April 23rd, 2014 – Come and Read It

BP selling some Alaskan stakes to Hilcorp - “BP is selling off stakes in four Alaskan oil fields near the gigantic Prudhoe Bay, a move that would cut about 15 percent of its crude production in the state, the company said late Tuesday. The British oil company did not disclose the price it would get from Hilcorp, a private Houston-based oil producer that has been jockeying for Alaska’s natural gas basins. In the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year, Hilcorp would receive all of BP’s interest in the offshore Endicott and Northstar fields and half of its stakes in the Milne Point and Liberty oil fields.” FUEL FIX

PTTEP to buy Hess Corp’s Thailand assets – “Thailand’s PTT Exploration & Production PCL, the country’s flagship petroleum explorer, will buy the Thai assets of Hess Corp  for around $1 billion, in the latest of a string of sales by U.S. energy companies as they switch focus to unconventional oil and gas projects in North America. The Hess properties being bought by PTTET comprise minority shares in one onshore and one offshore Thailand natural gas and condensate field, whose stakes together produce around 17,000 barrels a day of oil equivalent, PTTET said Wednesday. One of the deals has already closed, and the other will be completed in May, said PTTEP’s president and chief executive, Tevin Vongvanich.” WSJ

 

Tom Steyer’s billions are morally superior to the Koch billions – “Liberal billionaire Tom Steyer insisted Tuesday that he’s not the left’s version of the Koch brothers. “That is not something I embrace. I think there are real distinctions between the Koch brothers and us,” Steyer said…. “Charles and David Koch’s priorities “line up perfectly with their pocketbooks — and that’s not true for us,” Steyer said…. “If you said to me, how much am I willing to spend to make this … the most important issue in the minds of Americans, then I would think $100 million bucks would be very low honestly,” he said, declining to commit to a specific figure.” POLITICO

EPA unwinds fines for refiners not using non-existent biofuels – “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday retroactively lowered the volume of cellulosic biofuel that refiners must blend into traditional fuels, aligning the 2013 mandated volume to the actual amount of fuels produced. EPA’s original mandate for 2013 was based on a projection that producers would make 6 million ethanol-equivalent gallons of cellulosic biofuel, but just over 800,000 gallons of the fuels were actually produced that year, the agency said. Tuesday’s action sets the cellulosic biofuel blend level at 0.0005 percent, reflecting the amount of fuel produced.” THE HILL 

Sen. Mary Landrieu continues to dominate the Houston Money - ”The political arms of large corporations have given nearly five times as much money to Sen. Mary Landrieu as to her Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, according to fundraising data compiled by The Wall Street Journal. Industry groups have run television advertisements supporting her re-election. And several big Washington trade associations that normally back Republicans, led by energy groups, are throwing their support behind the incumbent. No other Democratic senator has been as reliable a supporter of legislation backed by business interests as Ms. Landrieu. According to a vote scorecard from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, she votes more often for pro-business legislation than Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.” WSJ

… so in comes the Americans for Prosperity Super-PAC - ”Later today, conservative group Americans for Prosperity will launch a multi-million dollar ad campaign against Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La, in which Marine veteran Christopher Schiff blames her for the disruption of his family’s health insurance. The ad will hit airwaves in Louisiana this afternoon, and features only Schiff speaking to the camera from what appears to be his home.” FOX NEWS

The DOE still picking winners and losers – “Developers of a Georgia nuclear project didn’t have to pay millions of dollars in fees designed to prevent risk for taxpayers when it secured $6.5 billion in loan guarantees from the Energy Department in February, the agency confirmed Tuesday to the Washington Examiner. The DOE calculated a zero dollar “credit subsidy fee,” which protects taxpayers if developers default, for electric utility Georgia Power — a subsidiary of Southern Co. — and Oglethorpe Power Corp. to spur completion of two large, next-generation nuclear reactors at the Vogtle power plant in Waynesboro, Ga. Energy & Environment Publishing’s Greenwire firstreported the story.” WASHINGTON EX

US crude supply highest since 1930′s - “The U.S. is stockpiling the most crude in more than eight decades, thanks to the shale boom. Inventories rose 3.52 million barrels last week to 397.7 million barrels, the highest level since 1931, according to the Energy Information Administration.” BLOOMBERG

Something you don’t hear every day…. Paul Pillar: The need for Iranian Oil and Gas

BLM seizes rancher’s land in TEXAS - ”The Bureau of Land Management seized 140 acres from Texas Rancher Teddy Henderson. Henderson says the government did not pay him a dime for it. Henderson told Greta Van Susteren he was ordered to continue to make monthly payments on the land, even though he no longer owned it.” GATEWAY PUNDIT

… Greg Abbot waives the revolutionary flag - “I am deeply concerned about the notion that the Bureau of Land Management believes the federal government has the authority to swoop in and take land that has been owned and cultivated by Texas landowners for generations,” General Abbott wrote. “The BLM’s newly asserted claims to land along the Red River threaten to upset long-settled private property rights and undermine fundamental principles—including the rule of law—that form the foundation of our democracy. Yet, the BLM has failed to disclose either its full intentions or the legal justification for its proposed actions. Decisions of this magnitude must not be made inside a bureaucratic black box.” BREITBART

David Axelrod doubts Jeb will run in 2016 - “I have some real doubts as to whether he’s going to run,” the former senior adviser to President Barack Obama said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday morning. “Running in the Republican Party today is a hard thing to do, and I don’t think Jeb Bush wants to run for president and have to subjugate his principles like the last two nominees did,” Axelrod said, referring to Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.” POLITICO

FDA wants to regulate beer-brewers as “animal feed manufacturers” - ”The crux of the issue is this: a by-product of the brewing process is a large quantity of “spent grain” which is, funny enough, exactly what it sounds like. This leftover grain is often sold or traded to farmers for use as supplemental feed for livestock. The farmers love it. The brewers love it. Cows definitely love it. But according to reports, the FDA is seeking to reclassify companies who distribute this product as “animal feed manufacturers,” a move that would require breweries to invest in expensive drying and packaging equipment in order to sell the grain to farmers. This imperils a mutually beneficial business arrangement.” PFoL

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle still has the Texans taking Clowney with the 1st over-all pick, and playing Johnny Football twice a year for the foreseeable future.

Flour made from grape skins may combat the oilman’s diet - ”Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the report, announcing that USDA discoveries in the last fiscal year led to 180 new inventions — one of which is a new type of flour made of chardonnay grape seeds that may prevent weight gain. “Grape seeds, a waste byproduct of the wine-making process, are a disposal issue for producers,” the report reads. “[Agricultural Research Service ] scientists in Albany, California, found that flour made from chardonnay grape seeds, but not red grapes or grape skins, prevented increases in plasma cholesterol and weight gain in hamsters fed a high-fat diet.” DC

READING ASSIGNMENTS… Keystone Uncensored: a labor leader calls the Administration “gutless” “dirty” and moreInsiders: The presidents cynical KXL strategyNoah Rothman: Elizabeth Warren seizes democratic hearts; will Hillary risk another embarrassment?

