America’s Enery Boom is Changing the World’s Energy Market

November, 2014

shamrock_voteThanks to fracking, America is experiencing a flood of energy supplies and changing the global energy market.

Oil and natural gas supplies are hitting new record highs, in spite of Washington, D.C.

The President and the Democrats are using every trick to shut down or curtail energy expansion in the USA. Between EPA and their never-ending restrictive regulations, and other government agencies trying to invoke the endangered species act to protect prairie chickens and restrict exploration, the President and his followers seem intent on turning off the energy spigot of opportunity for America. They do so under the guise of climate change which the President considers our nation’s number one priority. Most Americans do not agree.

Keystone Pipeline

The President refuses to approve the Keystone Pipeline in spite of study after study showing limited to no impact on the environment. Unfortunately, Canada is tired of waiting. They have decided to build a pipeline to the East Coast of Canada, and then ship the oil to the refiners.

Rail Cars

With the Keystone Pipeline in limbo, we are shipping oil via rail car. In response, the government has decreed we must “harden” 335,000 rail cars. Specifications are still under development to insure added safety. However, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, 99.997% of potentially dangerous cargo arrives at its destination without incident!

Oil Supplies and the Price of Gas

Not too long ago the anti-energy crowd was stating that the increased supply of oil would not have a favorable impact on retail gasoline prices. Wrong!!!

Here are the facts:

  • Gasoline prices have dropped from $4.00+ per gallon to less than $3.00.
  • This saves the average U.S. family $1,200 per year!!!

Energy Independence and Politics

Energy independence makes us less vulnerable to worldwide political events. Lower oil prices means less money to support radical groups in the Middle East or to finance Russia’s ruthless expansion into Ukraine and elsewhere.

Natural Gas

More people are switching to natural gas to power their cars and trucks. Why? It’s cleaner and less expensive…the equivalent of $1.70 per gallon of gasoline. Commercial truck fleets are among the first to convert. They are running cleaner and saving money by retrofitting their vehicles to burn 60/40 blends of natural gas and diesel.

Summary

America’s growing energy supplies plus more efficient vehicles provide the opportunity for energy independence that we have sought since the embargoes of the 1970s.
Lower energy costs mean more jobs and lower prices for American consumers. Plus people are switching to more fuel efficient cars and trucks which further lowers consumption, carbon emissions and costs. That’s a Win-Win-Win!

Vote!

When you go to the polls November 4th, make your vote count! Support candidates that support U.S. energy opportunities and independence. Doing so will Keep America Great!!!

Happy 100th Birthday to the Panama Canal

October, 2014

shipOn August 15, 1914, Captain John A. Constantine made the first official transit of the Panama Canal. This 48-mile water route across the Continental Divide was finished on time and within budget.

Without United States ingenuity and funding, however, this project might never have seen completion. The French had tried; they lost 22,000 lives to disease and accidents, spent $287 million, and gave up after nine years.

Previously considering a passage through Nicaragua, the United States Congress authorized purchase of the assets of the failed French project in 1902. Under President Theodore Roosevelt, a U.S. engineering panel was formed. Their plan was to create a lock system that could raise and lower ships 85 feet using water from the Chagres River.

The country of Colombia had different ideas. With the Panama region still part of Colombia, they refused to ratify the agreement which would allow the United States to proceed with its plan. The Panamanians revolted, declared their independence, and negotiated a treaty giving America the rights to over 500 square miles to build the canal and control the zone in perpetuity.

Forty-two thousand workers built, dredged and excavated the route from Colon to Balboa.

The dam they built on the Chagres River created Gatun Lake. This allowed navigation through the mountains on the Pacific side and reduced by about half the distance requiring excavation.

They built a new, heavy-duty Panama Railway to carry workers, supplies, equipment, and debris into and out of the area. It also handled the commercial freight crossing the isthmus.

To combat disease, a rigorous approach to sanitation and mosquito abatement was implemented. This systematic, organized approach was a medical breakthrough. It essentially eliminated yellow fever in Panama and removed a significant barrier to worker recruitment.

Construction of the Panama Canal also pushed the window on technology. American companies improved their rock crushers, dredgers, even refrigeration systems to speed the project along. And new electric-powered “mule engines” were designed to help stabilize and guide ships through the locks.

By the time of its completion, the building of the Panama Canal moved enough earth and rubble to cover Manhattan Island 12-feet high.

Today, it takes eight-to-10 hours to go through the locks, lake and passageways of the canal, and 13,000-14,000 vessels use the waterway each year. Specially-trained canal pilots assume navigational control of the ship while in the canal. Tolls for a ship’s transit can be as high as $450,000.

The Panama Canal is no longer under U.S. authority, with control transferred to Panama in 1999. It currently is undergoing a $5.25 billion expansion project to allow passage of vessels carrying nearly three times their current loads. The new locks and deeper navigational channels are scheduled to open in 2015.

In last month’s Reflections, I lamented that not enough “Can Do” and too much “Can’t Do” are restricting America’s success. America was built on a “Can Do” attitude and the Panama Canal is a shining example.

Something to reflect upon.

We Need More “Can Do” in America!

September, 2014

shamrock_possibleAmerica’s success is being restricted by not enough “Can Do” and too much “Can’t Do.”

America was built on the attitude of “Can Do.” Regardless of the problems we have faced—and we have had many—the American people have rallied to solve problems. The key to success has always been leadership…

Accomplishing the right objective at the right time!!!

“Reflections” readers have been exposed to a number of ideas that, if implemented, would generate greater success for America.

Recently, George Shultz, the former Secretary of Labor, Treasury and State, offered some sound ideas:

  • Cleanse the personal income tax system of deductions and lower the marginal rate on a revenue neutral basis;
  • Reduce corporate taxes so our companies can compete on a worldwide basis, and keep more jobs in America;
  • Get control of spending. If we don’t, debt service will be unbearable when interest rates rise to a normal level; and,
  • Address Obamacare. Let people buy the coverage they want and need. Expand health saving accounts.

Implementing these ideas, plus expanding our own energy resources, would have a positive effect on the economy and create more jobs in the USA!

Can’t Do

We have government agencies placing one road block after another, reducing our ability to do the right things.

EPA is enemy number one. They issue one regulation after another shutting down electrical production. They have no regard for our electrical output. Coal provides 40% of our electricity. Where will the power come from if EPA shuts them down? Solar and wind mills won’t cover the loss. Prices will go up. Jobs will be lost!

The Dodd-Frank law was passed four years ago. We are still waiting for the unelected bureaucrats to issue the final regulations. In the meantime, try to get a home loan.

We could go on and on about the government epidemic of “Can’t Do” regulations. Why does the government want to regulate more of our lives?

I live in a prairie state. You can still see the ruts in the ground from the wagon trains as they headed west. These hardy souls piled all of their possessions in a wagon, bound for a place they had never seen. They made it to the west coast without the benefit of the EPA, IRS, Labor Department or OSHA.

Their hearts were filled with a “Can Do” attitude and they built America!

Summary

We need a “Can Do” attitude in Washington more than ever. Only our own “Can’t Do” stupidity is holding our nation back from achieving greatness.

We have an election in a few months. When you vote, choose wisely.

Let’s get America moving again!