Category: Oil


 

Who Needs The United States? Not Russia And China

 

Russia and China have just signed what is being called “the gas deal of the century”, and the two countries are discussing moving away from the U.S. dollar and using their own currencies to trade with one another.  This has huge implications for the future of the U.S. economy, but the mainstream media in the United States is being strangely quiet about all of this.  For example, I searched CNN’s website to see if I could find something about this gas deal between Russia and China and I did not find anything.  But I did find links to “top stories” entitled “Celebs who went faux red” and “Adorable kid tugs on Obama’s ear“.  Is it any wonder why the mainstream media is dying?  If a particular story does not fit their agenda, they will simply ignore it.  But the truth is that this new agreement between Russia and China is huge.  It could end up fundamentally changing the global financial system, and not in a way that would be beneficial for the United States.

Russia and China had been negotiating this natural gas deal for ten years, and now it is finally done.  Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas on the entire planet, and China is poised to become the world’s largest economy in just a few years.  This new $400 billion agreement means that these two superpowers could potentially enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship for the next 30 years

Russia reached a $400 billion deal to supply natural gas to China through a new pipeline over 30 years, a milestone in relations between the world’s largest energy producer and the biggest consumer.

President Vladimir Putin is turning to China to bolster Russia’s economy as relations sour with the U.S. and European Union because of the crisis in Ukraine. Today’s accord, signed after more than a decade of talks, will allow state-run gas producer OAO Gazprom (GAZP) to invest $55 billion developing giant gas fields in eastern Siberia and building the pipeline, Putin said.

It’s an “epochal event,” Putin said in Shanghai after the contract was signed. Both countries are satisfied with the price, he said.

Of course countries sell oil and natural gas to each other all the time.  But what makes this deal such a potential problem for the U.S. is the fact that Russia and China are working on cutting the U.S. dollar out of the entire equation.  Just check out the following excerpt from a recent article in a Russian news source

Russia and China are planning to increase the volume of direct payments in mutual trade in their national currencies, according to a joint statement on a new stage of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation signed during high-level talks in Shanghai on Tuesday.

“The sides intend to take new steps to increase the level and expansion of spheres of Russian-Chinese practical cooperation, in particular to establish close cooperation in the financial sphere, including an increase in direct payments in the Russian and Chinese national currencies in trade, investments and loan services,” the statement said.

In my recent article entitled “De-Dollarization: Russia Is On The Verge Of Dealing A Massive Blow To The Petrodollar“, I warned about what could happen if the petrodollar monopoly ends.  In the United States, our current standard of living is extremely dependent on the rest of the world continuing to use our currency to trade with one another.  If Russia starts selling natural gas to China without the U.S. dollar being involved, that would be a monumental blow to the petrodollar.  And if other nations started following the lead of Russia and China, that could result in an avalanche from which the petrodollar may never recover.

And it isn’t just the national governments of Russia and China that are discussing moving away from the U.S. dollar.  For example, the second largest bank in Russia just signed a deal with the Bank of China “to pay each other in domestic currencies”

 

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Senators Seek To Force Approval Of Keystone XL Pipeline

Posted: 05/01/2014 4:10 pm EDT Updated: 05/01/2014 4:59 pm EDT

 

HEIDI HEITKAMP

WASHINGTON –- Senate supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline say they think they have enough votes to pass a bill that would force the approval of the controversial project. A group of 56 senators — all 45 Republicans plus 11 Democrats –- introduced legislation on Thursday that would bypass the Obama administration and grant approval for the pipeline.

Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) introduced the bill on Thursday. Democrats Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), John Walsh (D-Mont.), and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) are cosponsoring it.

Because it crosses an international border, the decision on the pipeline falls under the authority of the State Department. The State Department announced another delay on a decision last month in response to a court decision that invalidated the pipeline’s proposed route through Nebraska, saying that it would wait to decide until there is more clarity on where the pipeline will ultimately run. The legislation would grant approval to “any subsequent revision to the pipeline route” in Nebraska, without requiring further environmental analysis.

“We continue to hear delay, delay, delay from the Administration about the Keystone XL pipeline. I’m beyond sick of it,” Heitkamp said in a statement Thursday. “We have strong bipartisan support in the Senate for this project –- and I’m proud to have recruited support from 10 other Democrats last month. Now, all of those Democrats also signed onto this bill that we crafted to fully approve the construction of the Keystone pipeline. If the Administration isn’t going to make a decision on this project after more than five years, then we’ll make it for them. End of story.”