April 21st, 2014 – Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day…. 13 most ridiculous predictions made on Earth Day, 1970… President Obama’s Earth Day travels will generate 868 tons of carbon… Researchers study producing biodiesel from alligatorsTimothy Cama: Greens push Earth Day agenda

Keystone decision has once again been postponed beyond an election cycle…

White House Spin: ”I know there’s a great urge and has always been to make this about politics,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney. ”But we’ve see along this process, along the way here, along the route, you know, a series of actions taken in keeping with past practice where the reviews are done out of the State Department.” THE HILL 

… billionaire enviro activist, Tom Steyer, gets his way… 

“Proof Administration doesn’t care” about production…. 

… John Kingston: Presidential politics, KXL and nat gas drilling in New York

the truth on emissions - ”Within the United States, electric power plants produced 2.8 billion tons of those greenhouse gases, while vehicle tailpipe emissions from burning gasoline produced 1.9 billion tons. By comparison, the oil that would move through the Keystone pipeline would add 18.7 million metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere annually, the E.P.A. estimated. In other words, the carbon emissions produced by oil that would be moved in the Keystone pipeline would amount to less than 1 percent of United States greenhouse gas emissions, and an infinitesimal slice of the global total.” NYT

Final phase of BP spill trial set for next January - “A federal judge has finalized the timeline for the last phase of the massive BP oil spill trial next year, which will focus on how many billions of dollars the oil giant must pay in fines for the 2010 disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The trial will begin Jan. 20 and is set to last two weeks, according to a court order issued Monday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan, who oversees some parts of the litigation.” NOLA

Alaska Legislature approves State stake in pipeline - ”Alaska’s Legislature has approved a plan for the state to negotiate a partnership with North Slope producers BP, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil and pipeline company TransCanada in a proposed Alaska gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas export project…  The plan is for the state to take its royalty and tax revenue share of natural gas production “in kind,” or in gas instead of cash, and to invest in 25% of the project, or sufficient capacity for the state to ship its own share of gas production, state natural resources Commissioner Joe Balash said in briefings. The bill further provides for the state to separately negotiate a deal with TransCanada to invest in the state’s 25% share of the proposed 800-mile, 42-inch-diameter pipeline and a large gas treatment plant on the North Slope, Balash said.”

PLATTS

CNG sets fuel record in TX – “Compressed natural gas vehicles consumed a record 2.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas in Texas in 2013, according to the Energy Information Administration… Also, industrial consumption reached a 10-year high in Texas, a sign that the petrochemical industry is booming again, according to the EIA. More than 1.5 trillion cubic feet were consumed for industrial purposes in Texas, the most since 2004″. HBJ

Corn Ethanol emits more CO2 than gasoline - ”Corn-based ethanol causes more global warming than gasoline in the short term, according to a new federal government study comparing the effects of biofuels to conventional gasoline. A $500,000 taxpayer-backed study found that making biofuels from the leftovers of corn plants releases seven percent more greenhouse gas emissions in the short term compared to gasoline. The study challenges the federal government’s policy mandating that an ever-increasing amount of corn ethanol be blended into the country’s fuel supply to fight global warming.” DC

Iraq production up, but exports still stalled - “Iraqi oil fields pumped 3.6 million barrels of crude a day on average in February, 50% more than four years ago. That beat—if only for a month—the country’s annual-output record, 3.5 million barrels a day, in 1979 during Iraq’s petroleum heyday. Eleven years after Saddam Hussein was deposed, Iraq’s oil production has reached levels not seen since Hussein took power back in 1979. But getting the oil out of the ground is another story… Companies… have invested billions of dollars to revive oil fields battered by decades of war, sanctions and neglect. But Iraq’s government has been slow to modernize the infrastructure to move that oil from wells to tankers.” WSJ

China ramping up shale production - ”PetroChina Company Ltd., China’s largest oil and gas production firm, intends to produce 91.8079 billion cubic feet (Bcf) or 2.6 billion cubic meters (Bcm) of shale gas in 2015, Sun Longde, the company’s vice president said, as quoted by local news agency Xinhua Monday. The supplies will come from the Changning and Weiyuan blocks in the country’s southwest Sichuan province, with each producing 35.31 Bcf (1 Bcm) of shale gas, while the Zhaotong block in Yunnan province will produce 17.66 Bcf (0.5 Bcm), Sun told a meeting on shale gas exploration in Chongqing, China.” RIGZONE

 

Murphy’s Read of the Day:  More drinking hours, fewer accidents

NOMINATE YOUR EMPLOYER FOR HOUSTON’S TOP WORKPLACES AWARDS 

Supreme Court upholds MI affirmative action ban - “A splintered Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled 6-2 states may end racial preferences without violating the U.S. Constitution, upholding a Michigan law that grew out of the state’s long-running debate over affirmative action policies at public universities.” WSJ

Elizabeth Warren, using the present tense, says she is not running for president *as discussed previously, this is 100% garbage.   There is a reason that she just released her book, and Hillary tried to deflect the publicity with her own book title announcement.   

Subprime mortgages are back, TD offering 3% down

Reading Assignments…. Clifford Krauss: ‘Saudi America’ Mirage?…. Robert Collier: Canada, the next oil super power… WAPO ED BOARD: President Obama, disregarding his own red line, dithers on Ukraine Ryan Holeywell: Gas boom may spell doom for TX village…. Jessica Dupuy: TX distillers ride the bourbon boom

April 14th, 2014

 

IRS may move against MLPs - ”The IRS is stepping back from issuing so-called “private-letter rulings”—the guidance it provides to companies that want to know whether their line of business meets the requirements to be treated as a tax-exempt partnership—so it can conduct an internal review of its process. The agency said the halt is temporary, but it has given no timeline for when new approval letters will be issued. Several tax lawyers said the government wants to make sure it hasn’t opened the door too wide. According to the law firm Vinson & Elkins LLP, the IRS released 30 private-letter rulings last year, up from 21 in 2012 and just 10 in 2011.” WSJ

Senators Landrieu and Murkowski wrote a letter to the EIA supporting crude exports

OPEC set to raise production later this year – “OPEC’s output is set to rebound after tumbling in March, the secretary-general of the oil producers’ group said Friday. Production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries fell in March to its lowest level this year amid Iraqi and Libyan disruptions. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Petrostrategies energy conference, Abdalla Salem el-Badri said that “in the third and fourth quarter, we will increase production.” WSJ

… As the UAE flirts with nationalization – “The energy minister of the United Arab Emirates has said he hopes Western oil companies historically in charge of Abu Dhabi’s biggest oilfields would keep a role, but that no one was assured of keeping their seat when concessions are renewed. ”There is a process. (…) What’s important is that it’s fair to the newcomers as it is to the previous shareholders. This is a lifetime exercise and we have to do it right,” Suhail bin Mohamed Al Mazrouei told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Paris.” ARABIAN BUSINESS 

