GOV/MIL Main "Great Reset" Thread


TB Fanatic

Kemp: Worldwide Energy Shortage Shows Up In Surging Coal, Gas And Oil Prices

SATURDAY, SEP 25, 2021 - 07:00 AM
By John Kemp, Reuters commodity market analyst and reporter

Record gas and electricity prices in Europe, record coal prices in China, multiyear-high gas prices in the United States and oil prices well above their real long-term average are all manifestations of the same global energy shortage.

In the aftermath of the coronavirus recession, energy production has failed to keep up with rapid growth in consumption, as energy producers struggle to raise output while demand has bounced back quickly.

The business cycle downturn and slump in energy prices caused by the pandemic, and before that the U.S./China trade conflict, depressed investment throughout the energy sector in 2019/2020.

Since then, the global economy has experienced an exceptionally rapid cyclical recovery, aided by low interest rates, bond buying and massive government spending, which has focused on energy-intensive merchandise rather than services, boosting energy consumption at extraordinary rates.

The result is a severe cyclical shortage of energy, evident in below-average inventories and surging prices for coal, gas and oil in all the major consuming regions of the world.

Unusual weather has worsened the shortages, including a cold winter in the Northern Hemisphere in 2020/21, a late winter storm in Texas in February 2021, slow wind speeds in Europe in August-September 2021, and hurricane-related disruption to oil output in the Gulf of Mexico.

In recent months, China has reported low coal stocks at power stations and the government has urged major producing regions to boost output as a matter of urgency; coal futures prices have more than doubled from a year ago.

In the gas market, inventories are 5% below the pre-pandemic seasonal average in the United States and 15% below average in Europe.

Front-month gas futures prices have risen 140% in the United States, more than 500% in Europe, and more than 600% in Northeast Asia, compared with the same time last year.

On the oil side, U.S. commercial petroleum stocks are 5% below the pre-pandemic seasonal average and commercial inventories across the OECD are also around 5% below the 2015-2019 seasonal average.

Benchmark Brent futures are trading in the 70th percentile in real terms since 1990...

... while the six-month calendar spread is in the 98th percentile, indicating traders anticipate inventories will become even tighter.

Energy industries have always exhibited strongly cyclical behavior. The bigger the initial disturbance to production, consumption, inventories and prices, the larger the immediate response, and the larger the subsequent reaction.

In this case, low inventories and high prices for coal, gas and oil are the direct consequence of high inventories and low prices this time last year caused by the first wave of the pandemic.

Following an exceptionally rapid economic rebound, global industrial production...

... and world trade volumes are both down by less than 1% compared with their pre-pandemic and pre-trade-war trends.

Global spare capacity is limited, especially in merchandise-producing industries, which are far more energy-intensive than service-producing sectors.

In consequence, global energy consumption is running very close to its long-term trend, with isolated exceptions, the most important of which is a sharp drop in the use of jet fuel for international passenger aviation.

With large sections of the global economy operating at close to full capacity, the energy system is struggling to meet incremental demand and prices are accelerating as a result.


TB Fanatic

Is China Using Wokeism To Erode American Democracy?

FRIDAY, SEP 24, 2021 - 11:20 PM
Authored by Frank Fang and Jan Jekielek via The Epoch Times,

The communist regime in China is using “wokeism” as a geopolitical tool to undermine U.S. democracy, said Vivek Ramaswamy, author of “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam.”

“They [China] are using that to divide us, to use that as a kink in our armor to divide us from within, by getting corporations to criticize injustice here, without saying a peep about injustice over there and deflecting accountability for their human rights abuses,” Ramaswamy said in a recent interview with EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders.”

He said U.S. companies like NBA and Disney—who criticize social issues in the United States but remain silent on China’s human rights abuses such as those in Xinjiang—are in fact empowering communist China.

In 2020, Disney drew heavy criticism when it was revealed that it filmed a live-action remake of “Mulan” in China’s far-western region of Xinjiang, where Beijing has locked up over 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in internment camps. Several governments including the United States have characterized China’s oppression in Xinjiang as “genocide.”

The NBA was in hot water in 2019 after Houston Rockets then-general manager Daryl Morey voiced support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters in a Twitter post. The Chinese regime, which cast the protesters as “rioters,” suspended airing NBA games in retaliation, while Chinese companies cut ties with the league.

In an apologetic statement, the NBA said Morey’s tweet was “regrettable” and “deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China.” However, the league did not bow to Chinese pressure to discipline or fire Morey.
“What that has the effect of doing is creating a false moral equivalence between the United States and China,” he explained.
He added:
“And that actually erodes our greatest geopolitical asset of all, that is not our nuclear arsenal, it is our moral standing on the global stage.”
Meanwhile, the Chinese regime has been “rolling out the red carpet” for companies that criticized injustice in the United States, Ramaswamy said. For example, he pointed to U.S. online lodging platform Airbnb, which has voiced support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ramaswamy argued that Airbnb paid “a dirty bribe” to Beijing when it shared its guest data with Chinese authorities in exchange for being able to do business in China.

