Sunday, March 9, 2014

Gasoline Prices To Surge In California (Greenhouse Emissions Law); ObamaCare Cost Shifting -- Six Years Into ObamaNation

Two stories from Yahoo!Finance that caught my eye this evening, for the archives.

My California brother-in-law has complained about the high cost of gasoline for the past several years. In general, it seems gasoline is about 75 cents to a dollar/gallon more expensive in California than in Texas. Just out of curiosity what does the "price map" show? In San Pedro, $4.05/gallon. In Grapevine, TX, $3.29.

The AP is reporting that gas prices may jump in California due to new emissions law:
California's greenhouse gas reduction law already has shaken up the state's industrial sector, costing it more than $1.5 billion in pollution permit fees.
It's now poised to hit the pocketbooks of everyday Californians.
Starting next year, the law will force fuel distributors into the same cap-and-trade marketplace as utilities and major manufacturers. The oil industry says it will lead to price increases of at least 12 cents a gallon immediately, while state regulators say any price spikes could vary widely, from barely noticeable to double-digits.
Anticipating angst at the pump, a leading state lawmaker is raising concerns about the uncertainty of the law's impact on prices for consumer fuels, including gasoline, natural gas, propane and heating oil. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, says the state should scrap the plan to put fuel producers under the cap-and-trade provision of the law and instead institute a 15 cent-per-gallon "carbon tax."
I assume the local corner service station will hike gasoline prices anyway and then blame the "carbon tax" for the jump in gasoline prices.


This is interesting. A few days ago while in the Bakken I overheard a couple of oil workers talking about "1099-jobs." I posted a note to that effect. Now, The Los Angeles Times has a Q&A on the subject. Here's the question:
Dear Liz: I just received my tax forms from my employer for last year. I was originally a W-2 employee, paid hourly, as a receptionist. But it seems that at some point during the year, my employer changed me to a 1099 employee without telling me or having me fill out paperwork. After researching the characteristics of a 1099 employee, I found I do not qualify at all. I am upset that I will have to pay taxes on this income, since I thought they were being withheld from my pay. Do I have any recourse?
I love the answer:
Answer: Your employer has put you in an impossible situation. If you tell the truth, you'll tip off the IRS to the company's deception, which could put your job in danger. If you go along with the lie, you'll have to pay your boss' share of taxes in addition to your own.
"The good news is the IRS is really busy and probably won't [audit your employer] for a couple of years," said Eva Rosenberg, an enrolled agent who runs the TaxMama site. "By then, you should have a better job elsewhere."
And then this:
Some employers pretend that their employees are independent contractors as a way to reduce the company tax burden and perhaps dodge new health insurance requirements. It's a scam that tax authorities are keen to uncover and penalize.
Not always. Often it is not a scam. There are legitimate reasons for "1099-jobs" and with ObamaCare we will probably see more of them. Just one of the unintended consequences. But don't you just love the "TaxMama site" answer: "...the IRS is really busy and probably won't audit your employer for a couple of years. By then you should have a better job elsewhere."

[Note: I would assume that sometime during the year the pay stub would have shown significant changes in tax withholding, social security payments, and Medicare payments.]

EOG Will Report Four Huge Wells In The Bakken Monday

Monday, March 10, 2014
  • 23516, 393, Petro-Hunt, L. Hoiby 159-94-30C-19-3H, North Tioga, t12/13; cum 22K 1/14,
  • 25528, drl, Zavanna, Sylvester 32-29 1H, Springbrook, no production data,
  • 25939, 683, Hess, LK-Thomas 145-97-3625H-2, Little Knife, t12/13; cum 23K 1/14;
  • 23151, 597, Slawson, Phazor 1-1-12H, Bully, t11/13; cum 22K 1/14;
Sunday, March 9, 2014
  • 23877, drl, CLR, Juneau 4-11H, Brooklyn, no production data,
  • 25103, 1,721, EOG, Liberty 26-1319H, Parshall, t10/13; cum 93K 1/14;
  • 25118, 1,807, EOG, Van Hook 32-1202H, Parshall, t11/13; cum 68K 1/14;
  • 25119, 1,222, EOG, Van Hook 31-1202H, Parshall, t11/13; cum 78K 1/14;
  • 25238, 2,262, EOG, Fertile 50-0509H, Parshall, t9/13; cum 125K 1/14;
  • 25333, drl, XTO, Martin Federal 21X-33A, Cedar Coulee, no production data,
  • 25498, drl, HRC, State 157-100-29A-32-2H, Marmon, no production data,
  • 25801, drl, HRC, Fort berthold 147-94-3B-10-7TFH, McGregory Buttes, no production data,
  • 25872, 492, OXY USA, Edgar Lea Weems 1-32-29H-144-97,  Little Knife, t9/13; cum 27K 12/13;
  • 26380, drl, Hess, HA-Chapin-2560-152-95-3229-3328H-1, Hawkeye, no production data,
Saturday, March 8, 2014
  • 25805, drl,  KOG, Koala Wold 153-97-1-5-29-2H, Banks, no production data,

25103, see above, EOG, Liberty 26-1319H, Parshall:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 25118, see above, EOG, Van Hook 32-1202H, Parshall:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

25119, see above, EOG, Van Hook 31-1202H, Parshall:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

25238, see above, EOG, Fertile 50-0509H, Parshall:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Sunday Morning -- March 9, 2014 -- Almost Nothing About The Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs191187206172101

Alkali Creek oil field has been updated; minor updates.

