Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Cartel

Lower Oil Prices Pinching OPEC

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 22, 2015:  

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the slowing in the demand for crude oil worldwide, coupled with more-than-abundant supply, bodes ill for higher prices for oil for at least the next year, if not longer. This is bad news for OPEC countries that need much higher oil prices to stay solvent.

The IEA predicted in its report last week that

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Oil Price Rebound Not Likely to Last, Says the IEA

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 14, 2015: 

Since early August the price of crude has jumped almost 20 percent, moving some, including those in OPEC’s cartel, to conclude that its strategy is working: Flood the market to force prices so low that marginal producers, especially in the United States, will go out of business. With the resultant decrease in supply, prices will rebound, hopefully to levels where the cartel’s countries can continue to fund their welfare/warfare states.

Said the cartel last week:

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OPEC’s Strategy Appears to be Working: U.S. Layoffs Slowing Oil Production

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 13, 2015:  

On the surface, OPEC’s gamble appears to be paying off. As the oil cartel continues to pump at near maximum capacity, American energy producers are stacking rigs and laying off workers.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), there were an estimated 700,000 workers involved in oil and gas development and production prior to the decline in oil prices. Since then, some 200,000 of those jobs no longer exist, rig count is down to record lows, and, if the EIA is correct, U.S. oil output next year will decline for the first time in eight years.

OPEC itself has estimated that

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Is this Another Reason MSNBC’s Ratings are so Abysmal?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 5, 2015:  

MSNBC

Even the liberal Huffington Post was embarrassed at just how bad MSNBC’s ratings are. The network cancelled three shows in July, and brought back the discredited Brian Williams. Wrote Larry Atkins:

The changes had come as a result of MSNBC’s plummeting ratings. MSNBC’s Nielsen ratings for the second quarter of the year dropped five percent in total viewers and 17 percent in the key adult demographic 25-54. Its primetime lineup’s ratings dropped by 10 percent. It was a continuation of a long time trend.

Last Thursday’s farcical interview by Chris Hayes of Josh Fox proved the point. Touting his latest attack on fracking, Fox was allowed to promote his latest “documentary” Gaswork: The Fight for C.J.’s Law, allegedly all about safety and health issues being ignored by the energy development industry. Hayes never asked about credibility issues raised by detractors of his previous efforts, Gasland and The Sky is Pink. In Gasland it was the “flaming faucet” incident about which Fox was publicly challenged by Irish filmmaker Phelim McAleer. That exchange can be seen on YouTube, despite efforts of Fox and his lawyers to have it removed. In it McAleer got Fox to admit that methane in water was common, with flaming water incidents dating back to 1936, but claiming weakly that this was “not relevant” to his purposes inGasland.

In The Sky is Pink Fox claimed that breast cancer was linked directly to fracking activities in the Barnett Shale region in Texas, claims which were later successfully refuted by credible national experts looking into the matter.

Did Hayes ask Fox about any of this? Did he ask Fox about the “flaming faucet” incident that brought the wrath of McAleer in his rebuttal, FrackNation? Did he ask Fox if he was ready to admit that his claim in The Sky is Pink was false? Did he ask Fox if he was ready to apologize to the women and their families living over the Barnett formation for scaring them half to death over his discredited claims?

Of course not. In the 4 ½ minute segment that ran Thursday night Hayes jumped in bed with Fox, providing him with nothing more than an echo chamber reflecting the network’s anti-fracking position.

McAleer learned about Fox’s latest attack in time to launch his own rebuttal, GasHoax, also on Thursday, at Brietbart.com. It’s as if McAleer has found his niche: tracking down Fox and demanding answers to questions that Hayes wasn’t willing to ask.

For instance, in speaking about The Sky is Pink, McAleer said:

Fox’s breast cancer film was widely reported by the mainstream media but has since been dismissed as nonsense by every respected cancer expert in the region.

 

Fox has never corrected the record or apologized for scaring women and families.

Fox’s most recent attempt to smear the fracking industry is based upon the tragic accident that resulted in the death of C.J. Bevins, a 21-year-old oil field roughneck who was crushed against a trailer by a forklift back in 2011. Ignoring the fact that it was an accident, and had nothing to do with chemicals, Fox managed to twist the narrative to support his agenda: the fracking industry’s use of chemicals is putting workers’ lives at risk. In his film, said Fox:

We interview many workers who have been asked to clean drill sites, transport radioactive and carcinogenic chemicals, steam-clean the inside of condensate tanks which contain harmful volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and other chemicals, and have been told to do so with no safety equipment.