Heidi Keitkamp has common sense – “Sen. Heidi Heitkamp may be a Democrat but when it comes to energy policy she may be the administration’s greatest critic.  In an interview with the Associated Press, the North Dakota Democrat said President Obama’s energy policy “lacks consistency.” ”I would tell you his energy policy — for lack of a better word — it lacks consistency,” Heitkamp said in the interview with the AP. “What he says is not what we see in policy.” Before taking her Senate seat in 2012, Heitkamp irked in the energy industry for 12 years as the director of the coal and natural gas Dakota Gasification Company.” THE HILL

BP divesting some TX Panhandle assets - “BP America Production Co. said it intends to divest assets in the Hugoton and Panhandle West fields in Sherman and Moore counties in the Texas Panhandle. The company will retain deep rights below the base of the Brown Dolomite, it said. BP owns more than 270,000 gross acres in the two counties, encompassing 830 leases, 475 operated wells—a majority of which BP owns 100% working interest—along with 37 nonoperated wells. Other operators include ConocoPhillips Co. and Pantera Petroleum Inc.” OGJ

George Bush Library launches offshore drilling exhibit - ”The George Bush Presidential Library has launched an exhibit that tells the story of offshore drilling, highlighting technological innovations in the industry and the former president’s work as a Texas oilman. During his career in oil and gas, George H. W. Bush worked both on land and in the Gulf of Mexico, playing a role in the development of the independent leg jack-up rig Scorpion, launched in 1956.” FUEL FIX

For that extra-long bathroom break…. Mark J. Perry: On the economics of diamonds, the biggest marketing scam in history orchestrated by the most successful cartel ever

Bad news for Paul Ryan and the deficit hawks - ”The Congressional Budget Office is projecting the 2014 deficit will be the lowest in six years and down more than 60 percent from the record $1.4 trillion in 2009. With the annual April 15 tax filing deadline looming, the U.S. has received about $80 billion more in income taxes this fiscal year than it had 12 months earlier.” BLOOMBERG

Mr. Obama met with Wendy Davis last week - “President Barack Obama met briefly Thursday with state Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor…. Davis spokesman Zac Petkanas said Obama and Davis discussed the importance of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which was also signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, and the law’s legacy in Texas.” WMB

You need to change some of your passwords – “An encryption flaw called the Heartbleed bug is already being called one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever seen. The bug has affected many popular websites and services — ones you might use every day, like Gmail and Facebook — and could have quietly exposed your sensitive account information (such as passwords and credit card numbers) over the past two years.” MASHABLE

Interesting Read… Sean BraswellThe Next Clinton Economic Boom…  Key Points:   The US Energy Explosion, US Manufacturing Renaissance, and Millennials / Capital coming off the sideline will make the next president seem like an economic genius compared to the current administration... and demographic trends combined with the “inevitability 2.0″ of Hillary’s nomination will guarantee a democratic white house.   Of course, the inevitability factor is as much fantasy as it was in 2006 – Elizabeth Warren will run, and she has the potential to win with support of the true progressives that feel betrayed by President Obama…. which is why I believe the business community abandons the GOP in droves in 2016 and votes Hillary.  So, essentially, Mr. Braswell is correct, but for the wrong reasons.

Reading Assignments… Jon Mainwaring: Crimea, the oil and gas story…  Larry Sabato: Is the republican presidential vote inefficiently distributed?…

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Happy Friday… Earlier this week, we conducted a test regarding the quality of character of our distribution list, and loyal readers, you scored poorly.  ”Hottest Baseball Wives and Fiancés” edged out “Energy Executives Turn Pessimistic on Industry Future” as the most-read article of the day.     

 Here is the news: 

 Outside the talking points - ”The United States imported 61 percent of its foreign oil from Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia in 2013, the most in more than four decades, as overall crude oil imports fell, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Friday.” THE HILL 

APC settles enviro suit - “Anadarko has agreed to pay more than $5 billion to settle a longstanding environmental dispute in court. The lawsuit was filed by Tronox Inc., which spun off from Kerr-McGee in 2005 before Anadarko’s acquisition… Tronox later filed for bankruptcy and then filed the suit claiming Kerr-McGee should be held liable for alleged environmental damage incurred before the spinoff. The suit sought $25 billion to clean up more than 2,000 sites across the U.S.” HBJ

Exxon will disclose frac-ing risks - ”Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM +0.55% agreed to publicly disclose more details on the risks of hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells, reversing a long-held resistance after negotiations with environmental groups and investors…. The report by the biggest energy company in the U.S., expected in September, will cover how Exxon manages risks from fracking in shale-rock formations, including impacts to air quality, water and chemical usage as well as damage to roads, according to correspondence reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.” WSJ

BSEE wants companies to report “near-misses” - “FuelFix reports that federal regulators are getting ready to hit the road in an effort to persuade oil and gas companies working offshore to report when they come close to major accidents on offshore rigs, drill ships and production facilities. Reporter Jennifer Dlouhy writes the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement will hold meetings with oil and gas industry leaders starting later this month to pitch its plan for a program that would track close calls at offshore facilities in an attempt to avert future accidents. The program would be voluntary and confidential.” NOLA

… George Carlin on the term “near-miss”

House Dems push to reopen the EPA water contamination cases – “Eight Democrats in the House have asked Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reopen its investigations into water contamination incidents in Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Texas that they say may have been connected to natural gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. EPA investigated all three cases, but stopped two of investigations before reaching conclusions, leaving further research to the states, the members said. The third case was closed, but EPA’s inspector general recommended more research, according to the Associated Press.” THE HILL

Mary Landrieu and “our thing” - ”Campaign finance data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics show the Democrat remains popular with donors from the energy and natural resources industry: She has raised nearly $1 million in contributions from that sector in the six-year period ending in 2013. Those donations include more than $529,000 from individuals or politial action committees related directly to the oil and gas industry.” EENEWS

… as her campaign email this a.m. indicates she is on Mr. Obama’s “War on Women” bandwagon –  ”Louisiana women make 67 cents to every dollar a man makes. Think if the women in your family had a tax on their paycheck that took 33 percent of their total pay just because they’re a woman….  Our sisters, mothers and daughters in Louisiana and the country deserve our support, and the Senate should support the Paycheck Fairness Act.”

