Now that gay marriage is legal, employers are telling their employees they need to be married for their partners to be eligible for health (and other) benefits.
With the incredible Amtrak disaster on the northeast corridor (train traveling from Washington, DC, to NYC via Philadelphia last night) it's time to slow passenger trains to 5 mph across the entire US. Flying down the tracks at 20 mph is criminal. More people were killed in that one "accident," than have been killed in the US by Bakken CBR.
Hawaii's ObamaCare exchange has imploded.
In its first year, Hawaii enrolled only 8,592 individuals – meaning it spent almost $23,899 on its website for each individual enrolled. Currently over 37,000 individuals are enrolled in Hawaii’s exchange - well below the estimated 70,000 enrollees that is required to make the website financially viable. Unfortunately, taxpayers will have to hand out an additional $30 million so that Hawaii can migrate to the federal system.
This is not the first time that a state exchange has failed, and taken millions of dollars in federal funds down with it. Earlier this year, Oregon’s state exchange was officially abolished at an estimated cost of $41 million. Cover Oregon, as it used to be known received $305 million in funds from HHS but failed to produce a workable website months after the 2013 November deadline.EIA daily "energy cookie":
If ethanol plant yields per bushel of corn in 2014 had remained at 1997 levels (when ethanol made up just 1% of the total U.S. motor gasoline supply), the ethanol industry would have needed to grind an additional 343 million bushels, or 7% more corn, to produce the same volume of fuel. To supply this incremental quantity of corn without withdrawing bushels from other uses would have required 2.2 million additional acres of corn to be cultivated, an area roughly equivalent to half the land area of New Jersey. ---EIA
Airline loadings down in North Dakota except for .... drum roll .... Williston and Bismarck.
I track active rigs here. I believe this (83) is a new post-boom low.
The Year of Deals
First Noble buys Rosetta, now Williams Companies buys its subsidiary Williams Partners. Partners surges.
Energy company Williams Companies is buying its subsidiary Williams Partners L.P. in a stock deal worth about $13.8 billion. The deal, expected to close in the third quarter, is expected to generate adjusted profit of about $5.4 billion in 2016. It will pay a third-quarter dividend of 64 cents per share.
Comment: at $60 oil and rising, it's possible the "reset" button was set.
Another comment and reminder: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment or financial decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here. This is also not a weather site, but be advised there are warnings of more flash flooding in Texas. This is also not a travel site but rail travel along the northeast corridor may be disrupted this morning. If this information is important to you, go to the source. This is also not a global warming site, but for those updating their Yahoo calendars, this might be a good time to note that it's going to be really, really hot on July 4, 2053, due to global warming. On Venus. Finally, be prepared for another announcement from Goldman Sachs that oil will drop to $20/bbl by the end of this week.
While there is talk of deferred well completions and shut-ins, it has yet to translate to a slowdown in production volumes in the Northeast region. Our analysis suggests that barring record-high demand, the region will struggle to balance growing supplies this summer with potentially dramatic consequences for prices.
Today RBN concludes its analysis of the Northeast gas supply/demand balance.
In Part 1 of this series RBN showed how Northeast production growth thus far has largely been accommodated by pushing out traditional supply flows into the region. That cushion has now been used up and will not be available this summer. As a result, incremental production growth this year needs to find about 3.5 Bcf/d of additional demand in order to prevent widespread supply congestion and the prospect of a price meltdown.
In Part 2, RBN assessed the ability for regional storage and consumption to absorb the incremental supply. On the storage front, RBN found that even record injections and filling storage to capacity would soak up no more than 0.5 Bcf/d of incremental demand. On the consumption side, power burn shows the most promise, given gas-fired electric generation capacity additions, coal plant retirements and competitively low natural gas prices. But RBN Energy calculated that even a quite optimistic demand growth scenario would bring only about 1.2 Bcf/d of incremental demand, again not enough to offset the 3.5 Bcf/d of additional supply. If both storage and power burn achieved these lofty volumes, combined they would offset at most 1.7 Bcf/d of production.
So it’s clear that the regional balance this summer depends on outflows and new demand sources outside the region. That brings us to today’s discussion of the third balancing item: outflows. RBN Energy looks first at additional takeaway capacity added since last summer, and then wrap up with a discussion of the net effect of storage, power and outflows, including high and low demand scenarios.
Much, much more at the link.
Reuters is reporting:
U.S. retail sales were flat in April as households cut back on purchases of automobiles and other big-ticket items, indicating the economy was struggling to rebound strongly after barely growing in the first quarter.
The weak retail sales report from the Commerce Department, and other data on Wednesday showing the 10th straight month of declining import prices in April, suggest little urgency for the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates.
While March's retail sales were revised up to show a 1.1 percent increase instead of the previously reported 0.9 percent rise, that was not enough to offset the general weak tone of the report. Economists had forecast sales rising 0.2 percent in April.
And that's why oil is up today: the falling dollar. Nothing else. Simple as that.Futures markets continued to show that traders do not expect an interest rate hike until December at the earliest. The dollar fell to session lows against the euro and Swiss franc, and approached a near one-week low versus the yen.
And, now, off to breakfast with my lovely wife. Off the net for awhile.