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: Iraq

Crude Drops 10 Percent; Price Decline Just Beginning

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 2, 2016:

Midday last Thursday, the price of crude oil for delivery in December touched $50, and it’s been all downhill since then. At noon on Wednesday crude oil futures touched $45 a barrel on news that inventories soared last week by the most in 34 years.

The market wasn’t expecting that. It was bad enough that the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a supply increase nine times greater than analysts and observers were expecting last week. Those market seers were betting on an increase of a million barrels. Instead the API reported the increase was 9.3 million — a miss of gigantic proportions.

On Wednesday, however, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the API’s estimate was far too low:

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OPEC Fails to Agree as U.S. Energy Industry Ramps Up

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 31, 2016:

After 12 hours of effort to hash out an agreement to cut oil production that can be presented formally to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in November, 14 oil ministers meeting in Vienna over the weekend gave birth to — a goose egg. Without an agreement, the November 30 gathering is likely to be irrelevant, just as the cartel itself is becoming.

Every cartel eventually blows up due to members unwillingness to 

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OPEC Continues to lose its game of Chicken with US Energy Producers

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 31, 2016:

It is said that, in a game of chicken, the one who flinches first loses. Last week Saudi Arabia flinched.

It went to the global bond market, hat in hand, hoping to raise $10 billion to slow down its liquidation of its foreign reserves. Last year those reserves dropped by $100 billion. With the market stronger than anticipated (or perhaps because they knew it was the most they could raise for quite a while) they raised $18 billion.

That $18 billion will be gone in two months, leaving investors holding a piece of paper that might not be redeemable for face value at maturity. What will be left is the increasingly irrelevant cartel that Saudi Arabia has led for the last 55 years.

For proof,

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Reality Sets In: OPEC Ready to Cut Production to Raise Oil Prices

This article appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 30, 2016:  

Wednesday’s announcement from OPEC about an agreement to cut production to shore up crude oil prices was met with both delight and scorn by observers. Exuded Phil Flynn, senior energy analyst at Price Futures Group:

This is the first OPEC deal in eight years! The cartel proved that it still matters even in the age of shale. This is the end of the “production war” and OPEC claims victory.

Bunk, said David Petraeus, the former CIA director who was forced to resign under a cloud in November 2012 and who subsequently was hired by Wall Street firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to chair the firm’s newly created KKR Global Institute:

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Jawboning Higher Oil Prices

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 17, 2016:  

The art of jawboning has gotten such a bad reputation that even the Securities and Exchange Commission website decries it:

We deride “jawboning” as (a) government wagging a finger at business and labor to act with restraint, while government acts without restraint; or (b) government asking labor and business to do what is against their self-interest and in the public interest, which is usually ineffective, and when it works it rewards the greedy and penalizes the patriotic.

It used to work by issuing an implicit threat to accomplish a desired end. And on Tuesday, in the first few minutes of trading, traders of both stocks and oil bought the threat, causing prices to bounce higher at the open but then fade afterwards.

The threat was this, issued by the Russian Ministry of Energy following a brief meeting of worthies from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Venezuela:

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Following Saturday Night’s “Thermonuclear” Debate, Trump Remains Unscathed

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 15, 2016:

Charles Krauthammer said he’d never seen anything like it:

If the previous Republican debates have been World War I or II, this is thermonuclear. I have not seen as many personal attacks or high temperature attacks as we saw in this debate….

 

We went here from WWE [World Wrestling Entertainment] to UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship, or cage fighting].

 

This was a cage fight of the sort that I don’t think we have seen at the presidential level before.

Other observers were only slightly kinder. Caleb Howe, writing for RedState, said

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GOP Debate: Did We Learn Much Amidst the Acrimony?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, February 14, 2016:  

Planned Parenthood volunteers help bring the f...

Planned Parenthood volunteers help bring the fight for health insurance reform to the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a moment of silence before the start of Saturday night’s GOP debate in remembrance of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who passed away on Saturday morning.

Once the debate started, however, not just silence but 

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As Oil Price Drops, Iraq Faces Existential Threat

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 1, 2016:  

In Iraq the culture of dependency is so great that the drop in the price of oil threatens the country’s very existence. With every Iraqi dependent upon the government for essentials like sugar, tea, rice and cooking oil, and the government dependent upon oil for more than 90 percent of its budget, the existential threat is real.

In January 2015 the government, headed up by President Fuad Masum and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, passed a budget that

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World Oil Glut Swells to 3 Billion Barrels, Driving Prices Down Further

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 16, 2015:  

Friday’s November report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) confounded so-called experts who have repeatedly predicted a bottom in oil prices. After West Texas Intermediate (WTI) briefly dropped below $40 a barrel in August, bulls were delighted to see prices for crude bounce up over $50 and stay there — right up until October.

