, and prices plummeted as they have, the Kochs would have looked like the Market Gods they think they are.

Instead we saw prices plummet as the President “dawdles” (i.e. stick to what he’s said all along…he’s going to take his time and not force anything though, if it works at at all) and the Kochs go the raw political brute force route for approval.

This takes the wind out of the “it’ll lower the record high gas prices!!” part of the argument for approval, which was the main force pushing the public at large. Because of this, I don’t think it’s going to be approved while Obama is in office…but we’ll see a lot more b.s. about it.

* oil/gas price dynamics are a billion dollar industry unto themselves, so please excuse my massive paraphrasing.

** Yes, I’m going to call the Congress elected by the lowest voter turnout in 70 years (nearly twice my lifespan) the Jim Crow Congress. While the media elites might tell you voting was down because people don’t care (a self-fulfilling prophecy for the powerful), in reality I know lots of folks who were TURNED AWAY AT THE POLLS. Since I don’t know all the folks, I know that a certain percentage of the folks you know, were also TURNED AWAY AT THE POLLS. This means that a certain percentage of all folks were TURNED AWAY AT THE POLLS.

If you don’t think I think this is a big deal, please re-read the bolded statement again, and again, and again. We should *always* be working to EXPAND voting rights, because it is one of our most fundamental ideals. If you want to worry about our Democracy and “The Future of Our Country” , worry about this, because it’s the fundamental way a democracy functions and a populace communicates with itself.

So…for the next two years (and maybe more), it’s the Jim Crow Congress. The GOP doesn’t get to hide behind a slim Senate minority anymore. Own the assholeness, GOP, you’ve earned it.

The Dastardly Are Even Sometimes Right

Venezuela’s Chavez predicts oil could reach $200 a barrel — South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he expects oil prices to keep climbing and predicts they could reach $200 a barrel.

It isn’t the first time the Venezuelan leader has mentioned that benchmark– though he hasn’t said when it might be reached.

Chavez reiterated the prediction after the price of light, sweet crude continued to rise on the New York Mercantile Exchange and settled at $136.38 a barrel Wednesday.

Chavez said in a televised speech Wednesday that oil should be $100 a barrel, but could keep rising to $200.

He blamed the falling U.S. dollar [1], U.S. “threats” against Iran [2], and what he called “bad management” of the U.S. economy for driving rising prices [3].

I’m not a big fan of the guy, and was happy when his “dictator-for-life-vote[!?]” failed [full story].

However, he is very correct about [1].  As the dollar falls, imports cost more.  We import oil. Lather, rinse, repeat, get raped at pump.

He is also right about [2].  If we invade Iran, or even start bombing them, and they [a] gum up the Straight of Hormuz and [b] stop pumping gas, the world will run like an engine without oil.  This would be bad. and the very threat of it helps to push up the prices of oil in the future (which is the price everyone talks about).

On [3] it’s more of a toss-up.  I do think the Bush Administration has mis-managed the economy and done a number of things to exacerbate the economic disparity here.  I’m not sure how much that has to do with the price of oil, except that it tears the heart out of the working class, which hurts productivity, which hurts the economy, which causes the dollar to fall, which makes oil more expensive.

The Market Recursion Continues

Oil surges $11 to record $138 – Jun. 6, 2008

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Oil prices shot up nearly $11 a barrel and settled Friday at a record $138.54 on geopolitical jitters, a dollar decline and a forecast that oil would hit $150 by July 4.

Friday’s spike in the July contract for light crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange marks the largest single-day increase in oil prices on record. The contract hit an intraday record of $139.12, breaking the previous trading record of $135.09.

This looks like pretty much rampant speculation.  Everyone is trying to lock-in a good price (see Dodge’s 3 year price guarantee) and that’s pushing demand even further, plus problems in Africa and Iraq and a new round of sanctions on Iran…all pushing future demand through the roof.

Ultimately we have a flat-finite supply curve and an exponential-infinite demand curve, leading to a halfway-infinite price curve, which is to say, it will increase like demand, just half as quickly.

The price will continue to increase until the fundamentals change.  It will only level for a time, it will not decrease for an extended period of time for the foreseeable future.

Add that analysis to the others.