Total to explore Siberian Shale - “French oil major Total has secured the rights to explore three hard-to-recover oil blocks in West Siberia, according to a statement on the website of the Russian region’s governor. Total will join other majors, ExxonMobil, Statoil and Royal Dutch Shell, to develop Russian shale oil, a key driver in Moscow’s efforts to at least maintain its oil output at more than 10 million barrels per day.” RIGZONE

Post-Socialist Spain decided making money is a good thing – “In December, two years after ousting the Socialists, the People’s Party-led Parliament changed a law to foster shale exploration with new environmental safeguards. Since then, the PP government sought Supreme Court approval to wrest control over land use from regional authorities who try to block fracking. And it’s kept intact a tax break for explorers established in the final years of the dictatorship in the 1970s. “Spain is one of a handful of countries in Europe that is most hospitable to unconventional gas,” said third-generation oil manGeorge Yates, a New Mexico native who worked in oil and gas exploration projects in Europe for about two decades. “And it’s under-explored territory” for shale rock.” BLOOMBERG

READ OF THE WEEK…. CHARLES G. KOCH: I’M FIGHTING TO RESTORE A FREE SOCIETY

John Kerry doesn’t doesn’t understand the role of the Prize in global politics - ”U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is denouncing the use of energy as a weapon, a day after Russia sharply hiked the price for natural gas to Ukraine. Kerry says supplies of oil and gas have to be secured throughout the world in order to prevent their being used as political leverage or tools of aggression. He said no nation should be able to use energy to ”stymie a people’s aspirations.” POST BULLETIN

Because #NewCommunism works so well – “Nicolas Maduro, president of the Republic of Venezuela decreed on Monday that properties leased for 20 years, will be sold to their tenants in a maximum period of 60 days. The National Superintendent of Housing says the lease countdown began on March 28″. GLOBAL ECON

… meanwhile some Venezuelan troops are firing marbles at protestors…  while others are simply using their side arms   

The Obama Administration wants to regulate cow flatulence - ”What was once the staple of late night comedy and bad movies is now becoming a reality as the Obama administration is bowing to pressure from environmentalist groups and plans to require dairy farmers to prevent their cows from “passing gas.” The issue at hand involves the extent to which cows and other animals, including humans produce methane gas in the form of flatulence. The White House is now appearing to take the issue so seriously that it plans to want the dairy industry to reduce the amount of methane produced by cows by 25 percent by 2020, the Daily Caller reports.” GREELEY GAZETTE 

Al Gore my make a sequel to An Inconvenient Truth… suggested working titles: My Response to Inconvenient Facts… or I’ll Show You Where to Put the Hockey Stick… 

Houston is a great place to start a business – “Houston stood strong in the national Top 10 for best places to start a small business, according to the Business Journals’ latest rankings of small business vitality for 101 major U.S. markets. Houston shot onto the list in 2012 at No. 4, but last year dropped to No. 8. This year, Houston climbed back up to No. 5.” HBJ

Former Houston Mayor Bill White wrote a book.  I bought it.

Larry Sabato has the GOP making big gains in the Senate, moderate adds in the House, and losing a couple of Governorships.   CFP

Reading Assignments… Peter Foster: Oil firm ingenuity meets political hell...  Peggy Noonan: Russia, the big picture…. David Stockman: a gang of unelected PhDs have stages an econ coup… Matt DiLallo: America’s next top export won’t be oil… Ben Schreckinger: The Death of the WASP

HAPPY HOUR FODDER: 

An upstanding member of the moral majority likes to play dress-up - “By day, Jacob Rush is a conservative lawyer from Gainesville, Florida. He works in the local Sheriff’s office as a deputy, he’s a devout Christian, and he’s running for Congress on a platform of reducing the debt and repealing Obamacare (he even calls himself a “conservative straight-shooter”). By night, though? When the sky goes dark and the children of the night emerge from hell to bathe in the light of the moon, Rush transforms into a Gothic vampire named Lord Staas van der Winst. Or a Dark Lord named Chazz Darling. Or any of the characters he dreams up in his secret life as a member of the Mind’s Eye Society, a nationwide organization of live-action role players.” MEDIAITE 

Sarah Palin is hilarious – “Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin made a surprise appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” Wednesday night where she joined host Jimmy Fallon in a skit mocking President Barack Obama’s weakness.

In the skit, Fallon played Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone conversation with Palin.

“You shoot bear? I prefer hand-to-hand combat,” Fallon says, playing Putin.

“Well, you see, that’s why everyone says you’re such a strong leader,” Palin replies.

“Well, I come from strong genes,” Fallon’s Putin retorts. “President Obama — he come from mom jeans.” VIDEO via DC

Putin is an ass – Via George W. Bush: “Our dear dog Barney, who has a special spot in my heart. I introduced him to Putin: Putin kind of dissed him,” Bush told his daughter. “‘You call that a dog?’ A year later, your mom and I go to visit Vladimir at his Dacha outside of Moscow and he says, ‘Would you like to meet my dog?’ Out bounds this huge hound, obviously much bigger than a Scottish Terrier. And Putin looks at me and says, ‘Bigger, stronger and faster than Barney”…. “I took it in. I didn’t react,” Bush said. “I said, ‘Wow, anybody who thinks “my dog is bigger than your dog” is an interesting character.’  POLITICO 

John Stewart suggests a new place for CNN to search for the missing plane - ”Jon Stewart gave CNN that dubious nickname for its coverage of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared on March 8. With no new information on the missing plane to report, the network has taken to covering the obvious instead”. Video via HUFFPO

… CONSPIRACY THEORY:  The jet was commandeered and is currently being held at a US military base over a trademark dispute… and an IBM executive was able to send a blank picture with the GPS coordinates.

The best April Fools joke… Keanu Reeves in the remake of Citizen Kane

April Fools Day

Instead of April Fools Jokes like “Astros GM Anticipates Breaking the .500 Barrier”, lets just celebrate opening day with baseball’s hottest wives and fiancés.  Send your best oil and gas news to info@schillerreport.com.     

Blast at Washington gas plant – “A large explosion rocked a natural gas processing plant on the Washington-Oregon border Monday, injuring five workers, causing about 400 people to evacuate from nearby farms and homes, and emitting a mushroom cloud of black smoke that was visible for more than a mile. The 8:20 a.m. blast at the Williams Northwest Pipeline facility near the Washington town of Plymouth, along the Columbia River, sparked a fire and punctured one of the facility’s two giant storage tanks for liquefied natural gas.” USA TODAY

Silicone Valley lobbies against KXL – “Technology industry executives wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry encouraging him to block the Keystone XL pipeline from being built, saying the costs to society will exceed the benefits. The pipeline would cost the economy more than $100 million over its lifetime and “these costs will be borne by U.S. citizens, businesses and taxpayers, while the profits from the pipeline will accrue to private corporations, many of which are foreign interests,” said Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a group of more than 200 Silicon Valley business owners, venture capitalists and others. The cost total is based on the costs of carbon dioxide emissions as estimated by the federal government… The letter’s signers include leaders in Apple Inc., Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Oracle Corp.” THE HILL

Near-miss workshops scheduled – “Workshops will be held Apr. 22 in Los Angeles and Apr. 24 in Houston to discuss the federal government’s new voluntary near-miss reporting system for oil and gas producers, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced in a Mar. 31 Federal Register notice. The workshops will give producers, drilling contractors, service and supply companies, other stakeholders, and the general public opportunities to discuss the system and contribute to its development, it indicated. Online registrationswill be accepted through Apr. 11.” OGJ

