- day 1: rail vs pipeline
- day 2: natural gas and NGLs with focus on minimizing flaring
January 29 - 30, 2014, Denver, Colorado. Register by Friday, November 15, 2014, and save $400.
Insurers say the federal health-care marketplace is generating flawed data that is straining their ability to handle even the trickle of enrollees who have gotten through so far, in a sign that technological problems extend further than the website traffic and software issues already identified.
Emerging errors include duplicate enrollments, spouses reported as children, missing data fields and suspect eligibility determinations, say executives at more than a dozen health plans. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Nebraska said it had to hire temporary workers to contact new customers directly to resolve inaccuracies in submissions. Medical Mutual of Ohio said one customer had successfully signed up for three of its plans.
The flaws could do lasting damage to the law if customers are deterred from signing up or mistakenly believe they have obtained coverage.
As U.S. officials warned that the technology behind Obamacare might not be ready to launch on October 1, the administration was pouring tens of millions of dollars more than it had planned into the federal website meant to enroll Americans in the biggest new social program since the 1960s.
A Reuters review of government documents shows that the contract to build the federal Healthcare.gov online insurance website - key to President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform - tripled in potential total value to nearly $292 million as new money was assigned to the work beginning in April this year.
The increase coincided with warnings from federal and state officials that the information technology underlying the online marketplaces, or exchanges, where people could buy Obamacare health insurance was in trouble. In March, Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer at the lead Obamacare agency, said at an insurance-industry meeting that he was "pretty nervous" about the exchanges being ready by October 1, adding, "let's just make sure it's not a third-world experience." At the same event, his colleague Gary Cohen said, "Everyone recognizes that day one will not be perfect."That was an understatement. Not only was opening day not perfect, by all standards it was a failure. I'm not sure it even measured up to a third-world experience.
All of this natural gas regulatory stuff can be complex (and boring) enough to be confined to the interested and the nerdy. But here’s all you really need to know in just one paragraph.
In the first period (1954-70) prices were legally held too low to bring enough gas to market. That cheap gas caused a lot of demand to grow, especially after the Clean Air Act got a lot of coal plants to switch to natural gas, but the nation ran out of gas.
In the second period (1970-79), end-users were legally told whether or not they could use gas, having to go to Washington to get permission. You can imagine how well that worked out.
Then in the third period (1979-93), Congress tried to fix things, didn’t quite know what they were doing, and ended up with a huge, complicated, subsidized pricing structure. And the way pipelines bought gas under that structure led to an artificial oversupply (a lot of gas had been developed because a legal tilt of the playing field let it be sold for much more than it was really worth). We called that the gas bubble.
Then, as the government/legal side of things got fixed finally, in the early 1990s, the market took advantage of that oversupply without recognizing that the oversupply depended on the tilted pricing structure that didn't exist anymore--so supply wasn't being replenished. Basically, it was like living on savings instead of income, and predictably it ran out. That’s when we had the price run-up and volatility everyone remembers in the early 2000s.The world is completely different now. Today we have a demand market that is free to use gas to the extent it wants, at a given price. We have producers who are free to develop more by drilling and completing as the demand market asks for it, enabled by technology (shale development) to do so in a smoother, more immediate response than was possible in the days of the monster offshore fields.
Feeble investment in Germany by the country's own business sector is one of the biggest economic headaches facing Chancellor Angela Merkel as she forms a new coalition government for her third term, following last month's elections.
Companies' anemic appetite for investing at home has been puzzling German officials and economists this year. Many hoped that investment would pick up once the outcome of September's election was clear. But a Wall Street Journal survey of German blue-chip companies indicates that the problem runs deeper.
Lack of sales growth in Germany and Europe, now and in companies' expectations for coming years, is deterring many corporations from increasing their investment spending in Germany, where capital expenditure has sunk to near-historic lows as a share of gross domestic product.You find the reason:
High production costs—especially high energy prices in Germany compared with the U.S. and some European or emerging economies—and lingering uncertainty about the longer-term cohesion of the euro zone are also commonly cited reasons for holding back on domestic investment.