 

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Nearly 60 people killed in Iraq bomb attacks

Civilians and security forces gather at the scene of a car bomb attack in Iraq. (file photo)

Civilians and security forces gather at the scene of a car bomb attack in Iraq. (file photo)
Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:25PM GMT

 

The deadliest incident on Monday occurred in the Kurdish populated town of Khanaqin where 30 people were killed and 50 others injured after a bombing targeted a political gathering.

People had gathered to watch television footage of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani casting his ballot in Germany.

“Suddenly we heard a big explosion. I wanted to turn my car around to go back home, but I couldn’t because people were running towards me. Most of their clothes were covered in blood,” a witness said.

According to reports, 27 members of the Iraqi security forces were also killed in a series of bomb attacks across the country on the same day.

 

 

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ENERGY TECH

Ahead of Iraq polls, oil still fuelling economic hopes


by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) April 28, 2014


Iraqi forces cast ballots ahead of wider poll
Baghdad (AFP) April 27, 2014 – Iraqi soldiers and policemen vote Monday ahead of the country’s first national election since US troops left with worsening sectarian ties and fears the country is slipping into all-out conflict.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, lambasted by critics for allegedly consolidating power and targeting minority groups, is bidding for a third term in Wednesday’s polls with Iraqis frustrated over basic services, rampant corruption and high unemployment.The month-long campaign has seen Baghdad and other cities plastered with posters and decked out in bunting, as candidates have taken to the streets, staged loud rallies and challenged each other in angry debates.Attacks on candidates, election workers and political rallies have cast a shadow over the election, and parts of the country that have been out of government control for months will not see any ballots cast.Many shops in central Baghdad have been boarded up and authorities have announced a week’s public holidays to try to bolster security for the election.

Iraqis living outside of the country began voting at overseas polling centres on Sunday.

Along with members of the security forces, hospital and prison staff will also cast their ballots on Monday ahead of wider polling on April 30.

Although voters have a long list of grievances, from poor electricity and sewerage services to pervasive graft and difficulties securing jobs, to say nothing of near-daily violence, the election has centred around Maliki and his efforts to retain power.

His opponents, who span the communal spectrum, accuse him of shoring up his power base, while minority Sunnis in particular say the Shiite premier discriminates against them.

Maliki contends that foreign interference is behind deteriorating security and complains that he has been saddled with a unity government of groups that snipe at him in public and block his legislative efforts.

But according to analysts and diplomats, with a fractious and divided opposition and no clear replacement, he remains the frontrunner in the first national election since 2010, and the first since US troops withdrew in December 2011.

No single party is likely to win an absolute majority, however, and as in previous elections, coalition talks are likely to take months.

 

With a budget languishing in parliament, crucial reforms on the back burner and a hamstrung private sector, prospects for Iraq’s economy after Wednesday’s election hinge heavily on the oil factor.

Iraq has some of the world’s largest deposits of oil and gas and aims to boost energy production dramatically, but a slow-moving bureaucracy and poor infrastructure are holding it back.

Complicating things further is Baghdad’s long-running dispute with the energy-rich autonomous northern Kurdish region, which has sought to sign deals with foreign firms and export without the express permission of the central government.

Any new government formed after Wednesday’s parliamentary election will have its hands full with these and other challenges.

Crude oil accounts for more than 90 percent of exports and government revenues, and 70 percent of gross domestic product, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Despite calls for Iraq to do more to diversify its economy, oil still fuels the country’s attempts to rebuild after decades of conflict.

“What Iraq should be focusing on is actually developing something more diverse as an economy that’s less dependent on oil production,” said Ayham Kamel, Middle East and North Africa Director for Eurasia Group consultancy.

“The challenge here is, given the security environment, it’s very difficult to achieve that.”

Only one percent of Iraq’s workforce is employed in the oil sector but the industry indirectly supports countless others, with revenues in particular helping to pay salaries in the public sector.

Meanwhile private firms, outside the oil sector, often complain they are hamstrung by an ageing banking system, with few loans available and outdated laws that make it hard to set up or maintain a business.