The IEA report tried to corral all the complexities of the oil market into its two-page report:

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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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Behind Chattanooga: Radicalization, Gun-free Zones, and U.S. Foreign Policy

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 17, 2015:  

The "black flag of jihad" as used by...

The “black flag of jihad” as used by various Islamic terrorist organizations (since the late 1990s)

Narratives that Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez was a nice, polite, well-behaved, friendly, and funny young man of 24 appeared all across the mainstream media following his murderous attack on a military recruiting center in Chattanooga on Thursday that left four dead and three wounded. According to the media and the president, he was “acting alone” as a “lone wolf.”

Precious little was being said about the possibility of him being influenced by radical elements of his faith calling for Muslims to wage war against unbelievers. The media focused instead on his background:

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Texas to Join Nine Other States with Anti-Sharia Law Bill Passed by Senate

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, May 27, 2015: 

Countries with Sharia rule.

Countries with Sharia rule

 

In August 2004 an alert Maryland transportation worker noticed a woman wearing a burka video-taping the supporting structures of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from an automobile. He conducted a traffic stop and discovered that the driver, a Muslim from Chicago, had an outstanding warrant in a case involving fundraising for the terrorist group Hamas.

The FBI obtained a search warrant of his home and found, in a sub-basement below the house’s foundation, more than 80 book boxes filled with archives belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. It not only listed dozens of other radical Muslim groups operating across the country with connections to the group, but their marching orders as well:

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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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Voters Finally Learn What’s in the CRomnibus Bill Passed by the Senate

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, December 16, 2014:

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-KY)

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican sellout

The so-called CRomnibus bill (a combination of a Continuing Resolution and an omnibus spending bill covering dozens of federal agencies) was passed by the Senate late Saturday night, 56-40, approving government spending through next September.

Passage, although delayed slightly by complaints from Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that it funded President Obama’s illegal immigration executive order without debate, was guaranteed when 24 Republicans, including every GOP leader, voted for it. This allowed some Democrats the opportunity to vote against it as a sop to constituents or to build their resumes in contemplated runs for the White House in 2016. They included newly inducted Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), along with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Amy Klobucher (D-Minn.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

Others whom Republicans bailed out with their “yea” votes included naysayers

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OPEC Continues to Unravel

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 13, 2014:

With oil production from the Bakken formation in North Dakota now exceeding one million barrels a day and the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin oil fields in Texas producing more than three million barrels per day, prices for crude are dropping worldwide and pushing gasoline prices down along with them.

Crude oil prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit a 52-week low of $83.59 a barrel last Friday, while Lundberg just reported average prices for gasoline across the country have dropped to $3.26 per gallon. As recently as May 2, gas in the United States cost $3.72 a gallon.

In response to these falling prices, Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in OPEC, earlier this summer

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Gas Prices Ease as U.S. Oil Production Soars

This article was first published by TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 7, 2014: 

English: $4.06 Gas Prices, Lewiston, Maine, Cu...

Despite predictions to the contrary, the price of gas over the July 4 weekend dropped by two cents per gallon, confounding seers who were looking at gas approaching $4 a gallon. Those prognosticators were guilty of “straight-line thinking in a curvilinear world” — meaning that since gas this year was 20 cents a gallon more than a year ago, they believed it would continue to go up steadily for the foreseeable future.

With political disruptions in Iraq and Syria seriously reducing their contributions to the world’s oil supplies, one would think that prices would have to go straight up.

One would be wrong.

On July 4, Bank of America reported that U.S. production of crude oil (along with the liquids separated from natural gas) “surpassed all other countries this year with daily output exceeding 11 million barrels [per day] in the first quarter.” Francisco Blanch, BofA’s head of commodities research, told Bloomberg,

The U.S. increase in supply is a very meaningful chunk of oil. The shale boom is playing a key role in the U.S. recovery [from the Great Recession].

If the U.S. didn’t have this energy supply, prices at the pump would be completely unaffordable.

The nearly exponential growth in oil production, thanks to the free market’s invention and development of fracking technology, has put the United States firmly on the path of energy independence. As we become energy independent, disruptions in the supply chain from the Middle East will matter less and less.

Texas and North Dakota — which Professor Mark Perry calls “Saudi Texas” and “Saudi Dakota” respectively — are now producing almost half of all U.S. oil, and would rank as the fifth largest oil producing country as a separate nation. The growth in production is astonishing, according to Perry:

A decade ago the combined conventional crude oil production in the states of Texas and North Dakota … represented less than 21% of total U.S. crude oil output.

By 2008, the combined crude oil output in the two states … were producing one-third of all U.S. crude oil.

