Saturday, September 14, 2013

For The Archives - A Lot Of Fine Americans Will Lose Their Jobs And Their Health Care Under This Administration; The President Kept His Word To Kill The Coal Industry

The New York Times is reporting:
The ailing American coal industry, which has pinned its hopes on exports to counter a declining market at home, is scaling back its ambitions as demand from abroad starts to ebb as well.
Just south of here, New Elk Coal terminated its lease late last month at the Port of Corpus Christi, where it had hoped to export coal to Brazil, Europe and Asia. Two days later, when the federal government tried to auction off a two-square-mile tract of land in Wyoming’s Powder River basin, a region once poised to grow with exports to Asia, not a single coal company made a bid.
They were the latest signs that a global coal glut and price slump, along with persistent environmental opposition, are reducing the likelihood that additional exports could shield the industry from slipping domestic demand caused by cheap natural gas and mounting regulations.
United States coal exports this year are expected to decline by roughly 5 percent from last year’s record exports of 125 million tons, and many experts predict the decline will quicken next year. 
Poorly written story, as usual.

If the story were properly written, the lede would state clearly that the "ailing" coal industry is the direct result of O'Bama policy to kill the coal industry. He drew a line in the coal bin ten years ago and that's the ONE promise he has kept. 

Mr President, Have Pity On The Working Man, Randy Newman

And for the 47% who wish they didn't see now, what they didn't know then:

Up Against The Wind, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Bank

Without a job, all the subsidies in the world won't get you the health care you need. 

Everyone Does It Better

I always make a feeble attempt at starting new lists, and then someone comes along and does it better.

Usually it's CarpeDiem that comes up with the better graphics.

Here's the latest from CarpeDiem with the list of cuts to work hours, jobs, due to O'BamaCare. I see the list is from IBD. Unless I missed it, and maybe there is more at the IBD link, I didn't see GE, TimeWarner, UPS, or IBM, just to name a few biggies.

The list also doesn't include the city of Chicago. 

I track the O'BamaCare cost shifting (OBCCS) here.

Three Climate CHANGE Stories

Quick, three global warming cooling stories. Finally, I understand the reason activist environmental wackos now refer to it as climate change: we're going from 1 degree warmer to 1 degree cooler.

ClimatDepot headline: Earth Gains A Record Amount Of Sea Ice In 2013 — ‘Earth has gained 19,000 Manhattans of sea ice since this date last year, the largest increase on record

CNS News reminds us that Al Gore said 2013 would be the year the Arctic could be completely free of ice.
A 2007 prediction that summer in the North Pole could be “ice-free by 2013” that was cited by former Vice President Al Gore in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech has proven to be off… by 920,000 square miles.
And, of course, I posted/linked this WSJ story earlier: dialing back the alarm on climate change

And the scary thing: no one knows why. CO2 emissions have continued to increase; CO concentration has crossed the "magic" 400 threshhold, if I recall correctly (although I could be wrong; it could be closer to 399).

It is important to note: I assume these headlines are all linked at The Drudge Report. I did not get them from The Drudge Report. A reader or readers brought them to my attention.

Let me know if CBS News mentions these stories in their weekend editions; I don't have access to television. Of course, if I did, I wouldn't be watching CBS News anyway.

Oh, by the way (added later), I have to chuckle. The NASA satellite photos clearly show the huge expansion of Arctic ice. Children in elementary school could pick out the slide with more "white" -- sort of like the ATT "big is better" commercials. But now the deniers are saying: "Sure, the photographs show the Arctic ice has expanded to a record area but the satellites don't show how deep the ice is." LOL. The deniers never quit, do they?


Meanwhile, on a lighter note, Don notes they have built a 26-tower in Mandan to measure this winter's snowfall.

The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
 “No other project has taken on something with this kind of scale both in size and length,” said Andrea Anteau, NEON field operations manager for North Dakota.
The 26-foot tower. When I was growing up, it was NASA and going to the moon. Now it's building 26-foot ecological towers.

Vladimir Traveling To Iran. Will He Draw A "Real" Line In The Sand?