Best the GOP can offer… Paul Ryan budget would repeal ACA; will never balance budget – “House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) Tuesday will propose eliminating the government’s budget deficit in 10 years through major changes to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and other programs—while for the first time taking the controversial step of counting in assumptions on how the plan would spur economic growth. The fiscal year 2015 budget blueprint is a largely political document that establishes House Republicans’ commitment to eliminating the deficit as a top priority. Mr. Ryan says it would cut $5.1 trillion in projected spending over a decade, with 40% of that coming from simply repealing the Affordable Care Act.” WSJ

The Dividend Debate - “BlackRock Chief Larry Fink thinks companies should focus more on long-term results instead of boosting dividends or buying back stock to appease short-term interests, such as those demanded by activist investors. Billionaire corporate agitator Carl Icahn thinks too many businesses are run by incompetents who waste shareholder money and need to focus on short-term improvements. Who’s right?” INSIDER MONKEY

Venezuela gears up to arrest another opposition leader - ”Venezuela’s Supreme Court late Monday backed the government’s move to strip a top opposition congresswoman of her title, a move that sparked accusations the court lacks independence in a country roiled by two months of protests. Government allies of President Nicolás Maduro said last week that María Corina Machado would be kicked out of the National Assembly for speaking on Venezuela’s political crisis in front of the Organization of American States in Washington last month as an invited guest of the government of Panama.” WSJ

… as the President of Ecuador makes an interesting statement that may indicate his government thinks Maduro won’t remain in power - ”Ecuador has said it will not deal with the coup-appointed government in Kiev and has called for fair elections…  “We will not fall for a farce, we will only deal with a legitimate government,” said Correa, adding that Ecuador does not recognize the current government that is the product of a coup d’état. To win the support of Ecuador, Ukraine should hold democratic elections and establish a legitimate government chosen by the Ukrainian people, Correa said.” RT

Reading Assignments… Alison Sider: How the Wisconsin Winter Puts a Chill on Texas Oil DrillingJonah Goldberg: Climate Activists Unchained…  Ryan Holeywell: Energy execs turn pessimistic on industry future

March 24th, 2014

Alan Krueger, Princeton Econ Professor and Obama WH shill, went on CNBC this morning and proclaimed that he saw “no signs” of “any bubbles”, and then every rational investors called bs.  It began with perma-bull Jim Cramer lamenting the IPO surge, then digressed to Carl Icahn getting pissy about his pyramid-scheme vendetta… he also critiqued the entire market as FED-funded….    

… @The_Analyst: Huge value-type investors expecting market correction of significant magnitude. Momo traders still lusting for hot names. This’ll end well..

Tweet of the Day…. @schiller713 “Wow.  @jimcramer does not believe @BarackObama will approve KXL pipeline, cites @TomSteyer campaign against the expansion on @SquawkCNBC”

… typical description of ads run by such groups: “The ad for Hagan attacks “oil industry billionaires” who “want to undermine the air safety standards that protect us,” while the Michigan ad touts Peters’s support for the Detroit auto bailout and for backing investments in renewable energy fuel. THE HILL

Galveston Bay Spill – Ship Channel Remains Closed - Major Texas shipping channels that deliver crude oil for more than one-tenth of the nation’s refining capacity were shut for a third day on Monday, as the cleanup from a spill threatened to last through the week. The Houston Ship Channel was shut on Saturday following a collision between a Kirby Inland Marine oil barge and a cargo ship, spilling some 4,000 barrels, or 168,000 gallons (636,000 liters), of residual fuel oil. The channel allows oil barges and cargo ships to sail from the Gulf Coast to refiners and terminals further inland. As of 7 a.m. CST, the channels to Houston and Texas City, Galveston and the Intracoastal Waterway remained shut near the entrance to Galveston Bay, where heavy fuel oil washed ashore and out into the Gulf of Mexico. REUTERS

… INDEFINITE - No timetable has been set to reopen a major U.S. shipping channel after nearly 170,000 gallons of tar-like oil spilled into the Texas waterway, but more help was being called in Monday to contain the spill and protect important shorebird habitat.WSJ

… Houston Comical says: “The Houston Audubon Society said Monday that scientists have found more than 50 oiled birds at a wildlife refuge just two miles from the spill, and they expect to find more.”

Why George Soros donates so much to activist politicians - The infamous speculator, oligarch and political activist George Soros published a plan designed to “punish” Russia for its actions in Crimea and Ukraine. According to Soros’ plan, Washington has to crash the oil market in order to hurt the Russian economy. VoR

Anti-Fracer says trespassing is protected by the 1st amendment - Vera Scroggins will be asking a judge to lift an injunction that bars her from land owned or leased by cabot oil and gas after the court ruled Scroggins had trespassed. That injunction issued last October covers 40 percent of Susquehanna county and, according to Scroggins, includes the homes of some of Scroggins’ friends, grocery store, and the hospital closest to her home.  ”I feel that no company should really impede any citizen who’s willing to document and show what’s going on with that company in our county. No company should impede us in any way or our freedoms,” said Scroggins.” WICZ

Merkel wants US gas - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that imports of U.S. shale gas could eventually be an option for European countries seeking to diversify their energy sources but the United States must first build the infrastructure to export. “Many people think that this could be one component, if the United States decided to export shale gas,” she told reporters after European Union leaders discussed how to diversify energy sources away from reliance on Russian oil and gas. RIGZONE

…. as DOE approves Oregon LNG facility - The Energy Department said it Monday has “conditionally” authorized the planned Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal to export natural gas to countries with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement. The Jordan Cove project in Coos Bay, Ore., is the seventh natural gas export terminal to get conditional Department of Energy (DOE) approval. Only one project has final approval from the federal government, and it will not start exporting natural gas until late 2015. THE HILL 

PEMEX cherry-picks fields prior to privatization - Mexican state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos said it informed the Energy Secretariat of the oil fields it would like to keep in the wake of an historic energy overhaul, including areas it has been exploring and others already under production. The company said in a statement that it submitted the list by Friday’s deadline in compliance with the terms of last year’s overhaul, which ended its monopoly on crude development. ECONOMISTA

Celebrity statistician, Nate Silver, says - We think the Republicans are now slight favorites to win at least six seats and capture the chamber. The Democrats’ position has deteriorated somewhat since last summer, with President Obama’s approval ratings down to 42 or 43 percent from an average of about 45 percent before. Furthermore, as compared with 2010 or 2012, the GOP has done a better job of recruiting credible candidates, with some exceptions. 538

.. Democrats freak out - In an unusual step, the executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Monday issued a rebuttal the famed statistician’s prediction—made a day earlier—that Republicans were a “slight favorite” to retake the Senate. Silver was wrong in 2012, the political committee’s Guy Cecil wrote in a memo, and he’ll be wrong again in 2014. NJ

