By Rory Carroll
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Shipments of Bakken crude oil from North Dakota to California by barge have quietly overtaken those by train for the first time, showing how the state's isolated refiners are using any means necessary to tap into the nation's shale oil boom.
While tough permitting rules and growing resistance by environmentalists have slowed efforts to build new rail terminals within California itself, a little-known barge port in Oregon has been steadily ramping up shipments to the state, a flow expected to accelerate next year.
From January through June, California received 940,500 barrels of the North Dakota crude oil from barges loaded at terminals in the Pacific Northwest, the highest rate ever, Gordon Schrempf, senior fuels analyst for the California Energy Commission, told Reuters.
Bakken crude transported to California on railcars, which has gained widespread attention after a series of fiery train derailments in North America, accounted for just 702,135 barrels over the same time period, according to published figures.
"We're seeing marine transport of Bakken crude outpace rail for the first time," Schrempf said. In 2013, rail shipments of 1.35 million barrels exceeded barge shipments of 1.33 million barrels. The year before, almost no crude arrived by barge.
Bakken shipments by barge and rail may only comprise a tiny portion of the crude California imports, at about 5,200 and 4,000 barrels per day respectively, with Alaska supplying over 20 times as much crude.
But companies, including refiner Tesoro Corp and logistics company NuStar Energy LP, have plans to significantly expand that volume with new terminals along the Pacific Northwest that would unload trains from North Dakota and pump the oil onto tankers.
They would help make California a major destination for Bakken oil, a trend that has drawn objections from environmental groups who have been seeking to stem the tide
Subsidiary to make a loan to the parent to cover it's convertible notes maturing on December 1st.
Sorry, this pdf will not allow me to cut and paste.
Best of luck,
"The UK's wind farms generated more power than its nuclear power stations on Tuesday, the National Grid says.
The energy network operator said it was caused by a combination of high winds and faults in nuclear plants.
Wind farms are causing controversy in rural areas and the government is choking off planning permission for new sites.
But for a 24-hour period yesterday, spinning blades produced more energy than splitting atoms.
Wind made up 14.2% of all generation and nuclear offered 13.2%.
It follows another milestone on Saturday, when wind generated a record amount of power - 6,372 MW, according to National Grid.
This formed nearly 20% of the the UK's electricity, albeit at a time at the weekend when demand is relatively low.
But wind power's ascendancy over nuclear is expected to be temporary.
The situation is caused by windy conditions boosting the output from turbines at a time when eight out of the UK's 15 nuclear reactors are offline.
EDF Energy said current ageing reactors are down for a number of reasons:
Sizewell B is in the middle of a planned "statutory outage" for maintenance and refuelling
Hunterston B Reactor 4 is down for maintenance, expected back in early November
At Dungeness B, one unit is being refuelled and the other is expected back online soon after being shut down after a fault on a boiler pump was discovered
The four reactors at Heysham and Hartlepool were taken offline in August after a crack was found on a boiler spine.
'Convenient whipping boy'
A government spokesman said a "diverse energy mix" was essential to the UK's energy security.
"We're preventing a predicted energy crunch by turning round a legacy of underinvestment and neglect.
"To deliver this, we need a diverse energy mix that includes renewable sources like wind and solar alongside nuclear and technologies like carbon capture and storage so we can continue to use fossil fuels in a cleaner way.""
"For more than half a century, the conventional wisdom among nutritionists and public health officials was that fat is dietary enemy number one – the leading cause of obesity and heart disease.
It appears the wisdom was off.
And not just off. Almost entirely backward.
According to a new study from the National Institutes of Health, a diet that reduces carbohydrates in favor of fat – including the saturated fat in meat and butter – improves nearly every health measurement, from reducing our waistlines to keeping our arteries clear, more than the low-fat diets that have been recommended for generations.
"The medical establishment got it wrong," says cardiologist Dennis Goodman, director of Integrative Medicine at New York Medical Associates. "The belief system didn't pan out."
It's not the conclusion you would expect given the NIH study's parameters. Lead researcher Lydia Bazanno, of the Tulane University School of Public Health, pitted this high-fat, low-carb diet against a fat-restricted regimen prescribed by the National Cholesterol Education Program.
"We told both groups to get carbs from green, leafy vegetables, because those are high in nutrients and fiber to keep you sated," says Bazanno. "We also told everyone to stay away from trans fats." The fat-restricted group continued to eat carbs, including bread and cereals, while keeping saturated fat – common in animal products – below 7 percent of total calories.
By contrast, the high-fat group cut carbs in half and did not avoid butter, meat, and cheese. Most important, both groups ate as much as they wanted – no calorie counting, no going hungry."