In March, over 190 global campaign groups wrote an open letter to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, asking the firm to withdraw its support for the 2022 Winter Olympics in China’s capital Beijing because of the communist regime’s horrific human rights records.

“Airbnb should not be encouraging a wider tourist industry to be supported and allowed to flourish at the expense of Uyghur and Tibetan rights,” the groups wrote.

Airbnb, who inked a partnership with the International Olympic Committee in 2019, is one of the organization’s 15 leading sponsors.

Ramaswamy said, “The way in which they [China] have turned our own companies into Trojan horses to undermine us from within is the flip side of the modern Battle of Troy. They’ve sent the Trojan horse in.”

The modern-day wokeism, which Ramaswamy characterized as a “culture of self-criticism,” has borne resemblance to old school Chinese communist politics, as well as former Chinese leader Mao Zedong’s Red Guards, he explained.

“This is a time of effectively living in a modern Red Guard revolution in America, except instead of the Chinese Red Guard pushing the philosophy of Marxism, the new Red Guard is pushing it through all of our major institutions, from the private sector to the public, they are pushing this new philosophy of wokeism,” he said.

He added: “Someone inside needed to sound the alarm bell.”

Mao instigated the Red Guards, who were Chinese high school and university students, to persecute those identified as “class enemies” of the communist regime, amid the Cultural Revolution that lasted 10 years until Mao’s death in 1976.

Ramaswamy warned that “American greatness” would be coming to an end if Americans weren’t able to reverse the trend.

He explained, “[We need to] harness and rediscover our own culture of excellence, our own culture of the unapologetic pursuit of excellence through our system of free enterprise, and through our democracy in ways that require seeing past the superficial demands of the woke movement.”


TB Fanatic

Renewables Not So Reliable As US Hydropower Plunges 14%

FRIDAY, SEP 24, 2021 - 10:20 PM

The transition away from hydrocarbons is not a seamless as many hope. The latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows a significant decline this year in hydropower generation amid historic droughts.

The magical thinking about renewable energy and President Biden's calls for the U.S. power grid to be 100% clean by 2035 is a pipe dream.

The problem with renewable energy is sustainability. California and states in the Pacific Northwest have found out that out the hard way this summer as droughts and back-to-back heat waves have led to a plunge in hydropower capacity. The region produces a bulk of U.S. hydropower capacity.

EIA estimates U.S. hydropower plants will be 14% lower in 2021 than it was in 2020.

Hydropower generation in the Northwest, which includes the Columbia River Basin and parts of other Rocky Mountain states, is expected to be 12% lower than the prior year. Hydropower generation in California will be down a shocking 49% in 2021 than in 2020.

The dry conditions have reduced water levels across large parts of the Columbia River Basin this summer, drought emergencies were declared in counties across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Some reservoirs in California halted hydropower generation due to declining water levels.

Between March and April, hydropower generation in Washington and Oregon was 10% below the 10-year range. Over the summer, hydropower generation in these states moved back within range. But in California, hydropower generation stayed below the 10-year range as the Edward Hyatt Power Plant at Lake Oroville went offline due to low water levels last month.

This summer, California's energy challenges show the state's aggressive push to slash carbon emissions by shifting to renewable energy has its disadvantages. The state's top grid operator, California Independent System Operator (CAISO), requested and was granted an emergency measure by the federal government to fire up natural gas generation plants to prevent blackouts amid the loss of some renewable energy sources.

Maybe it's time for California to admit their "green" push has been a complete disaster, and the transition is not going to be as seamless as once thought. But wait, they already have:
The short-term strategy for California has been to fire up fossil fuel generation plants as renewable energy sources become unreliable. This is just one ugly truth about renewable power the progressives don't want you to hear.


TB Fanatic

Scottish Commentator Neil Oliver Sees World Leaders as “Frightened of Their Own People”

By Joe Hoft
Published September 26, 2021 at 8:00am

The elites, political leaders, and billionaires are scared, according to Scottish Commentator Neil Oliver.

Look at what’s going on around the world and you can see the world leaders and elites want more control.

Sundance at the Conservative Treehouse shared the following video from Scottish commentator, Neil Oliver. Leaders and billionaire elites are scared, according to Oliver:

With great wealth comes great anxiety apparently. As well as fearing the people, like leaders do, billionaires don’t much like us either. We’re like ants and wasps, spoiling what might otherwise might be a lovely picnic just for them. Our small lives are petty concerns, rent, mortgages, health, education. But beneath them, more importantly, our lives are so different by circumstances, fully incomprehensible to them.
There are two groups to watch. Those with everything to lose and those with nothing to lose. Leaders feel backed into a corner by the great unwashed often seek safety by demanding and taking more and more control for their own good of course.

