Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Fools And Their Fantasies


Today, Donald Trump signs an executive order to rollback Barack Obama's environmental protection policies. Last week he re-started the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline, Ross Pelot writes, is another Trumpian pipedream:

Keystone’s ultimate rejection by the Obama White House never had anything to do with the environment, of course. A 2015 State Department assessment stated that “approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including (Keystone XL), is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands”.

Obama didn’t actually cancel the line until the discount on Alberta crude disappeared once other pipelines were expanded to eliminate the bottlenecks. Once it was clear the line was not needed anymore, Obama announced the rejection — and polished up his environmental cred in the process.

The truth that no one wants to talk about is that the economic case for Alberta bitumen has collapsed:

When OPEC agreed to cut output, the Saudis and other cartel members cut production of the kind of crude that fetches the lowest price — heavy crude. Now Canadian heavy crude and others, like Mexican Maya, are enjoying narrower spreads versus light crude. But since Canadian heavies are increasing production because of investments that were launched before the price of crude collapsed, we are helping to undo the effect of the OPEC cuts.

Couple that with the fact that U.S. shale oil production has improved its cost efficiency — and has now risen back to production levels higher than they were this time last year — and you have the reason why crude prices have dropped back below $50 due to long supplies. The principles of supply and demand are working — and we can no longer expect substantial future growth in the oilsands.

Trump has gone bankrupt four times. Justin Trudeau praised Trump's decision to restart Keystone XL. Fools and their fantasies.


12 comments:

Steve said...

Owen is it worth repeating over and over that Economics is the dismal science because it is mostly faith based. Oil has run this planet since the masters of the universe first discovered
burning whale brings light. Useful idots can make fantastic arguments about why Hydrogen is not practical because you have to apply energy to make it so. So the general public believes we just put a hole in the ground and without any other inputs cars have fuel.

We need a high priest of economics, I used to think Krugman was the one, but his Hillary love has made me discount his judgement.

Owen Gray said...

I think Krugman looked at the available choices and made a decision, Steve.

Steve said...

Owen with due respect. Thats choosing for us. He should have said they are two terrible chocies but one is better. Chearleading a pycopath is not good jouranilim or commentary.

Owen Gray said...

I'll have to let Krugman's commentary speak for itself, Steve. As I read his columns, he implied that -- because of what Trump and the Republicans stood for -- it was not a difficult choice to make.

Toby said...

Owen, I tend to skip over anything that Trump says or does; he's nuts and not worth my time. I am far more concerned that Trudeau is firmly ensconced in Trump's cheering section.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Toby. Justin should know who he's dealing with. In his book, he wins and you lose.

Steve said...

Really Owen we looked at both Kings and its better to have the black king than nothing at all?

Owen Gray said...

You and I have disagreed for a long time, Steve. Let's acknowledge that and move on.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I think Owen, that there is a chance that Trump is going full on with deregulation on businesses and organizations that have even minimal regulations, military spending, the defunding or cancelling of social programs, no matter how small and no taxes for the wealthy and corporate elite. I think he is implementing neoliberalism to its fullest extent. His neocon bosses are advising and encouraging this.

Militarily I also think he is going with full imperialism.If Trump lasts 4 yrs. the world will see more wars and America will be burdened with ever more poverty, the like of which they have not experienced since the depression.

My real worry though is that Trudeau and his cronies are supporting everything the US is doing, domestically and globally. In other words If the US wants Canada to implement the US's neoliberal policies, they just need to ask and militarily Trudeau will do and go wherever Imperial America sends Canada.

Owen Gray said...

Trump has given us all the evidence we need to understand who he is, Pam. If Justin carries Trump's water, he's a fool.

John B. said...

Greg Palast talks about the Koch brothers and Keystone XL and about Paul Singer's sinister presence at a Trump press conference.

From: http://www.gregpalast.com/gets-xl-pipeline-bonanza-koch/

"In Trump's weird psycho-babbling press conference last month, he said, 'So I want to thank Paul Singer for being here and for coming up to the office.' Reporters scratched their head, not knowing who this 'Singer' is nor why Trump brought it up."

In regard to carrying water, the Post-National Kid may have trouble finding enough buckets:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/liberal-green-light-for-chinese-takeover-a-turning-point-for-canada-experts/article34468718/

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/03/25/caanda-china-trade_n_15584542.html

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the links, John. I caught an interview with Palast yesterday. He thinks the real winners of the election were the Koch Brothers. I think he's right.