One year later, the high-fat, low-carb group had lost three times as much weight – 12 pounds compared with four – and that weight loss came from body fat, while the low-fat group lost muscle. Even more persuasive were the results of blood tests meant to measure the risk of heart disease and diabetes. " More
Hi Mr. Rott,
I don't think it likely that the government is going to take the so called social security trust funds out of the government coffers.
We can talk about the advantages and disadvantages of moving funds, but the end result is that the government has no intention of ever eliminating a 2.8 trillion dollar buyer for their treasury securities.
They would have to come up with another buyer for those securities, and in order to get other buyers, would have to pay a level of interest which will crush the country all the sooner.
Other systems are coming up to accomplish the kinds of things you mention as a potential for social security. SEP IRAs, ROTH IRAs, 401K plans, and a host of others give savers an opportunity to prepare for retirement. I don't expect those kind of opportunities to ever come to social security funds.
Where could one put 2.8 trillion dollars without creating a bubble, or killing the interest rate.
Of course, I am talking about during periods of time when interest rates aren't totally manipulated by government.
For now, we must just accept that the government has taken the surplus social security payments, and turned them into a part of the national debt. We will pay about 103 billion dollars in 2014 in interest on those social security based treasury securities alone. Yes, that's in addition to the payroll deductions made.
But, all we are talking about are ledger entries.
The reality is that there is no money. It is all just ledger entries much like the scores in a video game.
Just my take.
Best of luck,
Hi Mr. Dakine,
Sometimes if I don't make a comment, I don't put in quotation marks.
Perhaps it's too much to expect people to read the article when they have to cut and paste the link into a browser then change the DOTKOM. It was a lot easier in the old days when links were hypertext, and all you had to do was click on the link and it would take you there.
Best of luck,
Hi Mr. Dakine,
This is my third attempt to respond to you on this string. My posts keep dissipating into cyberspace. So, I shall keep it short.
From your post: "I don't think you understood the point I was making. Mr. Shores clearly stated that US retail prices for electricity were at 10.08 cents per kwh."
I never stated any such thing.
You have me confused with the author of the article.
If you don't like the content of a book, don't complain to Amazon. Contact the author.
You can find him by following the link I provided in the original post of the string.
Best of luck,
Hi Mr. Dakine,
Boy, you are bringing up ancient history here. When I was a kid, we all loved the Bonzo movies. When someone saw one come on on his black and white small screen TV, he would knock on doors to let us know it was on and we would all pile into his living room. They were great fun and we all loved to think that monkeys can actually act.--------lagofac--------
Anyway, let me see if I understand your point. Do you propose that Mr. Obama is okay spending money that was supposed to be spent protecting the American people from diseases like ebola, on frivolous local lighting, because a president from the dark ages of American politics was an actor?
Mr. Obama is looking for more funds to battle ebola. A noble and worthwhile cause.
But he already had the money but chose to squander it.
This is an excellent example of what is wrong with the government of America today.
I don't think you know or understand Ronald Reagan at all.
Mr. Reagan was a liberal. He was a member of the democrat party for much of his political career.
But, when the democrat party turned stoutly anti business, he left claiming: "in 1962. In August of that year, Reagan formally switched to the Republican Party, stating, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me"." from wikipedia
Reagan was truly a liberal republican. I know you don't have a box to slip that into, I hope the realization doesn't cause your head to explode.
In 1980 the American people were offered two liberals to vote for for president. One a democrat, James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr., and Ronald Wilson Reagan a republican at the time.
Just my take.
Best of luck,
lagofac= leaving a great opening for a comeback
Money earmarked to defeat infectious diseases is diverted to sidewalks and street lighting.
Yeah, it's an opinion piece. Sorry
"In the midst of the Ebola crisis, the Obama administration has no business spending hundreds of millions of dollars for the Centers for Disease Control to fund "non-essential" programs that give grants for things like improving sidewalks and street lighting, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal writes in an opinion piece for Politico."
"This fund receives annual mandatory appropriations created by Obamacare, according to Jindal, who notes that despite nearly $3 billion the CDC has received from the fund over the past five years, just 6 percent went toward building epidemiology and lab capacity.
"Especially given the agency's postwar roots as the Communicable Disease Center, one would think that 'detecting and responding to infectious diseases and other public health threats' warrants a larger funding commitment," Jindal writes.
He points out that the community transformation grant program received three times as much money as what was appropriated to fight infectious disease.
While there's certainly a place for the kind of projects funded through the community transformation grant program, they should be funded by states, localities or private charities, according to Jindal.
"To govern is to choose," he writes. "Unfortunately, this administration seems intent on not choosing, instead trying to insinuate Washington into every nook and cranny of our lives.