Video of the Day…. Successful firebombing of an armored police vehicle in Venezuela 

Ted Poe channels his inner-McCain - Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, told Fox News National Security Analyst KT McFarlandthat uncertainty with Russia is causing “international tension” and the U.S. needs to realize it is dealing with “Cold War II.” “Putin does have his eye on the former Soviet republics and I don’t believe the world knows we would come ‘yes’ to the rescue,” said Poe, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. FNC

Obvious OP-ED comment of the Day: Memories are fading of the teeming European crowds who heaped adulation on Barack Obama in 2008 and the anticipatory frenzy which led to him receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. As president, Obama’s official dealings with Europe have been surprisingly rocky.” Full article by Josh Gerstein here

… Ruchir Sharma: Putin’s Potemkin Economy

The UN still doesn’t understand desalinization - “Demand for freshwater and energy will continue to increase over the coming decades to meet the needs of growing populations and economies, changing lifestyles and evolving consumption patterns, greatly amplifying existing pressures on limited natural resources and on ecosystems,” the report said. …  “Lack of access to water, sanitation and sustainable energy is an aggravating factor for poverty,” Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, told a conference at the United Nations University in Tokyo. LIVEMINT

Not the iTV people were expecting - “Apple Inc. AAPL +1.22% is in talks with Comcast Corp. CMCSA +0.26% about teaming up for a streaming-television service that would use an Apple set-top box and get special treatment on Comcast’s cables to ensure it bypasses congestion on the Web, people familiar with the matter say. The discussions between the world’s most valuable company and the nation’s largest cable provider are still in early stages and many hurdles remain. But the deal, if sealed, would mark a new level of cooperation and integration between a technology company and a cable provider to modernize TV viewing.” WSJ

Reading Assignments…. Starr Spencer: New life for once-spurned GOM oil and gas leases… MARY O’GRADY: WHO IS KILLING VENEZUELA’S PROTESTORS? 

March 21st, 2014

Happy Friday.   Send your best to info@schillerreport.com, or on twitter @schiller713.   

 

Energy News: 

Anadarko wanted to drill deeper - ”APC officials urged BP Plc to drill deeper into the Gulf of Mexico well that caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history even after BP warned that doing so would be unsafe. A BP executive and a geologist working on the Macondo well rejected Anadarko’s urging to deepen the well, according to e-mails sent the week before the April 2010 deep-sea blowout. BP officials said in the e-mails, unsealed this month in lawsuits over the spill, that the well’s condition “provided for little to no margin to continue drilling” safely.” FUEL FIX

 

GOM lease sale results - ”The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management reported that its central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 231 received 380 bids from 50 companies on 326 blocks, resulting in a total of $850 million in apparent high bids. The sale was held Mar. 19 in New Orleans. The total amount bid was less than last year’s central gulf Lease Sale 227 at which BOEM received 407 bids on 320 of the 7,299 tracts offered, totaling $1.2 billion in apparent high bids (OGJ Online, Mar. 20, 2013). The most sought-after acreage during this sale was in the deepwater and ultradeepwater, as blocks in 800-1,600 m of water received 57 bids and blocks in more than 1,600 m of water received 108 bids.” OGJ

 

Liberals pivot to the Koch brothers in KXL opposition – “The biggest lease holder in the northern Alberta oil sands is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, the privately-owned cornerstone of the fortune of conservative Koch brothers Charles and David. The Koch Industries subsidiary holds leases on 1.1 million acres — an area nearly the size of Delaware — in the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada, according to an activist group that studied Alberta provincial records.” WAPO

 

Landrieu sets LNG export hearing - ”Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), the chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will lead a hearing next week about the implications of exporting natural gas for jobs and international relations. “The hearing will examine how the United States can responsibly export natural gas to promote manufacturing, create high-paying jobs and expand U.S. influence around the world to assist its allies,” the committee said in a Thursday statement.” THE HILL

 

Regulators approve Texas to Mexico natgas pipeline - “U.S. energy regulators on Thursday approved a plan by a unit of Energy Transfers Partners LP to build a natural gas pipeline from Texas to Mexico. The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a presidential permit to Energy Transfer’s Houston Pipe Line Co, which will allow the company to build the pipeline across the federal border.” RIGZONE

 

Gringos are already at a disadvantage as Mexico inches towards privatization of its energy sector - “Mexican companies are racing to be first in line to invest in the country’s energy industry even before lawmakers pass final legislation that would end a 76-year state monopoly…  State-owned Comision Federal de Electricidad plans to take advantage of the legal changes to sell natural gas, Chief Executive Officer Enrique Ochoa said at the Bloomberg Economic Summit in Mexico City yesterday. Former President Vicente Fox is creating a fund that aims to raise $500 million to invest in the country’s oil and power sector. Mexican companies are seeking to reap the benefits from a potential surge in new investment as President Enrique Pena Nieto attempts to attract funds and arrest nine straight years of crude production declines with an energy overhaul. While lawmakers have yet to consider rules for putting in place the constitutional changes, Bank of America Corp. estimates the proposed legislation could boost foreign investment by as much as $20 billion a year. Oil production in Mexico may double to 5 million barrels per day, according to Citigroup Inc.” BLOOMBERG 

 

Exxon is crunching the climate change numbers - “Oil giant ExxonMobil Corp. will disclose how possible climate change regulations such as stricter limits on carbon emissions could impact its assets, shareholder activists said. For the first time, the company agreed to publish on its website how it assesses the risk of “stranded assets,” such as lower values for its oil and gas, activist foundation As You Sow and wealth management group Arjuna Capital said Thursday. ExxonMobil will publish the report by the end of March, the groups said. The company declined to comment.” THE HILL

 

The Chevron wallet-whip continues - “After beating New York plaintiffs’ lawyer Steven Donziger in court earlier this month, Chevron has asked the judge who presided over the racketeering trial to award it $32.3 million in attorney fees—a sum the oil company said reflects only a portion of the total costs it incurred.” WSJ

 

MOODY’S downgrades Argentina shale players - ”Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the credit ratings of major Argentine oil and gas players YPF, Pan American Energy and Petrobras Argentina.” BNAMERICAS

 

Fallout from the anti-coal administration - “The cost of limiting power-plant emissions has fallen because cheap natural gas is already shuttering some coal-powered facilities that would be at risk, an environmental group said today in a study. The Natural Resources Defense Council, which is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to impose strict limits on greenhouse-gas emissions, released an updated analysis of what rules would accomplish and the impact on coal plants and lower-carbon energy sources. The EPA says it will issue its proposed rules in June.” BIZWEEK

 

US coal producers look abroad - “As environmental restrictions and abundant natural gas reduce coal consumption at home, exports have become more important for U.S. mining companies. U.S. coal shipments outside the country in 2014 are expected to surpass 100 million tons for the third year, a record string. A high level of exports helps keep the domestic supply in line with demand and helps prevent U.S. prices from tanking.” WSJ

 

Question of the Day…Are you ready to be audited? 