In eight out of the last nine months, their combined share exceeded 47% of all U.S. oil.

Perry predicts that it will exceed 50 percent sometime before the end of the year. And that prediction could come back to embarrass him, if the International Energy Agency (IEA) is correct. The IEA is estimating that total U.S. crude oil production (currently at 8.4 million bpd) will continue to soar, exceeding 13 million barrels per day in less than five years. That 50-percent increase in oil production would mean that the United States could be producing nearly 80 percent of its domestic needs for energy, closing in on energy independence.

In the very short run, gas prices will remain higher than they should be, thanks to the disruptions of supply in the Middle East, but with the continuing success of fracking making shale oil deposits now available with current technology, prices may reasonably be expected to decline further over time. Blanch admitted as much to Bloomberg:

The shale production story [in the United States] is bigger than Iraqi production, but it hasn’t made the impact on prices you would expect.

Typically such a large energy [production] growth should bring prices lower but in fact we’re not seeing that because the whole geopolitical situation outside the U.S. is dreadful.

Those involved in capitalizing on the fracking revolution, however, are taking a much longer view. The annual investment in oil and gas development and production hit a record $200 billion this year, one-fifth “of the country’s total private fixed-structure spending for the first time,” said Blanch.

The explosion in the oil patch is doing much to offset the otherwise nearly stagnant economy. In the last 10 years, direct jobs in the patch have almost doubled, while “indirect” jobs that support the industry have almost tripled in that same time period. As Professor Perry noted: “No other sector … has added as many jobs for American workers or made as much of an overall economic contribution to the US economy as the oil and gas sector.”

Citizens often don’t know how well they have it here. At present the average cost of gasoline is $3.69 a gallon for regular. In Norway it’s an astounding $9.79 a gallon, while in Germany it’s $8.50, and in England a gallon of petrol is $8.25.

The only thing that will keep the price of gas from continuing its two-year decline is government, either through restrictions on energy development or through increased taxation. At present about $2.37 of that $3.69 represents the cost of crude oil. Refining costs are about $.45 a gallon, while distribution, marketing costs, and profits (estimated to be between eight and 15 cents per gallon) cost another $.33 a gallon. Taxes (federal and state) take up the balance: $.42 a gallon. Federal excise taxes are $.184 cents a gallon, while state taxes average about $.24 cents a gallon. If gas continues to drop in response to the natural laws of supply and demand (greater supply means greater demand thanks to the lower price), the temptation to raise state and federal excise taxes will become overwhelming.

In Germany, for instance, half the cost of a gallon of gas is due to taxes. In Great Britain the tax take on a gallon of gas is more than 60 percent. In Sweden it’s even higher.

At present, however, the laws of supply and demand are providing an enormous advantage to American drivers compared to their counterparts abroad. And they continue to confound the experts predicting ever higher prices at the pump as well.

A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at badelmann@thenewamerican.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Supreme Court Refuses to hear case on Reporter’s Privilege

 

Cover of "State of War: The Secret Histor...

By refusing to hear an appeal from New York Times’ investigative journalist James Risen last week [not to be confused with Fox analyst James Rosen] that his sources for a controversial chapter in his book State of War are protected under the First Amendment and reporters’ “privilege”, the Supreme Court has de facto endorsed its controversial decision from 1972. In that decision, the Court determined that the First Amendment does not give reporters like Risen any reportorial “privilege” in protecting their confidential sources.

If the government moves ahead with its subpoena of Risen to testify or be held in contempt in its case against former CIA agent Jeffrey Sterling, Risen said he would go to jail rather than reveal his sources.

In a strange comment following the Court’s decision not to hear Risen’s appeal, Attorney General Eric Holder, the head of the department bringing the suit against Sterling, said:

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The Rise of “Saudi America”

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 6th, 2013:

 

Back in early February Citigroup apologized for missing the huge explosion of oil and natural gas occurring in Texas, North Dakota, and elsewhere. Its report, entitled “Energy 2020: Independence Day” began:

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“Saudi Texas” is changing the world’s economic and political landscape

The virtual explosion in Texas’ production of natural gas and oil, thanks to fracking, caught even Citigroup off-guard. In February it apologized for so widely missing the mark in its report the previous year entitled “Energy 2020: Independence Day”:

Momentum toward North American energy independence accelerated last year [2012] well beyond the wildest dreams of any analyst and

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More Good News: The Failing Syrian Strategy is Weakening the Imperial Presidency

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 9th, 2013:

A remarkable change is taking place, and most “conservative” pundits are failing to see it. As Obama stumbles determinedly forward in promoting his Syrian strategy while his supporters bail out along the way, few are seeing any benefits.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough admitted, after some tough grilling, that

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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.