Latest: Do You Support a Travel Ban on West Africa Nations? Vote Here.
"It's a misguided and dangerous gambit, for two reasons. First, a federal government with nearly $18 trillion in debt has no business spending money on non-essential priorities. Second, a government that attempts to do too much will likely excel at little. "
For the first time ever, German consumers are about to see a drop in the surcharge they pay for renewable energy.
Germany’s green energy policies include long-term contracts that require feeding renewables like wind and solar into the grid while guaranteeing them above-market rates. The goal is to build out the country’s renewable generation capacity, but the costs of the scheme are passed on to consumers through a surcharge on their electricity bills. It was introduced in 2000, and has risen every year since — including a fivefold jump since 2009 — and currently stands at 6.24 euro cents (7.99 U.S. cents) per kilowatt-hour.
But Germany’s four major grid operators recently released a joint statement saying that surcharge would fall to 6.17 euro cents (7.8 U.S. cents) in 2015, according to Renewable Energy World. The surcharge is expected to drop again in 2016 to 6.05 euro cents, then tick back up slightly to 6.2 euro cents in 2017.
As of now, the average German home pays around 220 euros ($281.53) a year to finance the country’s clean energy through the surcharge. That’s left the country’s household power costs the second-highest in the European Union.
“[The reduced price] shows that we have successfully stopped the cost dynamic of the past years,” said Germany’s Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel in a statement e-mailed by his ministry. “This will help stabilize power prices for consumers.” Federations representing large swaths of German industry insist, however, that much more needs to be done to bring the costs down, and the surcharge has been a political thorn in the side of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government for years.
However, support for the country’s green energy policies remains high among the German populace, arguably because the citizens themselves locally own half the country’s renewable capacity — meaning they benefit from the returns on investment even as they pay
Electricity Prices Soaring In Top Wind Power States
Electricity prices are soaring in states generating the most wind power, U.S. Energy Information Administration data show. Although U.S. electricity prices rose less than 3 percent from 2008-2013, the 10 states with the highest percentage of wind power generation experienced average electricity price increases of more than 20 percent.
The wind power industry claims switching from conventional power to wind power will save consumers money and spur the economy. However, data from the top 10 wind power states show just the opposite. From 2008-2013 electricity prices rose an average of 20.7 percent in the top 10 wind power states, which is seven-fold higher than the national electricity price increase of merely 2.8 percent.
The electricity price increases in states producing the most wind power don’t tell the whole story. Federal and state taxpayer subsidies to wind power producers hide additional costs of wind power. The federal wind power Production Tax Credit (PTC), for example, gave wind power producers 2.3 cents for every kilowatt hour of wind power production last year. With U.S. retail electricity prices at 10.08 cents per kilowatt hour, the PTC allowed wind power producers to hide over 20 percent of wind power costs. This allowed the wind power industry to charge the American people still more money in backdoor tax bills, in addition to the higher retail electricity prices documented above.
Hi Mr. Stocks,
I shall take your question literally. Probably a bad idea though. From your post: "Germany just opened up a new COAL fired plant and have started the construction of 23 more Coal fired plants. Why is that?"
Because they need constant/dependable base power to make up for all the nuclear they shut down.
Just my take.
Best of luck,
Hi Mr. Stocks,
I have a neighbor here in my town in New Hampshire that swears that his solar installation has cut his energy bill by over 50%.
He is away all Winter to Florida, but the solar panels are used to drive his geothermal heat pump heating system. It runs when the sun shines to 80f then turns on with grid power when/if the temperature gets down to 40f.
In the summer it runs his air conditioning and other needs.
In New Hampshire, no power is allowed to enter the grid from home solar or wind for line maintenance safety reasons. So, any excess power is just shunted to ground. He builds up excess energy production credits, which he does not get paid for, but he can use to pay his grid electric bill with it.
His neighbors, including myself, pay for his pulling from the grid, but we get no benefit from his excess power generation.
He loves the system. Says everybody should do it.
Maybe he's right.
Just my take.
Best of luck,
Sure glad we didn't let the democrats suck "us" into this useless pile of manure.
Europe’s surplus of carbon permits may more than double by 2020, threatening to render the world’s biggest emissions trading system irrelevant for the foreseeable future, according to environmental lobby group Sandbag.
The glut of allowances in the European Union carbon market, the bloc’s key policy tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, may climb to 4.5 billion metric tons in the next six years, from 2.1 billion tons at the end of 2013, the London-based group said in a report. ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, had the biggest surplus, based on EU data compiled by Sandbag.