Rampant corruption and soaring costs due to electricity shortages and deteriorating security also complicate running a business in Iraq, which is mired in its worst period of bloodshed in years.

“Iraq’s economy suffers from structural weaknesses,” said a World Bank report.

It noted that although the oil sector was delivering strong growth, overall economic expansion “has not been broad-based enough to make major inroads on poverty and exclusion.”

 

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Violence Kills Nearly 50 in Iraq Ahead of Key Vote

 

Militants on Monday targeted polling stations across much of Iraq and a crowd of Kurds jubilantly dancing on the street as soldiers and security forces cast ballots two days ahead of parliamentary elections, officials said. The attacks, including a suicide bombing northeast of Baghdad, left at least 46 people dead.

The wave of attacks was an apparent attempt to derail the balloting process and discourage the rest of the country’s 22 million registered voters from going to the polls on Wednesday in the first nationwide elections since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. forces.

The early balloting for police and soldiers is meant to free up the 1 million-strong military and security forces so they can protect polling stations and voters on election day.

More than 9,000 candidates are vying for 328 seats in parliament, which is widely expected to be won by an alliance led by Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is likely to seek a third four-year term in office.

The day’s worst attack took place in the Kurdish town of Khanaqin, 140 kilometers (87 miles) northeast of Baghdad close to the Iranian border. A suicide bomber walked toward a crowd of Kurds performing a traditional dance and blew himself up, killing at least 25 and injuring 35, many of them in critical condition.

The Kurds were celebrating the appearance on TV of Iraq’s ailing President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd who is being treated in Berlin since December 2012 following a stroke. The nearly 80-year-old Talabani was seen sitting in a wheelchair smiling and waving his index finger, stained purple, flanked by clapping relatives. Few details have been released about the severity of Talabani’s illness.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, which bore the hallmarks of Sunni Arab militants.

Khanaqin is in Diyala province, a region where Arabs and Kurds context territory and where Sunni militants target Shiites and Kurds.

Iraq is experiencing a surge in sectarian violence, with Sunni militants increasingly chiefly targeting security forces, army troops and members of the nation’s Shiite majority. The resurgence of the bloodletting, which nearly tore Iraq apart in 2006 and 2007, underscores the precarious politics of a democratic, but splintered nation.

It also mirrors the three-year-old conflict in neighboring Syria, where the civil war pits forces loyal to President Bashar Assad whose powerbase stems from followers of a Shiite offshoot sect, against mostly Sunni Arab rebels whose ranks are dominated by Islamists and militants from al-Qaida-inspired or linked groups. Iraqi Shiite militiamen fight on the side of Assad’s forces.

Voters in Wednesday’s polls are widely expected to cast ballots along sectarian and ethnic lines.

But balloting will not take place in parts of the vast and mostly Sunni Anbar province west of Baghdad, where al-Qaida spin-off militants control parts of two cities, including the provincial capital, Ramadi.

Beside army troops and police, also voting on Monday were hospital patients, medical staff and detainees.

Abroad, Iraqi expatriates in more than 20 countries will also be able to cast ballots for a second day.

Authorities, meanwhile, announced the closure of Iraq’s air space, saying it will not reopen until after the polls close on Wednesday evening. Already, the government has decreed a weeklong national holiday to coincide with the elections, extending a previously announced three-day break. Such moves were common in past elections, chiefly to empty the streets and allow security forces faster access to attack sites.

 

 

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Price tag for Russian gas to Ukraine could rise to $500

Published time: March 20, 2014 12:10

Reuters / Sergej Vasiljev

Reuters / Sergej Vasiljev

The price of Russian gas to Ukraine could rise to $500 per 1,000 cubic meters, as future developments in relations between Moscow and Kiev remain vague.

From April 1 the price Ukraine pays for Russian gas will go up to $360-$370 per 1,000 cubic metres, after Russia cancelled the discount agreed in late December, Pavel Zavalny, the head of Russian Gas Society told Izvestia newspaper.

In the worst case scenario, and Ukraine decides to take over Russian property, as well as new threats from radical nationalists, the price could jump to as high as to $500, the paper added.