I lost the bubble on this. Didn't the most-recent Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning-US-President, as a candidate, say he would talk with anyone, anywhere to promote peace. I don't recall the exact "promise" and I may have it all wrong, but I was reminded of that when a reader noted that Vladimir will be traveling to Iran to meet with leaders there.

I don't recall, but I don't think the most-recent Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning-US-President has actually traveled to Iran. I know he took Michelle to Paris for her birthday, and he's been to Russia, but I don't recall whether he's visited the US Embassy in Tehran. (Do we even have an embassy there any more?)

Anyway, enough cattiness for now. The Daily Caller is reporting that Vladimir is headed for Iran. Maybe he plans to draw a "real" line in the sand.

Does MDW Have A Prediction When North Dakota Will Go Over One Million BOPD: Before Or After Next Spring Thaw?

I went out on a limb back in June, 2013, when I suggested "we" would go over 875,000 bopd by the end of August.

I'm not going to predict any more (at least for now). There are too many factors beyond the control of the roughnecks and the frack teams.

Clearly, if given the opportunity, the roughnecks and frack teams would take us over one million bopd before the end of the year; they have the talent and the equipment. They are completing more wells than ever each month.

One can look at the history and project for themselves when certain thresholds might be hit. I provide the data here.

Note that winter and the spring thaw are not as problematic as some folks make it out to be. This is the data for winter/spring, 2012 (A = actual). Note: not one month during the late winter/spring thaw has there been a decrease in production in either 2012 or 2013:
February, 2012: 593,702 (increase of 2.2% from previous month)
March, 2012: 580,413 (3.76% increase from previous month)
April, 2012: 611,329 (5.33% increase from previous month)
May, 2012: 644,345 (5.40% increase from previous month)
June, 2012: 664,475 (3.12% increase from previous month)
This is the data for winter/spring, 2013, the wettest North Dakota spring on record):
February, 2013: 779149 (increase of 5.57% from previous month)
March, 2013: 783184 (0.52% increase from previous month)
April, 2013: 793852 (1.29% increase from previous month)
May, 2013: 810129 (2.05% increase from previous month)
June, 2013: 821598 (1.42% increase from previous month)
Disclaimer: again, I often make simple math errors and I did not check the above for typographical errors. Go to the source to fact-check my figures. If I have incorrect data, I will correct it if alerted.

There are a couple of story lines here one can see immediately.

Saturday Morning News, Links, And Views; A Reprieve From Climate Doom; Montana Says "No" To Summers [Update: Summers Says "No" To Obama]


Rethink chrysanthemums. 
It's time for the chrysanthemum to shake off its reputation as a stiff, kitschy flower that returns each fall as predictably as Halloween. For those in the know, the mum is a horticultural star with more personalities than the clones in "Orphan Black." The Chinese, who discovered the flower around 500 B.C., quickly figured that out, worshiping it for its decorative beauty and extensive culinary and medicinal uses. The Japanese later elevated it to official status on their emperor's seal. But the plant crossed over into an all-out cult object in the 17th century, when England succumbed to a mad, mums-breeding frenzy.
Te Deum, Arvo Part


America, Syria, and The World: I might come back to this later. And then, again, maybe not. It is interesting to scroll through google's "red line in the sand" and see all the liberals who absolutely, 100%, unequivocally backed O'Bama's decision to bomb the heck out of Syria. And then Lurch gaffed.

