Saturday, July 15, 2017

US Economy -- Making America Great Again -- July 15, 2017

A few days ago I said that if I had the time I would come back to this story:
Connecting dots: if I'm in the mood later this weekend, I will blog a stand-along post on this very interesting phenomenon.
This is how it all started, this paragraph buried in a long RBN Energy post:
Potentially even more significant than the recent impact of the SPR is the outlook for future draws at the reserve. In addition to the Section 404 and 21st Century Cures Act withdrawals discussed above, Congress also has authorized additional SPR withdrawals in 2018-25.
Section 403 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 directs the DOE to sell a total of 58 MMbbl over that period, starting with 5 MMbbl in 2018, with the resulting revenue to go to the Treasury Department’s general fund.
And the Fix America’s Surface Transportation Act, signed into law by President Obama in December 2016, calls for a total of 66 MMbbl to be sold from the SPR in 2023-25. Figure 3 shows the planned SPR drawdowns over the next eight years.
Obama's Fix America's Surface Transportation Act: FAST. Literally signed into law the very last month of President Obama's presidency.

Two interesting links follow from the above:
Personal communication with worker at a specialty heavy truck manufacturer in Portland Oregon:
  • orders higher than usual in April, May time frame; backlog building; may need to increase workforce
  • normally, orders "come in" in the fall, so this is unusual to get so many new orders at this time
  • directly related to states across the US ordering more heavy trucks for all the highways being built; expanded; re-surfaced; etc
But this was the kicker: the individual reported that the company did not make the decision to go forward with increased production UNTIL after Trump was elected president. The company apparently waited until the election outcome to decide whether to increase production.

I learned of the Portland story a week or so before I read the blurb in the RBN Energy post, so I was keeping my eye out for collaborating information. It was interesting to find it buried in an RBN Energy post. So much fun.


  1. Obama has to be the most anti-business president of all time.

    Here's how his jihad against American business affected me.

    Other than still being in the royalty check-signing business, I have been retired from the daily grind of oil and gas operations for many moons now.

    After leaving the oil field I became involved in the buying and selling of art and antiques. But even in that business Obama's draconian regulatons managed to have an adverse effect on me. With the stroke of his imperial president's pen, he wiped out billions of dollars of private property.

    --- Antique dealers say the new federal ivory ban will cost owners up to $12 billion ---

    I cannot imagine what it was like to conduct any kind of heavy industrial operations under the Obama regime. It must have been pure hell.

    1. You know, it's interesting. I often think I'm being too harsh on President Obama -- worried about what others might think. I've "moderated" my comments, in general, when it comes to Obama but you have no idea how much I detested him on so many levels. I would write more but don't want to turn the blog into a political blog.

      Having said that, I find it amazing that so few seem to understand the damage he did to the American economy. People blame Trump that he is not keeping his campaign pledges but it is Congress who seems to be slow-rolling the president as well as the American population in general. Certainly by now we should have had much more Congressional action. My biggest concern now is whether Trump will be a one-term president. It's been refreshing to have a non-career politician in the White House. Idle chatter.

    2. --- Texas Farm Bureau: Combs nominated as assistant Interior secretary ---

      "Former Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has been nominated to serve as the assistant secretary of the Interior for policy, management and budget by President Donald Trump.

      Combs is from a cattle ranching family and served in the Texas House of Representatives before being elected as the state’s first female agriculture commissioner in 1998. She served two terms in that position before being elected Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

      Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening cheered the nomination.

      “Susan Combs has an extensive career in elected public office, the private sector and agriculture,” Boening said. “She believes in fiscally-responsible government and transparency. Her years of practical experience will be invaluable in her new oversight role in the department of Interior.”

      Not everyone in Texas, however, is happy about Combs' nomination:

      --- Susan Combs Joins Trump’s Assault on the Endangered Species Act: Former Texas Comptroller nominated to be assistant secretary of the interior ---

      "While the national news media has been fixated on President Donald Trump’s Russian connections, failures on tax and health care revisions, and the lack of his promised border wall, his administration has been building a U.S. Department of Interior team to effectively dismantle the Endangered Species Act. Trump’s latest addition is the appointment of former Texas Comptroller Susan Combs as assistant secretary of interior for policy, management, and budget.

      A Vassar College graduate from a ranching family in Brewster County, Combs is no stranger to the critter versus people wars. Combs has been vocal in her opposition to how the Endangered Species Act, signed into law by President Nixon in 1973, has been implemented....

      Fundamentally, for Combs, this has meant the federal government puts animals ahead of property owner rights. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, which administers the act, is an agency within the Department of Interior."

    3. Again, the concern is whether Congress will codify any of the changes his departments make (like the Department of Interior); otherwise, the changes are simply temporary and the next administration can change things back to where they were. On the other hand, I suppose, one can argue, if nothing else this provides a window of opportunity for some things to actually get done in the next couple of years.

  2. If trading ivory means killing more elephants, not ok. Just IMO.

    1. Like so much in the Obama administration, there was so much more to the story.