 

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Russia to redirect trade elsewhere in case of EU-US sanctions

Published time: March 19, 2014 16:59

Russian President's Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov (RIA Novosti / Aleksey Nikolsky)

Russian President’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov (RIA Novosti / Aleksey Nikolsky)

Russia will switch to other trade partners if economic sanctions are imposed by the US and the European Union, the Russian President’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has said.

“If one economic partner on the one side of the globe impose sanctions, we will pay attention to new partners from the globe’s other side. The world is not monopolar, we will concentrate on other economic partners,” RIA news quotes Peskov.

According to him, possible economic sanctions by the US and EU on Russia are unacceptable, and the Russian Federation intends to offer further economic cooperation with the European Union.

“We want to keep good relations with the EU and with the US. Especially with the European Union as it is the main economic, investment and trade partner of the Russian Federation. Our mutual economic dependence assumes that we shall have good relations,” the Russian President’s Press Secretary declared. He also emphasized that discussion of global economic problems without involvement of Russia can’t be a complete discussion.

In a Tuesday telephone conversation between Russia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and the US Secretary of State John Kerry they discussed the situation in Ukraine, and Lavrov said sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union against the Russian Federation are absolutely unacceptable and won’t come without consequences.

According to data from the EU’s Eurostat, Russia accounts for 7 percent of imports and 12 percent of exports in the 28 European Union bloc, making it the region’s third most important trading partner, behind the USA and China.

In turn, the EU is Russia’s biggest trade and investment partner, with trade turnover estimated at $330 billion in 2012.

 

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Oil firm agrees to abide by EPA monitoring arrangements for five years, allowing it to bid for drilling contracts in Gulf of Mexico
BP

BP is still awaiting a US court ruling about whether it was grossly negligent over the Deepwater Horizon blowout in 2010. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

BP is closer to restoring its operations and reputation in the US after agreeing a deal with environmental protection authorities that it will enable the oil firm to bid for new drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico.

The British-based group had started legal proceedings against the US environmental protection agency (EPA) which had banned BP from new contracts on the grounds that it had failed to correct problems properly since the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.

BP said it had now dropped its law suit after resolving outstanding problems with the EPA but the firm will have to abide by monitoring arrangements with the agency for the next five years.

“After a lengthy negotiation, BP is pleased to have reached this resolution, which we believe to be fair and reasonable,” said John Mingé, head of BP America. “Today’s agreement will allow America’s largest energy investor to compete again for federal contracts and leases.”

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March 18, 2014

Huffpost Business

Government Declares BP a ‘Responsible’ Contractor: Workers and Taxpayers Beware

A scant five days before the Department of Interior opens a new round of bids for oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico, the EPA has blinked, pronouncing BP, the incorrigible corporate scofflaw of the new millennium, once again fit to do business with the government.

To get right to the point, the federal government’s decision that BP has somehow paid its debt and should once again be eligible for federal contracts is a disgrace. Not only does it let BP off the hook, it sends an unmistakable signal to the rest of the energy industry: That no matter how much harm you do, no matter how horrid your safety record, the feds will cut you some slack.

Back in 2012, the agency’s intrepid staff had finally gotten permission to pull the trigger on the company, de-barring it from holding any new U.S. contracts on the grounds that it was not running its business in a “responsible” way. Undoubtedly under pressure by the Cameron government and the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency, BP’s most loyal customer, the EPA settled its debarment suit for a sweet little consent decree that will try to improve the company’s sense of ethics by having “independent” auditors come visit once a year.

To review the grim record: BP, now the third-largest energy company in the world, is the first among the roster of companies that have caused the most memorable industrial fiascos in the post-modern age.

  • Its best-known disaster, the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon, a drilling rig moored in the Gulf of Mexico that BP had hired to develop its lease of the Macondo well, killed 11 and deposited 205 million gallons of crude oil along the southern coast of the United States — the worst environmental disaster in American history.
  • In a troubling precursor, another explosion killed 15 and injured 180 at the company’s Texas City refinery in July 2005. This incident happened even after the plant manager there had gone on bended knee to John Manzoni, BP’s second in command worldwide, to plead for money to address severe maintenance problems that jeopardized safety at that plant after a consultant surveying refinery workers reported that many thought they ran a real risk of being killed at work. Those fears were warranted, it turned out.
  • Also in 2005, 200,000 gallons of oil spilled from a BP pipeline on Alaska’s North Slope.