 

 

Other News: 

 

Putin’s quiet Latin America play – “Away from the conflict in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is quietly seeking a foothold in Latin America, military officials warn. To the alarm of lawmakers and Pentagon officials, Putin has begun sending navy ships and long-range bombers to the region for the first time in years. Russia’s defense minister says the country is planning bases in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, and just last week, Putin’s national security team met to discuss increasing military ties in the region. “They’re on the march,” Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said at a Senate hearing earlier this month. “They’re working the scenes where we can’t work. And they’re doing a pretty good job.”” THE HILL 

 

Nobody is going to win Mr. Buffett’s $1,000,000,000 bracket – “Forty minutes into the first full day of the tournament, roughly 83 percent of the would-be billionaires were done after Dayton, the No. 11 seed in the South Regional, toppled sixth-seeded Ohio State 60-59 in Buffalo, N.Y. … No. 12 East seed Harvard started a how-can-that-be run of games in Spokane, Wash., by knocking off fifth-seeded Cincinnati 60-59. … Two upsets, and almost everyone shooting for perfection was eliminated before they got home from work, the number of blemished brackets up to about 95 percent. …The day of dead pools continued in Spokane, where No. 12 West seed North Dakota outlasted fifth-seeded Oklahoma 80-75. Thanks for playing everyone. Less than 1 percent of you are still in it. ” AP

 

Obama’s homemade media - “The President’s aggressive marketing of Affordable Care Act insurance plans demonstrates the extent to which the White House has become a creator of media products, rather than a subject of media coverage. The New York Times reports that “the administration is spending heavily on airtime” to encourage young people to buy the uneconomical plans, and also launching new web programming featuring celebrity endorsers.

This is sure to raise questions from taxpayers and Congressional overseers about marketing budgets in the executive branch. But it also raises questions about the diminishing role of independent journalism.” WSJ

 

Iran emulates North Korean propaganda - ”Iran is building a nonworking mock-up of an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that United States officials say may be intended to be blown up for propaganda value.” NYT

 

Every 25-year-old in America should see this chart

 

 

Articles of Interest:

 

Kim Strassel: The Democrat civil war over energy

 

Chad Watt: The next shale bonanza

 

Larry Sabato says Jeb Bush is top of the 2016 GOP field

 

Liz Peek: How Europe and Obama lost leverage with Putin (Putin was changing the map while Europe was saving the climate)

 

Laura Meckler and Dante Chinni: City vs Country – how where we live deepens the political divide

 

 

Happy Hour Fodder:  

 

Hawaiian cops say they should be allowed to have sex with prostitutes - ”Hawaiian legislators are considering making it illegal for police officers engaged in undercover activities to have sex with prostitutes, but the police would rather hang on to that right. Currently, Hawaiian police officers who have sex with prostitutes as part of their undercover investigations are exempt from prosecution. That would have changed, however, if a proposed bill, HB 1926, had been approved.” DC

 

Wheel of Fortune contestant guess right with only 2 letters on the board 

 

Fallon mocks Obama – “Late night comedian Jimmy Fallon, host of “The Tonight Show,” took part in a hilarious skit Wednesday night that mimicked a phone call between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Fallon was imitating Putin for the second time in a week in the bit, where his character slams vodka straight from the bottle while the Obama character appears to drink root beer.” BIZPAC

 

5 creepy cartoon fan theories that make way too much sense

 

Geraldo has too much time on his hands - ”Fox News Channel host Geraldo Rivera shared what he admitted was an unlikely but nevertheless possible theory regarding the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. Appearing on Fox & Friends on Friday morning, Rivera said that it was possible that the plane was hijacked and landed somewhere so that the hijackers could get to a “secret passenger” of some importance.” MEDIAITE 

 

The world’s 101 best islands

 

For the hangover… 13 awesome recipes with maple syrup

Monday, March 17th

You have read / heard about the Crimea vote and the sanctions, so here are a few things that matter: 

 

… the resource play - “According to Reuters, Crimea may nationalize oil and gas assets within its borders belonging to Ukraine, and sell them off to Russia. Crimea’s Deputy Prime Minister hinted at the possibility that it would take control of Chornomorneftegaz, a Ukrainian state-owned enterprise, and then “privatize” it by selling it to Gazprom (OGZPY). “After nationalisation of the company we would openly take a decision – if a large investor, like Gazprom or others emerges – to carry out (privatisation),” Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliev said.” NASDAQ

 

… QUESTION: Is the US using oil to fight Russian Gas politics in Ukraine? 

 

… markets chug along… 

 

… Sochi 2014: A mistake that mustn’t be repeated

 

… Meanwhile, Oligarchs buy German assets – “The German utility RWE said on Sunday that it had reached a preliminary agreement to sell its oil and natural gas subsidiary, RWE Dea, to the Russian billionaires Mikhail Fridman and German Khan for 5.1 billion euros, or roughly $7 billion. The RWE Dea acquisition is the first known oil and gas transaction by the LetterOne Group, the investment vehicle Mr. Fridman and Mr. Khan set up in 2013 to invest the estimated $14 billion they received for selling their shares of TNK-BP, the Russian oil affiliate of the oil giant BP.” NYT

 

CHK continues its quest to transform from a hedge fund into an E&P company - ”Chesapeake Energy filed regulatory documents Monday in preparation for the public spinoff of its $2.2 billion oil field-services business, set for an undisclosed date this year. The business, which would be called Seventy Seven Energy after the spinoff, operates the fifth-largest U.S. land-based rig fleet, with 77 walking, pad-capable units and eight older, mechanical-drive models. It drills, provides oil-field tools and operates hydraulic fracturing services in the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas, the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and other U.S. shale plays.” FUEL FIX

 

Dems between a rock and a reservoir trap on KXL - “Democrats are grappling with an election-year dilemma posed by the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Wealthy party donors are funding candidates who oppose the project — a high-profile symbol of the political debate over climate change. But some of the party’s most vulnerable incumbents are pipeline boosters, and whether Democrats retain control of the Senate after the 2014 midterm elections may hinge on them.” BOSTON HERALD

 

RUMOR MILL: “Ecuador will continue to support the efforts of the Amazonian people, but will not continue to market or promote the [Chevron] lawsuit in any way… we’re tired of getting doors shut in our faces because of that lawsuit.” 