This I will definitely come back to -- but due to soccer games, etc., some of this will have to wait. Dialing back the alarm on climate change:
Later this month, a long-awaited event that last happened in 2007 will recur. Like a returning comet, it will be taken to portend ominous happenings. I refer to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) "fifth assessment report," part of which will be published on Sept. 27.
There have already been leaks from this 31-page document, which summarizes 1,914 pages of scientific discussion, but thanks to a senior climate scientist, I have had a glimpse of the key prediction at the heart of the document. The big news is that, for the first time since these reports started coming out in 1990, the new one dials back the alarm. It states that the temperature rise we can expect as a result of man-made emissions of carbon dioxide is lower than the IPPC thought in 2007.
Most experts believe that warming of less than 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels will result in no net economic and ecological damage. Therefore, the new report is effectively saying (based on the middle of the range of the IPCC's emissions scenarios) that there is a better than 50-50 chance that by 2083, the benefits of climate change will still outweigh the harm.
Warming of up to 1.2 degrees Celsius over the next 70 years (0.8 degrees have already occurred), most of which is predicted to happen in cold areas in winter and at night, would extend the range of farming further north, improve crop yields, slightly increase rainfall (especially in arid areas), enhance forest growth and cut winter deaths (which far exceed summer deaths in most places). Increased carbon dioxide levels also have caused and will continue to cause an increase in the growth rates of crops and the greening of the Earth—because plants grow faster and need less water when carbon dioxide concentrations are higher.
Up to two degrees of warming, these benefits will generally outweigh the harmful effects, such as more extreme weather or rising sea levels, which even the IPCC concedes will be only about 1 to 3 feet during this period.
 I'm looking out the window at Starbucks. I have never seen a dog with such short legs. It looks like some kind of terrier-dachshund cross. Its legs barely touch the ground. His ears are longer than his legs. His snout is longer than his legs. Moving from lying to standing increases his height, like, maybe an inch.  If my wife were here she would take a photo with her iPhone. I don't have an iPhone.


Volkswagen will come to regret this decision.
The United Auto Workers union, after suffering years of declining membership and power in Detroit, is moving closer to what could be an unlikely and historic win: organizing its first foreign-owned auto plant in the U.S. South.
UAW President Bob King said on Friday he is confident a Volkswagen AG  plant in Tennessee will be unionized, and is hoping the auto maker will accept the UAW as bargaining partner for the plant's 2,000 assembly workers.
If the UAW succeeds in Chattanooga, it would be a dramatic turn for the South, which has long resisted organized labor and has used its antiunion stance to attract several foreign-owned auto makers.

Apparently the Germans just don't know to operate in a world without unions.


All things being equal, this could be great news for Bakken operators
The Securities and Exchange Commission is pressing energy companies in the U.S. to disclose how much of their reserves—a key gauge of future profit—consists of oil rather than less valuable liquids like propane.
After prodding from regulators, companies including BHP Billiton Ltd. and ConocoPhillips  have recently joined Exxon Mobil Corp. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in agreeing to break out how much of the fuel they can pump at a profit is crude rather than liquids derived from natural gas.
The question is becoming more critical as crude prices hover over $100 a barrel while prices of other liquid fuels have tumbled in the face of surging supply. But some companies continue to lump the two together, and SEC officials are pushing them to change that when the noncrude liquids are significant.
All things being equal, side-by-side comparisons will raise the relative value of Bakken operators which generally target 95% crude oil.

Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, considered a political centrist, joins at least three other Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee who are expected to vote against Mr. Summers if he is nominated.
A generation that will never "know" work.  The new "lost generation." 168 comments and counting; generally any WSJ article that gets more than a handful of comments is unusual.
Like so many young Americans, Derek Wetherell is stuck.
At 23 years old, he has a job, but not a career, and little prospect for advancement. He has tens of thousands of dollars in student debt, but no college degree. He says he is more likely to move back in with his parents than to buy a home, and he doesn't know what he will do if his car—a 2001 Chrysler Sebring with well over 100,000 miles—breaks down.
"I'm kind of spinning my wheels," Mr. Wetherell says. "We can wishfully think that eventually it's going to get better, but we don't really know, and that doesn't really help us now."
This comment will help put things into perspective:
Question for Mr. Wetherell: when you decided on a political science major, what were your career aspirations? Article doesn't say. 
The Bakken is crying for workers.

And then this:
I am puzzled when I read a young man has three credits left and doesn't finish college? Something else is going on besides being fearful of debt.
Doesn't sound like he could make it in the Bakken; wouldn't last one winter. 

I cannot make this up. Government workers in Greece were given six additional paid vacation days if they used a computer at work. That little perk is now being rescinded. I guess instead of 64 days of paid vacation (not counting paid maternity and paternity time off), Greek government employees will only have 58 days paid vacation.


