You all probably know more about the mid-term results nationally than i do, but i have caught wind of stories on some of what might result from it...Mitch McConnell of Koaltucky, who presumably will be the new majority leader in the Senate, says his top priority will be to reign in the EPA and overturn their regulations limiting atmospheric carbon emissions, whereas the word from the House is that the first bill Boehner will attempt to pass will strip the State Department of responsibility for Keystone and approve its construction immediately...since a number of Democrats also support Keystone, it's thought that an override of a presidential veto, if it would even be forthcoming, is now possible...in the controversial "free trade" agreements currently being negotiated by the administration, where Obama's attempts to get fast track authority has been blocked by Senate Democrats, it's thought that the Republican majority would be more likely to allow these business friendly agreements that would mandate exports of our gas and oil to be completed and signed behind closed doors without a public hearing...if these trade agreements are completed to form, all the local fracking bans just passed will eventually be subject to adjudication by an international investor-state trade tribunal stuffed with appointees from the multinational corporations....another issue favored by the new majority is the privatization of public lands, either through turning them over to the states or through direct sale...so apparently what we've seen with Judge Grendell and the Geauga Park District is just the tip of the iceberg...
The most important international news effecting the US oil industry came early in the week when Saudi Arabia unilaterally raised prices of its light sweet crude oil for sale to Europe and Asia, while they lowered prices for the US...the Saudis didn't say why - they seldom do - leading to widespread speculation that they might be deliberately trying to undercut tar sands and shale oil producers in N.America...however, the Saudis may just be trying to hold their market share against other OPEC producers, or there may even be a geopolitical motive or deal in their move - Obama announced he'd be sending more troops to Iraq shortly thereafter, as ISIS Jihadists apparently have crossed the Saudi border with that country...whatever the case, lower prices are apparently already having an impact on US producers; the count of oil rigs operating in the US fell by another 14 this week to 1568, down from a high of 1609 four weeks ago...if lower oil prices persist, we can expect more drillers, especially those that are well capitalized, to fold up shop and wait it out.
Before we start with Ohio related news, I'll call your attention to an anti-fracking animated video that ran on “The Simpsons" this week; note that those in favor of fracking are portrayed as evil or dumb, while the opponents are lucid and understand the implications of it...it may seem a bit silly to have these issues aired at the level of a cartoon, but when you look at the widespread ignorance obvious in the voting just two days later, it may be that this kind of media is the only way to get through to the majority...
- Trade blog notes trend of heat turned up on FERC, even publishes the FERC Rubber Stamp song: click here.
- Reportback on 124 cumulative arrests in 5 actions: click here.
- EcoWatch covers the MondayMorning arrests at FERC in DC: click here.
- Photos from click here. at FERC in DC:
- Democracy Now features the arrests at Seneca Lake: click here.
- Reportback click here. arrests at Cove Point construction site in Maryland:
- Capitol NY article on Port Ambrose opposition gearing up on Long Island: click here.
- Vermont Governor buys pizza for protestors before arresting them:click here.
- Climate marchers arrive in DC after 8 months and 3000 miles:click here.
- Reportbacks on three arrested in Rhode Island for sit in at Senator Reed’s office: click here.