Fox claims to have interviewed workers who were ordered to cover up toxic chemical spills, that the industry is paying them to “poison their own communities in order to feed their families” and that “if you get hurt, you’re on your own.”

In the same manner as FrackNation, McAleer rebuts Fox’s claims in Gaswork, interviewing experts who state that there is no increase in health or safety claims due to fracking. Although neither film is available yet in theaters, their trailers can be found under Sources below.

McAleer concluded:

Josh Fox is an unethical journalist. Everyone knows that, except Chris Hayes and MSNBC, apparently. They need to ask him tough questions, not give him a platform so he can scaremonger and spread fear.

But that didn’t happen. Instead MSNBC continued its slide into irrelevancy by giving Josh Fox airtime to its steadily shrinking audience.


Sources:

Breitbart.com: ANOTHER HEALTH HOAX FROM GASLAND’S JOSH FOX

MarcellusDrilling.com: Phelim McAleer to Release GasHoax Ahead of Josh Fox’s GASWORK

Gashoax trailer 4:30

EcoWatch.com: What the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know About Fracking

Trailer for Gaswork  2.39

Background on Gasland

Background on FrackNation

Bio on Josh Fox

Bio on Phelim McAleer

Link to Vimeo: The Sky is Pink (2012)

EmergyinDepth.org: Debunking GasLand

YouTube: Gasland director hides full facts

Chris Hayes’ interview with Josh Fox on MSNBC

Huffington Post: MSNBC’s Changes Are Needed, But It Needs to Keep Its Liberal Voice

Just how Disruptive are Uber and Lyft?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, October 2, 2015: 

According to three college professors, the answer is “very.” After interviewing 32 drivers and users of Uber, Lyft, and conventional cab services in London and San Francisco, the Uber and Lyft drivers and customers were the clear winners. The drivers had more freedom to select their working hours, many of them driving part-time to supplement their full-time work. The ride-sharing customers not only paid less than they would have for regular taxis, they felt safer, they knew more about the driver and his ratings from previous customers, and could track and follow the driver as he wended his way towards their location.

They also enjoyed getting to know their Uber or Lyft driver, discovering that they were just like them – ordinary people making a living and enjoying the process. Wrote the professors:

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Uber, Lyft Continue to Upend Taxi Cartel and Its Lenders

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 1, 2015: 

English: Sign at the Montauk Point Lighthouse,...

On September 18, Montauk Credit Union in Montauk, New York, was taken over by the state after examiners found “unsafe and unsound conditions” in its investment portfolio.

The credit union had more than 98 percent of its investments in taxi medallions, which have dropped precipitously in value since ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft entered the market three years ago.

Taxi medallions were established decades ago by New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission as a way to limit the number of cabs. At present there are slightly more than 13,000 taxis in the city, and most of their medallions are owned by investors who saw their opportunity: If supply were limited by government mandate, and demand increased with population, then the price of each one would inevitably rise.

And they did. Investors hired managers (much like property managers in real estate) to collect the lease payments from taxicab companies, which derived their income from fees they charged drivers to drive their cabs.

But in the past couple of years the market has shifted.

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Big Win for Uber: Judge Rules E-hails Are Legal

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 14, 2015:  

Last Wednesday Queens Supreme Court Justice Allan Weiss ruled that “e-hails” in New York City differ enough from physical hails of taxis to make them legal under the law. This sets back the taxi cartel and those funding it significantly in their battle to keep their turf to themselves. He wrote:

Passenger communications to Uber-type companies [whose drivers use their own cars] via a smartphone are not street hails, which are requests made by passengers standing on the street who gesture or make an utterance.

And then he issued a warning to the cartel about trying to use its high-priced medallions to protect them from innovation. New York taxicabs are operated by private companies and licensed by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). Only “medallion taxis,” those painted in distinctive yellow paint and regulated by the TLC, are permitted to pick up passengers in response to a street hail.

Judge Weiss warned:

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Thirty Years of Projecting the Lines

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, September 1, 2015:  

English: A composed satellite photograph of No...