The excess, aggravated by an economic slowdown since 2008, drove the carbon permit price down to levels that undermine the incentive for polluters to cut emissions. EU heads of state and government are meeting next week to discuss a proposal to cut greenhouse gases by 40 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels. The current goal is to cut pollution 20 percent by 2020.
“Our overriding concern remains the monstrous surplus of allowances continuing to build up in the scheme, blocking the cost-effective path to reduced emissions,” Sandbag said. “Even with the welcome policy changes, the allocation of allowances under the current cap continues to be higher than demand, and the surplus is growing day by day.”
The permit glut may grow at almost 1 million tons a day over 2013-20, based on assumptions that include falling power consumption, more renewable generation and increased industrial energy efficiency, according to the report. Electricity use is predicted to drop 10 percent this decade as rising power prices spur a switch to more-efficient products, the lobby said.
Permits allowing the holder to emit one ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere have slumped 80 percent from a peak in 2008.
Hi Mr. Dakine,
From the article: "The goal is to make solar energy available to homeowners at no upfront cost. Customers will instead pay monthly fees for the electricity generated, at a rate about 40 percent lower than average in Hawaii, according to Kina’ole."
I get what you are saying. But this plan looks different to me than what you are stating and what I had read before.
The benefit is probably for folks that don't have the cash or the ability to get a loan to install such a system. Instead, they allow patagonia to put in their hardware, then the homeowner gets a reduction of 40% on every kilowatt of power they use from the solar cells.
It looks to me like it has a lot of potential for low income homeowners.
If they don't do a plan like this, they just keep going forwards with their existing billing system.
Adding a bank of solar panels to one's house, whether they pay for it themselves with cash, get a loan, or have it done at the cost of a patagonia, is probably going to add some complexity to a sale.
With the high electric cost in Hawaii, maybe it is a big plus, especially if the new buyer doesn't have to come up with extra cash to cover the investment. Instead, they just sublet the solar panels.
Oil prices are falling. So, with time, this should work it's way through the system and consumers in Hawaii should have slightly lower electrical costs anyway since most of the power comes from burning oil. I figure Hawaiian electric oil plants probably run number 5 or 6 bunkers oil. That's cheaper than number 2 heating oil. Probably costs you about 8 cents per kwh with $100/barrel oil. So if oil falls to $75, you will eventually probably save 2 cents.
I just read on the "State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
" site that for 2013, 1 out of every 3 private homes already have solar. But solar only makes up 1% or less of power.
It won't even slow it down. "Abundant Natural Gas Won't Slow Climate Change, Study Says"
Cheap and plentiful natural gas isn't quite a bridge to a brighter energy future as claimed and won't slow global warming, a new study projects.
Abundant natural gas in the United States has been displacing coal, which produces more of the chief global warming gas carbon dioxide.
But the new international study says an expansion of natural gas use by 2050 would also keep other energy-producing technologies like wind, solar and nuclear, from being used more. And those technologies are even better than natural gas for avoiding global warming.
Computer simulations show that emissions of heat-trapping gases to make electricity would not decline worldwide and could possibly go up, says the study, released Wednesday by the journal Nature.
Unconventional techniques such as high-volume hydraulic fracturing and ultra-deep water drilling have increased global supplies of natural gas so much that prices are now expected to remain relatively low for years to come. That makes generating electricity with natural gas cheaper than it otherwise would be, and makes it harder for wind and solar to compete
Five teams of experts from around the world, using five different sets of computer model simulations, looked at what would happen if natural gas — also known as methane — remains cheap and plentiful and nothing else changes, such as policy mandates. They all came to the same conclusion.
"It doesn't reduce climate change," said study lead author Haewon McJeon, an economist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Two computer models even found that when considering other factors like methane leaks, cheaper natural gas could lead to more trapping of heat by greenhouse gases, the mechanism that drives global warming. Methane traps even more heat
Patagonia plans to use state and federal tax credits to invest $13 million in the construction of solar panels on 1,000 homes in Hawaii, turning the eco-conscious retailer into the financial backer of a green electrical utility.
With the announcement on Wednesday, Patagonia hopes companies across America will follow suit with similar efforts. “Any U.S. public or private company who pays their fair share of taxes can use this strategy to speed up the development of new energy infrastructure,” Rose Marcario, Patagonia’s chief executive, said in an interview. “And they can make money doing it and create jobs.”
Patagonia is joining forces with a tiny solar-financing company, Kina’ole Capital Partners, as well as a local Hawaiian bank to create a $27 million fund to pay for rooftop installation and upkeep. Starting in Hawaii makes sense because of its abundant sunshine and sky-high electrical rates; Hawaiians currently pay three times the U.S. average for electricity.
