Posts tagged “economy”
Crude oil prices surged last spring following disruptions in oil production from Libya, and had been drifting down during the summer and fall. But since the beginning of October, the price of West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil have both risen by over 30%, putting them back up near where they had been last spring. What’s changed in the world since the beginning of October?
In Part I we saw that the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) pays for shoddy studies and then cites them to fear-monger into getting more tax dollars. Hypocritically, when they are challenged with a critical point on ethanol, they attempt to cast doubt by questioning the source of funding from the challenger (as shown here). Here in Part II, I will show that the RFA is guilty of misrepresentation so blatant that it can only be called dishonesty. Perhaps the biggest irony in all of this is that our tax dollars via the ethanol subsidies keep groups like the RFA in business. The circle goes like this: Tax dollars and mandates create and support an ethanol industry. Some of the money… Continue»
Over the next two posts, I will examine some of the tactics used by the Renewable Fuels Association to justify keeping the $6 billion ethanol subsidy that was made almost entirely redundant when the the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was passed into law in 2005. Not satisfied with a market that is mandated by law to grow by 25% between now and 2015, the ethanol lobby insists that they need the subsidies as well. As I will show, they have no qualms about deceiving people to get their way. In this post, I will cover a tactic that the RFA has previously condemned in others: Paying for self-serving research. I will also show that the amount of taxpayer money they… Continue»
Respected oil analyst and oil industry veteran Charles Maxwell has forecast peak oil by 2017 or 2018.
I am no economist, but bear with me while I try to explain why I think we are in for a very long and difficult economic period. My thesis for The Long Recession goes something like this: Historically, when oil prices rose quickly and remained high the economy struggled. High oil prices lead to recessions and depressions, because they suck so much money out of the economy. A person whose energy bills go up by $100 or $200 per month has that much less to spend on other things. It is essentially like a tax applied to everyone that uses energy — with a large chunk of the money exiting the U.S. and contributing to our trade deficit. Historically after… Continue»
Obama harshly criticized his political opponents for attempting to block the administration’s clean energy policies in Congress.
Last Friday Paul Krugman warned about the possibility of another decade of zero. Krugman warned about the risks of being over-zealous in fighting inflation, and suggested—indirectly—that additional stimulus might be needed. He ended by saying that we could hope that past stimulus will jump-start the economy, but concluded “hope is not a plan.” So what IS a plan? The plan would have to begin by correcting the underlying economic imbalances that led to the recession. While we have made some progress on the direct triggers of the recession, by tightening up credit, especially on home mortgages, and by trying to regulate lending more thoughtfully, we still have not addressed the underlying causes. For mortgage lending, we have made almost no… Continue»