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the The New American. On such an occasion, it is appropriate to reflect on the magazine’s track record, from the accuracy of our facts and the soundness of our analysis to the stories we unearthed and the influence we’ve exerted.

We are proud of our track record. But there is one recurring theme that seems to be particularly striking when reviewing the articles we’ve published, and that is the extent to which we have accurately projected the lines

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Saudi Arabia’s Cash Reserves Dwindling, Forcing It to Borrow

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 7, 2015:  

English: Saudi Arabia

In an astonishing admission that the Saudis have gambled with a bet that is now going sour, the Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency (the country’s central bank) reported:

It is becoming apparent that non-OPEC producers [in the United States] are not as responsive to low oil prices as had been thought, at least in the short run.

The main impact has been [for U.S. producers] to cut back on developmental drilling of new oil wells, rather than slowing the flow of oil from existing wells.

This [strategy to break U.S. producers] requires more patience.

But patience will last only as long as their foreign reserves of cash, and Saudi Arabia’s reserves (immense though they be) are dwindling rapidly. They peaked at $737 billion in August of 2014. In May of this year, they were down to

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Neo-Luddites in Paris are Losing to Uber

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 29, 2015:

Although the definition of “neo-Luddism” is a “movement of passive resistance to the … frightening technologies of the computer age,” in Paris the resistance is hardly passive. Last week taxi-drivers shut down entrances to and exits from the Charles De Gaulle International Airport, attacked cars driven by Uber drivers (including their passengers), overturned some of them, and set tires on fire. All this to express their frustration over how Uber is slowly, inexorably, putting them out of business. Since they were on strike, even when customers wanted a ride, the cartel members turned them down. After all, they were on strike! (Shown above are passengers toting their own luggage away from De Gaulle airport.)

As the head of taxi company G7 said on French television,

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HSBC Downsizing to Core Business: Money Laundering, Terror Funding

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, June 10, 2015: 

Officially, London’s Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), the world’s third-largest banking firm, is cutting costs to improve profits. The intended moves are for the benefit of the shareholders, asserted Stuart Gulliver, the bank’s chief executive on Tuesday: “We recognize that the world has changed and we need to change with it. I am confident that our actions will allow us to capture expected future growth opportunities and deliver further value to our shareholders.”

Unofficially, HSBC is going to ply its underground wares and provide its vast money-laundering services where its customers are mostly likely to reside in the years ahead:

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Will Money-laundering Scandal Derail Lynch Nomination?

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 17, 2015:

Friday’s news that French state financial prosecutors were joining with the Swiss government in pursuing charges that HSBC’s Swiss banking division was engaging in illegal tax dodges for their wealthy clients may have spelled the end of the nomination of Loretta Lynch (shown) to replace Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General.

Three years ago, Lynch caved in and let HSBC off the hook with a modest fine and a slap on the wrist following its investigation into the bank’s money-laundering activities that helped fund Middle East terrorists and Mexican drug cartels. Lynch’s agreement insulated guilty parties from criminal prosecution while allowing the bank’s money laundering activities to continue despite its agreeing to a “cease and desist” order.

The current head count in the Senate gives

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Will this be OPEC’s Final Failed Gamble?

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 18, 2015: 

Cover of "The Prize: The Epic Quest for O...

Six years ago historian Daniel Yergin wrote in The Prize about OPEC’s failed gamble in 1986. The cartel tried to secure its preeminent place among the world’s oil producers by forcing crude oil prices down:

Was the price now poised for a great fall? Most of the exporters [primarily OPEC] thought so, but they expected no more than a drop [from more than $30 a barrel] to $18 or $20 a barrel, below which, they thought, production … would not be economical….

 

Actually, operating costs – the cash costs to extract oil – were only $6 per barrel [at the time], so there would be no reason to shut down production at any price above that.

The cartel was hoping to squeeze out marginal producers, which would result in cuts in supply, allowing it to raise prices at will. It didn’t work then, and it isn’t working now. The Saudis apparently suffer from an appalling lack of understanding about how the free market works.

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Re-fracking Old Wells Is Extending the Fracking Revolution

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 17, 2015:

English: A natural gas well (produces gas only...