 

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- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

A document obtained by several news agencies last week shows Democrats preparing to target tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations as part of congressional negotiations to meet a Dec. 13 deadline for a budget deal.

(Photo by Neil Parekh/SEIU Healthcare 775NW) Not on the list of Democrats’ targets: tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry.

The Hill reported that the list

contains 12 examples of the types of “tax loopholes” that [Democrats] would like to see closed in a year-end budget deal. Most have been proposed many times before.

Combined, the items on the list would raise $264 billion in revenue over 10 years, more than enough to switch off two years’ worth of the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

Bloomberg reported that

In addition to closing what Democrats call the “John Edwards/Newt Gingrich loophole,” the party’s list of options includes carried-interest treatment that allows hedge fund managers and private equity advisers to pay a 20 percent tax rate on their income instead of the nation’s top income rate of 39.6 percent. Ending that break would save more than $17 billion over a decade, according to the Democrats’ estimates.

Another lets U.S. companies deduct their expenses when they send their plants overseas, which Democrats say encourages offshoring of American jobs. It would raise $200 million. Ending preferences for corporate jets and subsidies for yachts and vacation homes, combined, would bring in another $19 billion.

“The list makes clear that Democrats believe they can win public support by targeting tax breaks that they can portray as subsidies for the rich,” according to Reuters.

Republicans have been demanding cuts in Social Security and Medicare in exchange for changes to sequestration spending cuts, and that has failed to be met by a widespread Democratic pushback.

Progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have called for an “End [to] tax breaks and subsidies for oil, gas and coal companies to reduce the deficit by more than $113 billion over the next 10 years”—a call echoed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s “Back to Work Budget,” which calls for an elimination of corporate tax subsidies for oil, gas, and coal companies.

But preserving tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry appears to have widspread bipartisan consensus.

The fact that fossil fuel companies are not on the list of targets may be a result of Democrats’ “embrace” of fossil fuels, the Financial Times reported.

James Politi reported at the Financial Times that the omission may “point to an increasing willingness among Democrats to embrace America’s domestic energy boom as a source of economic strength.”

The FT also quotes the American Petroleum Institute as saying there is “growing bipartisan opposition” to taxes that target oil and gas industries.

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Published time: November 06, 2013 14:24
Edited time: November 06, 2013 18:53

Reuters/Ismail Zitouny

Reuters/Ismail Zitouny

A new law suit claims some of the world’s largest oil companies – including BP, Royal Dutch Shell, manipulated Brent Crude spot prices in collaboration with Morgan Stanley, Vitol Group, and other energy traders.

The plaintiffs accuse the companies of deliberately submitting false and misleading information about Brent prices to Platts, the energy and oil market news outlet, which is used by traders worldwide in daily transactions, Bloomberg reports.

“By providing false or inaccurate information and engaging in false or sham trading, defendants undermined the entire pricing structure for the Brent Crude Oil physical and futures markets,” the plaintiffs allege.

By fixing the North Sea oil benchmark, the oil companies and traders, not only manipulated the oil market, but petroleum, food, and other products that look to Brent as a guide for buying and selling across world exchanges.

Four traders – John Devivo, Robert Michiels, Anthony Insinga and Kevin McDonnell – filed the class act in a Manhattan court in New York on October 4.

Other companies accused of ‘fixing’ are Trafigura AG and Trafigura Beheer British Virgin Island, Dutch commodity trading firms, Phibro Trading LLC, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Vitol Group, a Swiss-based, Dutch-owned energy trader, S.A., and other unnamed traders.

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AFPCalifornia AFPCalifornia·

Published on Aug 30, 2013

Climatologist Dr. Fred Singer explains how climate alarmism is ruining California’s prosperity. California’s efforts to force CO2 emission reductions on its citizens will do nothing to impact the earth’s climate and will only drive more jobs out of the state.

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Truckers To Shut Down America's photo.

Ride For the Constitution

Friday, October 11 at 10:00am in EDT

>Washington, District of Columbia in Washington, District of Columbia

144 people are going
Truckers To Shut Down America

Truckers To Shut Down America

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  • Community
    The American people are sick and tired of the corruption that is destroying America! We therefore declare a GENERAL STRIKE on the weekend of October 11-13, 2013! Truck drivers will not haul freight! Americans can strike in solidarity with truck drivers!