From the beginning emporers have felt safest when as many groups as possible are kneeling down or lying flat on their faces so they might be walked over. It’s hard for a person to defend him or herself from a kneeling position or prone, far less fight. Fearful leaders need insulation between themselves and the people and so prefer to hoard everything of value, food, resources, wealth, so they might dole out the crumbs.
There’s already talk to an end of money as we have known it, to be replaced by something virtual and digital, something you can neither see and touch. Imagine a world where it’s not you who decides how much of your money you can spend on beer, or meat or a holiday, but an algorith making that decision for you for your own good.
Oliver, is an archaeologist and best known as the presenter of several documentary series including A History of Scotland, Vikings, and Coast. This commentary was genius.

6:48 min


TB Fanatic

IRS would track all bank transactions over $600 under Biden plan; businesses revolt
A letter signed by more than 40 trade associations calls on Congress to reject the proposal, saying it violates customer privacy and would create an incredibly expensive and elaborate reporting requirement for banks.

By Casey Harper
Updated: September 25, 2021 - 11:35pm

Amajor component of President Joe Biden's plan to raise revenue to pay for his trillions of dollars in new federal spending is now under fire from trade associations across the country.

The Biden administration has made clear its plan to beef up IRS auditing by expanding the agency's funding and power. Biden's latest proposal would require banks to turn over to the Internal Revenue Service bank account information for all accounts holding more than $600.

In a sharp pushback against the proposal, more thn 40 trade associations, some of which represent entire industries or economic sectors, signed a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) raising the alarm about the plan.

The letter, which includes the support of several banking coalitions, calls on Congress to reject that requirement, saying it violates customer privacy and would create an incredibly expensive and elaborate reporting requirement for the banks.

"While the stated goal of this vast data collection is to uncover tax dodging by the wealthy, this proposal is not remotely targeted to that purpose or that population," the letter said. "In addition to the significant privacy concerns, it would create tremendous liability for all affected parties by requiring the collection of financial information for nearly every American without proper explanation of how the IRS will store, protect, and use this enormous trove of personal financial information. We believe that this program is costly for all parties, not fit for purpose, and loaded with potential for unintended and serious negative consequences."

The groups argue it would target "almost every American" and question whether the IRS could keep that information secure from hackers and bad actors.

"The undersigned associations representing a cross-section of financial and business interests write to express our strong opposition to a proposal under consideration as part of the reconciliation package that would establish an expansive new tax information reporting regime that would directly impact almost every American and small business with an account at a financial institution," the letter said. "This proposal would create significant operational and reputational challenges for financial institutions, increase tax preparation costs for individuals and small businesses, and create serious financial privacy concerns. We urge members to oppose any efforts to advance this ill-advised new reporting regime."

Some reports indicate that Democrats hope to raise the $600 threshold, but that has not yet materialized.

Biden proposed giving an extra $80 billion to the IRS earlier this year for auditing, saying the agency would more than make back those funds. House Democrats' have so far indicated they plan to fulfill that request.

"There's a 99 percent compliance rate on wages — because wage earners get their earnings reported to the IRS," says a fact sheet that was handed out by the White House to lawmakers to sell them on the plan. "But the super wealthy who get their income from unreported sources are able to hide their income and avoid paying the tax they owe. In fact, each year the top 1 percent chooses not to pay more than $160 billion in taxes."

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee have scheduled a virtual roundtable Wednesday entitled "Weaponization of the IRS: A Sordid History and the Need for Taxpayer Protections" to discuss these concerns.

"The meeting will highlight the efforts of congressional Democrats to nearly double the size of the IRS with a massive funding increase while doing nothing to address the weaponization of the IRS, including the massive, criminal leak of taxpayer information to ProPublica in June of this year," Texas Republican Rep. Kevin Brady's office said.

This isn't the only business community criticism to be levied at the $3.5 trillion bill in recent days.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce officially condemned the bill this week, calling it an "existential threat" to the economy.

"This reconciliation bill is effectively 100 bills in one representing every big government idea that's never been able to pass in Congress," U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne Clark said. "The bill is an existential threat to America's fragile economic recovery and future prosperity. We will not find durable or practical solutions in one massive bill that is equivalent to more than twice the combined budgets of all 50 states. The success of the bipartisan infrastructure negotiations provides a much better model for how Congress should proceed in addressing America's problems."


TB Fanatic
Renewables Not So Reliable As US Hydropower Plunges 14%

Maybe Washington State should send more electricity to California.
Maybe they shouldn't rip out the Klamath hydropower dams.
Maybe they should encourage small biomass plants and bulk wood pellet heat in rural forested areas.
Maybe they should override the enviro-NIMBY blockage of geothermal development.
Maybe they should harvest wave energy on the coasts.
Maybe they should build up the grid to allow for greater power transmission and connectivity.

These were,all ideas explored, developed and advocated for in the last decade of my political career when I was north state rep to the Southern Oregon Clean Energy Alliance and my County's rep to the North Coast Resource Partnership.
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