A natural gas well

News that the oil industry is importing many of the new technologies developed by natural-gas producers, which led to steadily declining natural-gas prices, was greeted with great disappointment by at least one green group. Upon learning that fracking was not only a long way from disappearing in the face of declining oil prices but was actually on the verge of a resurgence, Sharon Wilson, a Texas organizer for Earthworks, told Bloomberg, “It’s terribly disappointing.”

It might be disappointing to Wilson, but

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Crude Oil Prices: The Politics, Implications, and Backlash

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 6, 2015:

With the price of crude dropping significantly below $50 a barrel, prognosticators have come out of the woodwork predicting drops to $40, $30, $20 a barrel, and even lower before it rebounds.

Jon Ogg, writing at 247Wall St.com, noted that the precipitous drop in crude oil prices “has serious implications for consumers and companies alike,” and not all of them are unblemished blessings. On the surface the winners are

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Venezuela’s Welfare State Collapsing Along with Oil Prices

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, December 29, 2014:

 

As oil prices have dropped, so has Venezuela’s revenue stream that supports its welfare state. Ninety-five percent of Venezuela’s export earnings come from crude oil, and the industry makes up one quarter of the country’s gross domestic product. With oil prices setting new lows last week, Venezuela’s economy, already on the ropes, is set to descend into chaos, anarchy, and looting. The decision by Saudi Arabia to continue to pump in order to maintain its market share reveals not only the inherent inability of any cartel to maintain itself over time, but also the inability of a welfare state to sustain itself without outside help.

With the world’s largest oil reserves, surpassing those even of Saudi Arabia, an uninformed observer would be unable to explain how a country as richly blessed with natural resources as Venezuela could go broke,

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Collapse in Oil and Natural Gas Prices Hitting OPEC the Hardest

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 29, 2014: 

On November 17, gas prices had dropped to $1.9...

As prices for crude oil and natural gas continued their precipitous fall over the last five weeks, most commentators have been focusing on the impact — real or predicted — on the oil and gas industry in the United States. Little noticed, however, was the report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) about how those declines are likely to affect OPEC.

OPEC’s total revenues, which hit an all-time high of $900 billion in 2012, are expected to decline by half next year, to just $446 billion. And that projection is based on the assumption that oil prices will average

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Crude Oil Price Declines Reveal Who’s Swimming Naked

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 3, 2014: 

Ali Al Naimi

Ali Al Naimi

One of the most famous homespun quotes Warren Buffett ever uttered is this: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” With the decline in crude oil prices of nearly 50 percent since June, more and more people are finding themselves swimming naked, or they’re about to.

Consider the formerly invincible oil cartel, OPEC, which seems to be suffering from delusions of its former glory by taking on oil producers in America. Instead of cutting production in order to “stabilize” oil prices, the cartel, led by the aging big kahuna, Saudi Arabia, has decided to

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Lower Crude Oil Prices Already Pinching Producers

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, December 2, 2014:

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

As crude oil prices continued their breathtaking drop, the CEO of Canadian Natural Resources, Canada’s largest oil company, Murray Edwards (the 14th wealthiest Canadian) was asked on Friday just how much further crude oil prices could decline. His response:

On a given day you can have market fluctuations where prices fluctuate far more than the underlying economic value of the unit. Prices could spike down to $30, $40. It got down to $35 in 2008, for a very short period of time.

On Monday crude oil prices briefly stabilized and then dropped further on Tuesday, hitting new four-year lows.

This pronouncement is at odds with an oil production estimate by the seemingly eternal oil optimist and economist Mark Perry, who rejoiced on Monday that

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George Mitchell: the one man most Likely Missing from Thanksgiving Day lists

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, November 28, 2014:

English: "The First Thanksgiving at Plymo...

English: “The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a safe bet that Americans, in compiling their list of blessings for which they were most thankful on Thanksgiving Day, didn’t put George Mitchell at the top. It’s even safer to bet that most Americans don’t even know who he was, or how his life has made life better for nearly every American today.

The Economist had it right: “Few businesspeople have done as much to change the world as George Mitchell.” The founder of Mitchell Energy & Development Company located in Galveston, Texas, Mitchell was responsible for drilling more than 10,000 natural gas wells and, in the process, resetting the world’s energy equation.

Although he passed away over a year ago at the age of 94, Mitchell’s advances in fracking technology are continuing to delight American drivers with

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.