Rebecca Kimberlain, a 44-year-old paralegal who doesn't have health insurance and never goes to the doctor for checkups, said that if she had a medical condition, "I wouldn't know about it." So as she walked around the Hatfield and McCoy Heritage Days festival here over Labor Day weekend, a health-care booth caught her eye.
Staffers promoting the state's health-insurance marketplace, which is dubbed kynect and scheduled to debut Oct. 1 as part of the federal health-care law, explained that Ms. Kimberlain likely would qualify for subsidies to pay for a private plan or perhaps for Medicaid coverage.
"I have not heard about this at all," said Ms. Kimberlain, who lives in Pikeville, a rural Appalachian town. "It sounds very interesting to me." She worried, though, whether the subsidies would be enough, as she can't afford to pay more than $100 a month.

Debbie Downer Is As Predictable As The Day Is Long

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
North Dakota oil production saw a 6.4 percent jump in July, but the percentage of natural gas that was flared also grew because of mechanical and electrical problems at two gas plants, officials said Friday.
I did not read any more of the article than the opening line noted above.

Let me know if Debbie Downer touched on any of these story lines (previously posted):
  • well completions more than double, and there's hardly an increase in flaring
  • crude oil production surges by 6.43% month-over-mont, and there's hardly an increase in flaring
  • flaring is still incredibly low compared to the high in 2011, when oil production was much lower
  • pundits will continue to say one-third of natural gas is flared in North Dakota, which is untrue
  • the slight rise in flared natural gas was not due to pace of drilling or completion activity
  • almost the entire increase, though minimal, was due to processing plant issues
  • infrastructure is improving
  • operators are drilling/completing wells where natural gas lines exist
  • operators have defined the limits and sweet spots of the Bakken
  • operators are defining the limits and sweet spots of the Three Forks
  • almost all acreage is now held by production; there is no urgency to place wells where it does not make sense
  • almost all acreage is now held by production; there is no urgency to place wells where there are no natural gas gathering systems
  • folks over at the TR&E board will now see that operators are less likely to drill on their acreage if natural gas processing systems are not in place
  • electrical failures? this to me suggests issues with the grid; and that brings me back to the additional transmission lines that need to be put in place, including the one going through the Killdeer Mountains
With regard to natural gas production:
  • June: 28 million cubic feet
  • July: 30 million cubic feet
  • Increase in natural gas production, month-over-month: 7.41%
  • 21 million cubic feet sold (assuming 70% of production was sold; 30% was flared)
According to The Director's Cut: $3.09/MCF = $3,090/million cubic feet x 21 million thousand = $65,000,000 of natural gas sold. Folks can check the math; I generally make a lot of simple math errors.

On the other hand, 27 million bbls of crude oil was sold for almost $100/bbl = $2.7 billion.

If 9 million MCF was flared, that means about $30 million flared.

As I've said before, I can't get my arms around these numbers. So, let's drop some of the zeroes. $2.7 million in crude oil; $30,000 in natural gas. $30,000 in crude oil; $30 in natural gas. I'm sure the math is off but that's good enough for me. It helps put things into perspective.

I assume Debbie Downer uses TR&E as her consultant and fact-checker.

Assad, Putin Slow Roll The Obama Administration; Play Rope-A-Dope; Unrealistic Demands From A Community Organizer; No Wonder Vladimir Appears More Credible

I honestly don't remember such consistent dithering by any administration on any issue. I thought the Keystone XL was an outlier. Hardly.

"Lurch" notes:
“There are timelines in here and it’s an ambitious goal,” Kerry said at a press conference with Lavrov in the hotel where negotiations took place.
It looks like simooms are blowing away that red line in the sand

The earliest the chemical weapons will be destroyed is mid-2014.

Do you remember how those "turn in your guns" in Los Angeles and other big American cities work out? Yup. Folks turn in all their ancient, non-working guns for $20 or more, but they keep their working guns. The same thing is going to happen in Syria. A year from now (maybe that soon), the AP and CBS will have a big article with photos and videos of Syrian chemical weapons going up in flames. Yup. All the chemical weapons that have expired. Meanwhile, countries that make chemical weapons for export will continue; after all, with all those expired canisters going up in flames, the inventory needs to be replenished.

And so it goes.


But this is the bigger story.