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Patagonia’s team will take advantage of credits that reduce the tax liability for purchases of qualifying solar technologies. The goal is to make solar energy available to homeowners at no upfront cost. Customers will instead pay monthly fees for the electricity generated, at a rate about 40 percent lower than average in Hawaii, according to Kina’ole.
The fund will begin making a profit as soon as it recoups the installation and operational costs. “If the system doesn’t produce power, [customers] don’t pay,” says Andrew Yani, a co-founder of Kina’ole. “So we’re incentivized to make sure it works.”
The size of each solar panel system will be customized to each homeowner’s needs so as not to overproduce energy. In the event that too much is generated, the power will flow back into the grid and the homeowner will get a credit from her s
But what happens if you close nuclear power plants? The easy answer is that other sources have to step up to the plate and make up for the lost power. The hard answer is that natural gas will become even more important than it already is to the northeast's grid. Although that shouldn't be a problem most of the time, the lack of diversity causes notable problems during peak demand periods -- like last winter's so-called polar vortex. Taking nuclear plants offline would reduce New York's power diversity, which would have notable consequences.
The other reason why New York might not want to close its nuclear power plants is carbon dioxide. Whether you believe in global warming or not, there's a huge push to limit greenhouse gas emissions like CO2. And the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed carbon limits, though years away from implementation, clearly show that ignoring the issue isn't an option.
Unlike power plants burning coal and natural gas, nuclear power plants don't emit greenhouse gases. That's a big plus for nuclear, even though it has an image problem on the safety front. But how big is the CO2 problem?
According to UBS estimates, closing Indian Point, owned by Entergy (NYSE: ETR ) , would increase the state's carbon emissions by over 25%. Closing three smaller plants (Ginna, Fitzpatrick, and Nine Mile) would increase carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 40%. Why? Because the lost power has to come from somewhere and that would most likely include carbon-based fuels.
Now we're talkin. Instead of shipping out LNG or crude oil overseas, build factories to refine and convert those commodities into high value products.
BISMARCK, N.D., Oct. 15 (UPI) -- North Dakota is the "national powerhouse" when it comes to turning its vast energy resources into value for the state, Gov. Jack Dalrymple said.
Dalrymple and other high-ranking state officials addressed the Great Plains and Empower North Dakota Energy Conference, highlighting the billions of dollars in investments made in a state at the heart of the shale oil and gas boom.
"North Dakota is a national powerhouse in energy production and we have taken important steps to convert our energy resources into products of greater value," the governor said.
Dalrymple said the state has the right policies in place to empower all parts of the energy sector to work together to meet the growing demand for affordable energy.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said at the conference the state stands as an example of what can be accomplished with a healthy business climate. It's among the national leaders in terms of economic growth.
The comments follow an announcement by Badlands NGL, LLC of plans to build a $4 billion processing plants to convert ethane gas taken from shale deposits in the state into polyethylene, which is used in the plastics industry.
While the state's Bakken oil reserve is one of the premier shale basins in the country, it lacks the infrastructure do utilize natural gas associated with oil deposits. The Badland project will help utilize that gas and represents the largest investment in state history.
Looks like maybe 2 1/2 or 3 months is the critical time period.
DryShips Inc. (DRYS), the drybulk carrier that faces a potential funding shortfall as $700 million of debt comes due in less than two months, is seeking a bank loan after a bond sale fell through over the weekend.
The shipper would use the loan in addition to sources that include a $350 million financing from ABN Amro Group NV, $100 million available in a credit line from Nordea Bank AB, cash on hand as well as a funding commitment from Chief Executive Officer George Economou, according to two people with knowledge of the company’s plans, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.
The conveyer of dry goods such as iron ore, coal and grain pulled the bond offering to pay its convertible note due Dec. 1 after funding costs for speculative-grade borrowers surged to the highest in a year and potential buyers demanded at least 12 percent interest. The financing deal comes after DryShips, which also has tanker and offshore drilling units, said as of June it was negotiating with creditors to get waivers or restructure some of its $6 billion of debt that ran afoul of rules governing loan agreements.
“It’s a perfect storm of the capital markets being shut and oil going down,” Andrew Casella, an equity analyst at Imperial Capital LLC that cut DryShips’s shares to “underperform” yesterday, said in a telephone interview. “These two things blew up at the same time. And I am shocked they waited this long to refinance.”
DryShips canceled a $700 million offering of secured notes over the weekend that would have refinanced the convertible after potential investors demanded a sweetened yield, one of the people said. The average yield on speculative-grade bonds rose to 6.54 percent Oct. 10, the highest level in a year, according to Bank of America Merrill