 

Mystery Tanker Stormed By SEALS - ”A team of Navy SEALs has taken control of a stateless oil tanker seized earlier in the month by Libyan rebels, the Pentagon said Monday. The SEALs boarded the tanker Morning Glory late Sunday in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea near Cyprus. Rear Adm. John Kirby said no one was injured in the operation, which was approved by President Barack Obama. The vessel, whose ownership remains a mystery, was carrying stolen Libyan crude oil from the port of Al-Sidra. Libyan officials had ordered the tanker confiscated, but it managed to escape.” POLITICO

 

Because you will watch it  —>  Diver attacked by shark… recorded it all on a GoPro

 

Senator Landrieu opens her wallet - “Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu has reserved $2.6 million in air time between mid-April and the end of June, according to a source tracking the ad war in the race for her Louisiana seat. The endangered incumbent claimed nearly $2 million in time between April 21 and June 29 for 30-second TV commercials and an additional $645,000 from April 14 to May 25 for 60-second spots.” POLITICO

 

Marinate in this for a moment – “Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may have been caught on tape smoking crack, acting embarrassingly drunk, and being ruthlessly mocked on late night television, but he still has a higher approval rating than President Barack Obama.” BI

 

Stephen Hawking says we will be living on the moon in 50 years

 

Non-story that the media will focus on through November - “In one corner are Charles and David Koch, the prominent conservative donors who made their fortunes in the fossil-fuel industry. They are pouring tens of millions of dollars into ad campaigns aimed at helping the GOP take back the Senate. In the other corner is a newcomer, Tom Steyer, who has vowed to push the issue of climate change relentlessly to the forefront of American politics — even though his allegiance to the Democrats is more equivocal than that of the Kochs to the GOP.” THE HILL

 

Anti-ObamaCare Doctor Sticking It to George Soros - ”The new president-elect of one of the country’s top conservative anti-Obamacare medical organizations lives with billionaire George Soros’ progressive ex-wife in a $55 million estate purchased by Soros. Richard Amerling was recently elected to the presidency of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), which has filed litigation to stop Obamacare as part of its advocacy efforts against President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.” DC

 

Release your inner-nerd - “Earlier today the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced that the BICEP-2 telescope at the South Pole had seen unambiguous evidence of the existence of gravitational waves. Predicted by Einstein’s theory of relativity, these are ripples in the fabric of space that are directly analagous to the ripples in an electromagnetic field caused by the passage of visible light, radio waves, x-rays and the like.” ECONOMIST 

 

You should enjoy xkcd.com 

 

Win your $500MM… 10 things to know about the NCAA tournament

 

Reading Assignments… Garry Kasparov: Putin and the lessons of 1983Matthew FeeneyA Tragic Socialist Experiment is Ruining VenezuelaGeorge Will: Democrats are making income inequality worse... John Aziz: Is marijuana the future of Big Tobacco?

Um…. Did the US just trade Crimea for non-Kosher exports?….

Politico’s Morning Ag says: “RUSSIA PULLS PORK BAN: “Russia has agreed to partially lift its ban on U.S. pork, paving the way for the first U.S. exports to the country in more than a year, Agriculture Department officials said Monday,” reports Pro’s Bill Tomson. “USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has approved two North Carolina plants owned by Smithfield Foods to export pork to Russia after both were certified under the Agricultural Marketing Service’s new Never Fed Beta Agonists Program. Russia banned U.S. pork in February last year after raising concerns about residues of ractopamine, a beta-agonist class growth drug, in U.S. meat. At the time, the USDA had no way of certifying that U.S. pork exports came from swine that was never treated with the popular drug that helps farmers produce leaner meat.” The full story for Pros is here: http://politico.pro/1gflG3Y

March 3rd, 2014

BUSINESS WEEK wants to be taken seriously; asks DOES PRESIDENT OBAMA REALLY OPPOSE OIL AND GAS DRILLING? 

South Louisiana is still sexy - “The Louisiana Mineral and Energy Boardcollected more than $1.1 million during its February sale of mineral rights on state and local lands, according to results released on Friday (Feb. 28). A Baton Rouge-based exploration and development firm led the activity as it staked out inland acreage in Terrebonne Parish. The sale drew more companies and offeredmore land for lease than in previous months, with total bids up from $816,900 in January. The state awarded 20 leases covering nearly 3,000 acres out of 44 nominated tracts covering more than 63,000 acres.” NOLA

KXL protestors arrested in front of White House – “More than 300 people protesting the building of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline were arrested outside the White House on Sunday, according to multiple reports.  The protesters, many of them college students, began their protest at Georgetown University before making their way to the White House, with some tying themselves to the outer gates.  Police told the Associated Press that 372 people were arrested. U.S. Park Police warned the protesters of arrest if they did not leave the sidewalk in front of the White House.”  THE HILL

Los Angeles moves to ban frac-ing - “Los Angeles is poised to ban hydraulic fracturing, acidizing and other technologies used to increase production from oil and gas wells. The City Council voted unanimously Friday to start drafting rules that would bar such practices until city politicians are sure Angelenos and their water are safe. The council asked the city attorney and other staffers to prepare an ordinance that would change the city zoning code.” LA TIMES

More regulations; API still doing their job - ”The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday issued stricter emissions standards for cars and trucks that limit the amount of sulfur that can be used in gasoline. EPA officials hailed the new standards, which they said would prevent as many as 2,000 respiratory deaths per year while imposing minimal costs on refiners and automakers. The American Petroleum Institute, however, said the standards would raise gas prices while providing little environmental gain. The group also said a 2017 deadline for meeting the standards could cause an interruption in supply. “Besides the enormous costs and negligible environmental benefit, we are also concerned about the timeline of EPA’s new rule,” said Bob Greco of the American Petroleum Institute.”  THE HILL 

Read(s) of the Day…. Ukraine’s False Spark for Oil Prices… Chronicle reporter suggests a piecemeal approach to legalizing crude exports, which a certain SR reader said this morning “doesn’t change a thing with respect to foreign policy concerns.” * 4-letter words omitted.  

TPP negotiations still chugging along - ”Completion of a massive Asia-Pacific trade deal may hinge on the efforts of top U.S. and Japanese leaders to narrow their differences on a variety of politically sensitive issues. President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet next month in Tokyo and trade analysts say that any sign of breakthrough on their bilateral deal would provide some much-needed momentum to wrap up the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.” THE HILL

Democrats decided that proposing a budget would hurt them in November - “One year after writing and passing the first Senate Democratic budget resolution in four years, Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said her conference will not make an effort in the 2014 midterm election year. In a statement, Murray said there was no reason to do a fiscal 2015 budget after the two-year deal struck in December with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).” THE HILL 

Mardis Gras won’t stop the protestors in Venezuela - ”While many Venezuelans went to the beach to enjoy the Carnival holiday, thousands of anti-government demonstrators marched in the capital on Sunday, trying to keep up the momentum from weeks of protests demanding President Nicolas Maduro resign.” REUTERS

Jared Leto gave a shout out to the protesters during his acceptance speech last night… and now Venezuelan officials are calling him a fascist operative in cahoots with the CIA.  They don’t like him that much.

Photo of the Day… Food Line in Venezuela 

Murphy’s Muddle…. Bill Clinton took a photo with some girls from the Bunny Ranch in Vegas.

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