The US gives Syria one week to come up with itemized list of chemical weapons. In a war zone.

Our country, the United States of America, can't even get out a weekly unemployment claims number that is correct. What a joke. 

I can't make this stuff up.

How SmartPhones Are Changing The World: Example #34,987

Yesterday my wife was in south Los Angeles (San Pedro, to be exact) enjoying the Lobster Fest with a friend. (By the way, look at that URL: I would have thought Boston or Maine would have gotten the URL first. URLs may be the new way cities and states define themselves.)

She saw deco scarves for sale, photographed them on her iPhone, and sent the photo to our granddaughters asking if they would be interested.

From my wife:
[The seven-year-old] called back a few minutes later and chose the purple one with star, while [the ten-year-old] chose the blue one with gem stone.  They were thrilled.  :-)
So, this entrepreneur in Los Angeles made two sales to two granddaughters living in Dallas, all in about 90 seconds. 

Anyone who says smart phones are not increasing American productivity continue to look in all the wrong places. This is one entrepreneur whose productivity will increase due to 21st century technology. She can thank Steve. As in Jobs.

The big story: the technology was used by a grandmother who says she has few technical skills to use computers, smart phones. Can you imagine what millennials can do with their tech skills?

Catty Observation To Start The Day

My hunch is two MDW readers saw this story about Denver's growth:
Denver has been hovering in Boulder's start-up-scene shadow, but the "little sister" city has been drawing its own star power of late.
"It feels like it's in the new frontier of the entrepreneurial hot spots," says Chris Myers, co-founder of BodeTree, a venture-backed start-up that provides financial analysis and reporting tools for small businesses.
Myers had been living in Phoenix up until recently, when he relocated to join his business partner in Denver. The company's headquarters are located in downtown Denver in a building originally constructed in 1865.
Read the entire article. See if you can see what one reader noted.

Can't see it.

Search for the following word in that article: oil.

Okay, search for the following word in that article: energy.

How can a writer write about growth in Denver and not mention oil or energy.

In the "old days"; in the 1980's US oil boom, there were two cities synonymous with oil (and penny stocks): Houston and Denver.

This reporting is so bad, I was curious about the writer. This is what I sent Don:
Your note got me curious. This is the writer's background:

She has a college degree and that's about it. It looks like she has never been west of the Hudson River. (The map below shows the location of the Hudson River.)

I sold myself short. I should have promoted MDW as the leading authority on the Bakken, and then marketed the blog to some NYC publishing company. Wow, I blew it. I could have hired TR&E as consultants.
Even she knows how weak her degree is; she calls herself an entrepreneur.

Another Random Thought On North Dakota's New Production Record

Whether or not production continues to increase, the Enbridge and BNSF folks proved that North Dakota has the capacity to ship 850,000 bopd out of the state. Huge. And refiners are buying all of it.

In fact, if production drops a bit, one can assume transportation costs will drop a bit also as CBR competes with pipe.

The Accolades Will Roll In All Week

Rigzone/Reuters get things rolling with this report:
Oil production in North Dakota hit a new record high in July as oil companies brought more wells online once summer rains stopped, the state regulator said.
Output in July jumped by 55,000 barrels per day from the month before, to just below 875,000 bpd, monthly data issued by the North Dakota Industrial Commission's Oil and Gas Division showed on Friday.
Most of the new production came from the Bakken and Three Forks shale formations where drillers are using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technologies to tap the state's massive oil resources.
Companies produced slightly more than 810,000 bpd of oil from the Bakken shale in July.
"Slightly more"? I guess the writer was a bit confused. Two sentences earlier he/she used the verb "jumped." Whatever.

I suppose it is confusing for some folks. By this time "we" were supposed to be in the industrial phase of drilling/production in which the rate of growth would flatten.

In fact, the increase from 810,000 to 875,000 bopd month-over-month after seven years of drilling in the North Dakota Bakken boom is not only huge in raw numbers, but it is even bigger when one notes that, at 6.43% it is the largest increase in two years in month-over-month production.

I'm as surprised as anyone; I expected a 2% rise at most. 

A Whole New Meaning To Road Trains -- The Aussies Will Love This

When I read this story, the first thing I did was check the "list of 38."