Tyrone oil field, north of Williston has been updated; minor updates. 

Moccasin Creek oil field, updated

A Note to the Granddaughters

There are few things I enjoy more than long cross-country driving. I tend to drive at 59 miles per hour so I can enjoy the scenery and prolong the drive. Paradoxically it seems the drive seems to go "faster" at 59 mph than at 80 mph. When one is driving at 80 mph, one is in a hurry to get to one's destination; it's like watching and waiting for a pot to boil. On the other hand, when one is driving 59 mph it is often because one wants to enjoy the ride, for whatever reason. [Of course, sometimes it means one has a vehicle that will not run much faster.]

My most recent cross-country trip was the return trip from the Bakken (Williston, North Dakota) to Ft Worth, Texas. I had arrived in Williston about a week earlier after driving from Los Angeles, via Las Vegas, St George, I-70, Denver, Cheyenne, Lusk (where I neglected to take a photo of the Tesla charging station), the Black Hills, and Amidon, North Dakota.

I dreaded the return trip through Nebraska. It's pretty hard to avoid Nebraska; going through Wyoming and Colorado is a bit out of the way to avoid Warren Buffett's state. I was surprised. The trip through Nebraska was much more pleasant than in the past. At least the first half was much more pleasant. On the advice of friends, I took US Highway 283 through Chadron, Nebraska, the far western north-south route through Nebraska. It was an awesome, spectacular drive -- perhaps not nearly as awesome or spectacular as 99% of the rest of the trip, but in its own way I think it's fair to use those adjectives. I particularly enjoyed watching the endless coal trains; these are unit trains that look the same at both ends; one cannot tell the front from the end. It's very possible the trains don't really do anything; it's very possible these trains do not really pick up coal nor deliver it anywhere; these unit trains may simply be going back and forth as part of a tourist / marketing effort by the state. Who's to say?

But I digress. In the past, I have taken US Highway 83 through Nebraska, and into Kansas. Today a reader sent me the link to "Highway 83 Chronicles." It looks like a relatively new blog; the first entry is dated May 17, 2013. Its most recent entry is February 27, 2014. The May 30, 2013, entry highlights a new book: The Last American Highway: A Journey Through Time Down US Route 83, by Stew Magnuson, c. 2014, and available, of course, through Amazon.

In North Dakota, US Highway 83 runs between Minot and Bismarck. I have taken it rarely. I last recall taking it three years ago, crossing Lake Sakakawea/Missouri River, about ten miles east of the Garrison Dam. I don't actually recall seeing the dam. I do recall seeing thousands of migratory birds -- mostly ducks and geese, or maybe all geese -- that early morning. It was quite incredible.

Even more incredible: all the blogs one can follow. Who would have ever thought there would be a "US Highway 83 Chronicles" blog?

Speaking of Books

Speaking of books, by the way, without a doubt, if one is looking for the "best ever" book on dinosaurs for readers of all ages (as young as five years of age and as old as 64 years of age), I heartily recommend Cruisin' The Fossil Freeway, paleontologist Kirk Johnson and artist Ray Troll, c. 2007. I picked it up at the museum in Bowman, North Dakota, last week. It was pure serendipity that I discovered this book. I believe Angel, a pampered white cat who appears not to have missed many meals, was using the book as an alternate sleeping pad in the home where I first saw the book. I have no idea what breed Angel is, but looking at one website, most likely 95% Persian. At best, she is of the "fluffy white breed" of cats. I digress.

The book is highly rated over at Amazon; all but three reviewers gave it five stars. Of the four-star reviews, these were the reasons for the loss of one star:
  • the book did not include dinosaur sites on the East Coast
  • the reviewer was a Registered Professional Geologist with a gazillion geology books
  • GPS coordinates for the dinosaur sites were not provided
I included these reviews because I wanted to comment on the GPS coordinates. It's my understanding that the last thing dinosaur hunters want to provide is the exact location of the dinosaur finds. There are so many reasons. The biggest reason is that it is often difficult for a dinosaur researcher to gain access to the private land on which the site is located. The farmers/ranchers are skittish enough about allowing even one interloper traipse over her land. I'm sure there is an agreement between both the researcher and the rancher not to reveal the site. Not to be catty, but it speaks volumes about the reviewer who complains that GPS coordinates are not provided for dinosaur sites.

To end on a positive note: the individual that might enjoy the book the most is the aspiring 7-year-old child who wants to be an artist or cartoonist when she grows up. Or is already an artist.