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SHTF Plan - When The Shit Hits the Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You - Preparedness, Planning, News, and Commentary

Convoy to D.C. – Truckers To Shut Down America in October

Mac Slavo
September 17th, 2013
SHTFplan.com

hammerdown

Last year the American Truckers Association prepared a report for Congress highlighting the susceptibility of the nation’s just-in-time delivery system, the majority of which is made possible by the transport and delivery of freight. In the event of a catastrophic disaster such as a war that drives fuel prices through the roof or even a natural disaster such as a solar flare that renders electronic trucks inoperable, there would be a “a swift and devastating impact on the food, healthcare, transportation, waste removal, retail, manufacturing, and financial sectors,” according to the report.

The backbone of commerce in the United States are the truck drivers who spend long hours on the road ensuring our very survival as a modern society.

But with fuel prices continuing to rise, wages dropping, jobs becoming harder to find, and rampant corruption in Washington D.C. furthering the country’s economic death spiral, America’s truck drivers, like the majority of our fellow citizens, are fed up.

Between October 11th and 13th they have called for a general strike, asking truck drivers around the country to refuse to haul freight, a move that could carry with it a significant impact on the American economy.

The protest calls for truckers to make their way to Washington D.C. in a massive convoy in an effort to call attention to, among other things, the Benghazi cover-up, the recent attack which killed 25 members of Seal Team 6, ever rising fuel prices, and claims that President Obama has engaged in treasonous crimes.

Moreover, they’ve requested that the American people join them in solidarity by not shopping or engaging in any economic activity that benefits the government or their corporate interests.

The American people are sick and tired of the corruption that is destroying America! We therefore declare a GENERAL STRIKE on the weekend of October 11-13, 2013! Truck drivers will not haul freight! Americans can strike in solidarity with truck drivers!

Breaker 1 9 calling on all Trucker to shut America down for three days October 11-13. The American people are bleeding out with no relief in sight, It is time to change the NEWS. Let us show our elected officials that we are 100% fed up with corruption and the blatant disregard of the Constitution that they swore to defend.

Bob tail it hammer down to the bull$hit city with flags flying high.

My fellow Patriot this effort is to support the truckers in a major shut down of America ion a 3 day strike October 11th thru 13th.

Obamacare will be in effect and most people will be ready to take action. No commerce on those days stock up on items that you will need. No banking no shopping no money transactions. It does not matter If a million or 50 roll through DC in this effort. Congress will listen to We The People. Which is remove Obama from office for crimes of treason and misdemeanors. We want Congressional hearing on Benghazi and Seal Team 6. Louis Learner put in jail. No amnesty, remove all Muslims in our government that do not uphold the Constitution. Remove Eric Holder from office for crimes against the people and the Constitution. Last but not least is Fuel prices.

Via: The Truckers to Shutdown America Facebook Page

The protest comes on the heels of a massive biker rally held in Washington D.C., and other grass roots efforts to hold the government to account for various Constitutional transgressions including everything from stripping Americans of their right to bear arms, to forced health care mandates soon to be implemented across the country (with exemptions for members of Congress and corporations with insider access, of course).

Calls of accountability have grown louder over the years from all political sides, starting most notably with the Tea Party movement and progressing to Occupy Wall Street.

The corruption and need for real change in America’s government has transcended political lines.

If the hundreds of thousands of truckers across America who keep our delivery systems running efficiently were to join together and stop hauling freight for even a week, the impact would be devastating and could not be ignored.

There’d be no food on the shelves, no fuel at our gas stations, and no medical supplies at our pharmacies and hospitals.

Congress and the President, who would like nothing more than to be perceived as our saviors and benefactors, would have no choice but to address the concerns of freight haulers, because the American people would feel the effects of the protest directly. And, chances are they’d be in the streets protesting themselves because of lack of access to essential goods they can’t live without.

We may often feel as if we, as individuals, have no power against the mighty United States government, but as Karl Denninger points out, we have much more power than we think.

If we get just 10% of America on board the entire game changes.

Especially when the business world — and government — realize that the next one is Black Friday weekend.

Just 10% of Americans can change the course of history, much like they did during the Revolutionary War.

Whether it happens in October, during Black Friday sales this November, or at some point in the future, this seemingly untenable situation is coming to a head.

