Representatives of the oil and gas industry described federal leasing delays, which they consider unnecessary, on onshore public lands during an Aug. 2 US House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing.I loved the federal government's response:
Policies enacted after US President Barack Obama took office have made it harder for producers to operate on federal lands, said Kathleen Sgamma, government affairs director for the Western Energy Alliance of Denver, a regional association of independents.
“Producers struggle to navigate additional bureaucratic barriers on federal lands, while many avoid federal lands at all costs because it’s just too difficult to realize any return on investment within a reasonable time frame,” Sgamma said.
Federal officials suggested market forces could play as big a role as policies in keeping US onshore oil and gas production on public lands from growing as fast as production on private and state acreage.I read that response several times, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out what "market forces" could possible differentiate between public land and private land, all things being equal? I can only surmise that Representative Jessie Jackson mailed in that comment.
This may be the most incredible speech I've heard in a long time (except for the president's infamous one-liner).
"Let them eat cake."
It's August. Aren't they all on vacation?
The permitorium continues.
Speaking of vacations. This is a great story at The Atlantic. No-Vacation Nation: Why Americans Don't Know How To Take a Break.
The United States has no vacation policy -- and neither do families, judging from surveys of workers' time off. Are we doing it wrong?[I can't make this stuff up. "The United States has no vacation policy." It doesn't? The Federal government most certainly has a vacation policy: 30 days paid leave. Weekends don't have to count. Holidays don't have to count. With careful planning, one can easily work in 60 days of paid leave every year while serving in the military (see exception below). Fridays after Thanksgiving Thursday are generally "down days." The last weekday of the month is a "down day" for fighter squadrons. One week between Christmas and Ramadan (if it fell in January/February) was always a "down week."]
The United States has no vacation policy -- and neither do families, judging from surveys of workers' time off. Are we doing it wrong?Another writer who doesn't "get it." The writer asks if the US is doing something wrong? The most productive nation on earth (well, maybe second, or third, or fourth, but well ahead of France) takes the fewest vacations according to "official" data.
I knew from the time I was in second grade that vacations were too long, left us all too exhausted, and Dad too broke -- maybe there's a reason Americans don't take two-week vacations any more. My hunch is that money Americans used to use to finance vacations is now used to pay federal income taxes, social security taxes, and Medicare taxes -- all of which will be going up next year. But I digress.
But, it is interesting that even those who have money left over after paying taxes, choose not to take vacations even if their company provides the opportunity (see the linked article). I don't know if it was the majority of military personnel, but "most" military personnel I served with purposely did not take all their annual vacation. (I am not including those on 6-month, and 12-month deployments in a combat zone.) Everyone had multiple reasons.
But, "work" for many, not all, is no longer the drudgery that it was in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. For many of us today, work is actually a rewarding endeavor; some folks have trouble dealing with weekends. Some folks are rejuvenated after a nice Friday night - Sunday afternoon getaway and don't need a two-week break in which another two weeks is required to recuperate.
I used to subscribe to The Atlantic; it was one of my favorite magazines, and I will read almost anything if it's good writing, but I have to admit, I'm glad I'm not paying for an annual subscription when I see articles like this.