Sunday, June 25, 2017

It Just Doesn't Quit -- Making America Great Again -- June 25, 2017

A huge "hat tip" to a reader for sending me this link to the WSJ article: "The Shale Revolution's Staggering Impact In Just One Word: Plastics: Petrochemicals, once simply a cheap byproduct, are powering a U.S. manufacturing boom and export bonanza."

If I could write, this is the article I would have written.

Carter: cardigan sweaters.

Obama: we can't just drill our way to cheaper gasoline.

Businesswomen and businessmen (Elon Musk, Aubrey McLendon, Harold Hamm): taking risks to make America great again.

From the linked article:
When new parents in Rio de Janeiro buy baby food in plastic containers, they are bringing home a little piece of the U.S. shale revolution.

That boom in drilling has expanded the output of oil and gas in the U.S. more than 57% in the past decade, lowering prices for the primary ingredients Dow Chemical Co. DOW -0.56% uses to make tiny plastic pellets. Some of the pellets are exported to Brazil, where they are reshaped into the plastic pouches filled with puréed fruits and vegetables.

Tons more will be shipping soon as Dow completes $8 billion in new and expanded U.S. petrochemical facilities mostly along the Gulf of Mexico over the next year, part of the industry’s largest transformation in a generation.

The scale of the sector’s investment is staggering: $185 billion in new U.S. petrochemical projects are in construction or planning.
Last year, expenditures on chemical plants alone accounted for half of all capital investment in U.S. manufacturing, up from less than 20% in 2009.
Integrated oil firms including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC are racing to take advantage of the cheap byproducts of the oil and gas being unlocked by shale drilling. The companies are expanding petrochemical units that produce the materials eventually used to fashion car fenders, smartphones, shampoo bottles and other plastic stuff being bought more and more by the world’s burgeoning middle classes.
Much, much more at the link.

Earlier today, another reader send me the link to this Bloomberg story:  Trump to Call for U.S. ‘Dominance’ in Global Energy Production. After reading the article, I replied to the reader:
  • unlike Obama, Trump really will mean "all the above" -- not just intermittent energy like Obama
  • it will take many, many years, possibly decades but energy is going to separate the US from the rest of the world --- unless the US elects another "Obama" president
  • I'm still waiting for Keystone XL action
  • within the continental US, there will be winners and losers among states, and in most cases, the losers can blame it on self-inflicted policy mistakes. States like NY will suffer due to a) bad energy policies; and, b) bad tax policy
  • California is likely to accelerate self-inflicted injuries -- add the bullet train to bad energy policies and bad tax policy
  • winners: Texas, Louisiana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, North Dakota
  • Colorado? Depends whether they take the road to California or the road to Texas 
From the linked Bloomberg article:
With “Energy Week,” Trump is returning to familiar territory -- and to the coal, oil, and gas industries on which he’s already lavished attention. Trump’s first major policy speech on the campaign trail, delivered in the oil drilling hotbed of North Dakota in 2016, focused on his plans for unleashing domestic energy production.
The issue has also been a major focus during Trump’s first five months in office, as he set in motion the reversal of an array of Obama-era policies that discourage both the production and consumption of fossil fuels.

Yes, Sir, I Can Boogie, a factory is its people, not its bricks

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