May 19, 2014 |
The struggle of oil vs. biofuels has split the industrial and political elites in Philadelphia, as it has elsewhere. Delaware River oil refiners and their energetic new owners - Carlyle Group, Delta Airlines, PBF Energy - are doing their part to process the output of the vast, new North American energy fields. Oil arrives here by train, pipe, and barge to fuel what they hope will be an industrial renaissance and a projection of renewed American economic power overseas. Together, these oilmen prevailed on Philadelphia Democrat U.S. Rep. Bob Brady to urge Vice President Biden to help delay Environmental Protection Agency guidelines mandating the use of more ethanol (corn-based alcohol)
July 26, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - In an election-year swipe at President Obama's energy policies, the Republican-led House on Wednesday voted to revoke Obama's five-year plan for offshore drilling, replacing it with its own plan that calls for more ambitious oil and gas development off the U.S. coast. The legislation will likely go nowhere in the Senate and the White House has issued a veto threat, but as with the tax and regulatory bills the House is also taking up this month, it puts lawmakers on the record on the issues that divide the two parties.
July 19, 2012 |
KNOW HOW a summer cold, likely caused by walking into freezing AC after walking along melting streets caused by global warming (IS NOT! IS TOO!) can just put you in a mood? That's where I am. So my tolerance for the billion-dollar nonsense masquerading as a presidential campaign is at this point really, really low. The RomBama stuff about Bain and who's a liar, about tax returns and who's a sneak, about who most loves the middle class and who's an elite, disconnected (fill in the blank)
September 2, 2011 |
Question: After regular service by my heating-oil provider, I was told our tank is showing some rust on the bottom and will need to be replaced. Aside from wishing to avoid such an expense, there also is a logistical concern. My 113-year-old home has a small stairwell with a landing-and-turn that is even more limited in size. I have no idea how they managed to get our old, 275-gallon tank down there. One contractor suggested replacing it with a smaller 130-gallon tank, but even that may not fit. Another suggestion was to remove the old tank and convert to a gas-fired boiler, but despite potential long-term fuel savings, the upfront costs are too prohibitive.
May 18, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats tried Tuesday to channel public anger at $4-a-gallon gasoline into passing a bill to repeal federal tax breaks and subsidies for five major oil companies, but they fell short. After bashing Big Oil in a hearing last week, Senate Democrats mustered fewer than the 60 votes they needed under Senate rules to move the bill to a final vote. The final count was 52-48. Three Democrats - Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Ben Nelson of Nebraska - voted against the measure.
May 13, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - Motorists are paying around $4 for a gallon of gasoline while the oil industry reaps pretax profits that could hit $200 billion this year. That makes another big number hard to take: $4.4 billion. That's how much the oil industry saves every year through tax breaks intended to promote domestic drilling. That was the background Thursday for a Senate hearing that flogged oil-company chief executive officers - and no senator bothered to pretend it was about making gasoline prices more affordable or helping the economy recover from the recession.
May 13, 2011
ABOUT 300 million years ago, as closely as we can reckon, sea algae and giant ferns died and began to be pressure-cooked beneath the Earth's surface. Some 150 million years later in the Cretaceous period, reptiles the size of construction cranes started dropping like flies, and their decaying carcasses were added to this primordial ooze. Today, their refined remains are going for $4 a gallon, assuring dinosaur-size profits for an industry that has grown bloated on this Paleozoic windfall.
May 7, 2011 |
NEW YORK - After a run-up of more than 85 cents a gallon in the last three months to just shy of $4, average U.S. pump prices are about to start falling and could hit $3.50 by summer. Relief will come soon - though you probably won't see much change this weekend - because oil prices fell 15 percent this week, the steepest decline in 21/2 years. Oil hit a two-year high of $114.83 a barrel in Monday's trading. It closed Friday at $97.18. The plunge was part of a sharp sell-off in commodities this week.
March 23, 2011
KNOW HOW much a Tomahawk cruise missile costs? Various military websites put the price at around $1.2 million. As of yesterday, we had tossed 161 of these 18-foot long, 2,600-pound puppies into Libya. That's $193 million in a couple of days, just for missiles. Know what an F-15 fighter-jet costs? An F-15E Strike Eagle, like the one that crashed in Libya yesterday (without injury to crew), cost $31.1 million. Defense analysts say that the overall price of our presence in Libya is a nice round $100 million a day. And that presence is described as a humanitarian effort to protect civilians as part of a United Nations resolution and not, I repeat, not a war. Are you effin' kidding me?
September 23, 2010
The Senate is expected to vote Thursday on legislation that would restore some openness to an increasingly secretive campaign finance system. The Disclose Act would require corporations, labor unions, and a proliferation of misleading "nonprofit" groups to report their campaign expenses and donors. This measure is needed more than ever because of the Supreme Court's decision that allows corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts to influence federal elections. A bill has already passed the House, but it stalled in the Senate over the summer.