Nope, Axion is not on the list.

Wow, this is another great story. It is absolutely impressive with what folks can imagine. I was thinking about that yesterday while sitting in Starbucks. In the Belmont, Massachusetts, Starbucks I used to visit often, they talked of politics. Here in Grapevine, Texas, every table, it seemed was filled with folks talking business deals, plans, strategies. It was really quite interesting.

But I digress.

Take a look at this story. It was probably developed on the back of a napkin in some coffee shop in Kentucky.

Rigzone is reporting:
A battery technology used to power locomotives can now fuel Class 8 heavy trucks, helping reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 65 percent.
New Castle, Penn.-based Axion Power International Inc. and ePower Engine Systems LLC of Florence, Kentucky are collaborating to offer Axion’s PbC batteries and ePower’s battery management system – which has been used in locomotives – to help power Class 8 heavy trucks.
Axion CEO Thomas Granville told Rigzone that the technology has applications for a number of industries that rely on Class 8 heavy trucks – or trucks weighing between 70,000 and 150,000 pounds – including the oil and gas industry. Granville said the company is working with several oil and gas companies, road truck fleet owners and original engine manufacturers that provide engine components to supply this technology for use in Class 8 heavy trucks.  
The combination of Axion’s PbC batteries with ePower’s hybrid system – in which electric hybrid 18-wheelers are retrofitted from standard internal combustion engines to series diesel electric hybrid drive train systems that include a string 56 PbC batteries – ePower estimates that fuel consumption can be reduced by approximately 35 percent.
A series electric drive truck does not have a mechanical link between the engine and wheels – the engine instead runs a generator, which powers an electric motor. Fuel efficiency is boosted by running the engine at peak revolutions per minute, eliminating the need for complex heavy truck transmissions while delivering the motor’s instant peak torque.
Road Trains in Western Australia

And, of course, regular readers know I would be posting this:

Lights On The Hill, Slim Dusty

Yes, Axion Power has a website.

Slow-Rolling In The Bakken

Related posts:
Do you remember the generous offer by a North Dakota rancher to swap land near the national park for land of equal value somewhere else? See posts above.

It looks like no progress has been made. I didn't bother to read the entire story, but my hunch is the Feds haven't even begun the search. The whole thing is an example of how the Feds will slow-roll the process. It only gives the activist environmental wackos a chance to organize. I think a lot of folks learned that lesson. Again.

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
A Montana businessman said Friday that he's resuming plans to mine gravel near Theodore Roosevelt's historic North Dakota ranch, saying the federal government hasn't yet come up with other land for him to mine.
Roger Lothspeich and his fiancee, Peggy Braunberger, of Miles City, Mont., signed an agreement in July 2012 with the U.S. Forest Service to work out an exchange for other federal land or mineral rights at a different location. But Lothspeich told The Associated Press on Friday that no trade proposals have been made so he's dusted off his original plan.
“We got no choice but to move forward,” Lothspeich said. “I can't believe it's taken more than a year to find a parcel with gravel on it in the million acres of federal land in North Dakota.”
The proposal to mine 25 acres of land just a mile from Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch cabin is threatening what government agencies and conservation groups have hailed that land as the “cradle of conservation.” 
If the gravel mine actually comes to fruition, they ought to put a big sign up: "Gateway to the Bakken." 

How big is 25 acres? A mile square is 640 acres (one section). Twenty-five acres is less than 4% of one section. Twenty five acres is a million square feet.

And some folks aren't worried about the Feds taking over the process for oil and gas permitting in North Dakota. Wow. 

[Update, January 7, 2015: link here.]

... And The Geico Rock Award Goes To ...

... Devon Shire over at SeekingAlpha who observed the day before the Director's Cut came out that Bakken oil production was decreasing.

In fact, North Dakota oil production surged 6.4% month-over-month, perhaps the best monthly increase in two years. In fact, it's a bigger story than most folks realize.

Right, wrong, or indifferent, Devon probably should have waited one day before posting, to see what the July figures would be.

Sometimes it's all about timing.

But at least he/she has the Geico Rock Award on his/her mantel.