Robert Kennedy may have said it best:

A revolution is coming — a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough — But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability.

Robert Kennedy
Senate Floor
May 9, 1966

The snowball in America continues to roll down the hill, gaining speed and mass.

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The New American

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 15:55

Written by 

The quiet revolution going on in the energy sector as a result of fracking is being punctuated by changes unseen and unappreciated, such as the recent announcement by Warren Buffett’s railroad, BNSF Railway. The largest railroad in the country, BNSF is testing the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to drive the company’s locomotives, which currently use more diesel fuel than any other entity except the U.S. Navy.

In the announcement, BNSF chairman Matthew Rose called the change “transformational:”

The use of liquefied natural gas as an alternative fuel is a potential transformational change for our railroad and for our industry.

This pilot project is an important first step … [in] potentially reducing fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

As the price of natural gas has fallen compared to the price of oil, the economic math is increasingly persuasive. At the current price for one million BTUs of natural gas, it would cost companies such as BNSF less than $20 for the energy equivalent in a barrel of oil costing $110. The explosion in natural gas in the United States has reduced the “landed price” of natural gas to one quarter of its price in the U.K., and one fifth of its cost elsewhere in the world. In the real world where BNSF operates, diesel fuel costs the company nearly $4 per gallon compared to just over $2 per gallon for large LNG users — a potential savings of 50 percent.

This is driving the BNSF test, according to Rose: “The changed market for natural gas in the United States is a critical part of our decision to explore it as a locomotive fuel.”

BNSF isn’t the first energy-dependent company to do the math, either. Waste Management (WM) has already started converting its fleet of 18,000 diesel trucks to LNG and expects to have the change-over completed soon. Said WM’s CEO David Steiner:

This conversion makes good business sense for our company and our shareholders because of the significant maintenance and diesel fuel cost savings. It’s much cleaner for the environment and our LNG trucks are much quieter.

Also doing the math is LA Metro, the public transportation system that serves Los Angeles. LA Metro, with the most LNG buses in the country — some 2,200 — estimates its fleet has already driven more than one billion miles on natural gas and has cut the release of particulates by 80 percent and greenhouse gases by 300,000 pounds every day. In addition, it has cut its fuel costs by between 10 and 20 percent.

This is just the beginning, according to the international energy consultant firm IHS. In its recently released study America’s New Energy Future, IHS says that the increases in natural-gas supplies and resultant lowering of energy costs have already increased household incomes, boosted international trade, and raised American competitiveness. In 2012 alone, according to IHS, the average family saved $1,200 in lower energy bills and lower costs for all other goods and services. That figure is expected to continue to rise as energy costs decline, with savings approaching $2,000 by 2015 and $3,500 by the year 2025.

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Warren Buffett Buys Over $500 Million of Suncor Tar Sands Stock, Latest in “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Warren Buffett – the fourth richest man on the planet and major campaign contributor to President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 – may soon get a whole lot richer.

That’s because he just bought over half a billion bucks worth of Suncor Energy stock: $524 million in the second quarter of 2013, to be precise, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Suncor is a major producer and marketer of tar sands via its wholly owned subsidary Petro-Canada (formerly Sunoco) and this latest development follows a trend of Buffett enriching himself through dirty investments and deal-making.

So far in 2013, Suncor (formerly Sun Oil Company) has produced 328,000 barrels per day of tar sands crude.

Though he receives far less negative press than the Koch Brothers, Buffett’s no deep green ecologist. Not in the slightest.

Referred to as one of 17 “Climate Killers” by Rolling Stone‘s Tim Dickinson in a January 2010 story, Buffett owns the behemoth holding company, Berkshire Hathway. It’s through Berkshire that he’s making a killing – while simultaneously killing the ecosystem – through one of its most profitable wholly-owned assets: Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF).

Buffett purchased BNSF for $26 billion and was “the largest acquisition of Buffett’s storied career,” Dickinson wrote.

BNSF hauls around frac sand for the controversial horizontal oil and gas drilling process known as “fracking.” The rail company also moves fracked oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin, tar sands logistical equipment and tar sands crude itself and tons of coal. And not only does Buffett’s BNSF haul around ungodly amounts of coal, he actually owns coal-burning utility companies, too.

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