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Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member since: Mon Dec 13, 2004, 02:55 AM
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Goodbye ANWR. Hello joint U.S. and Russia arctic drilling and increased global warming.

The pieces are now in place for accords and joint actions that U.S. CEOs and Russian oligarchs have been seeking for years.

Sanctions interfered with those plans. With Republicans in control of all branches, that will likely change.


Tillerson had spent time in the 1990s overseeing a flagship Exxon project in Russia. And he flew there in 2011 to meet with Putin and announce a strategic partnership with Rosneft, the national oil company that absorbed Yukos' main assets after Khodorkovsky was thrown in jail.The two companies were to jointly develop potentially massive oil reserves in Russia's Arctic waters, the Black Sea, and Siberian unconventional resources. Putin spoke of investments from the deal eventually reaching perhaps $500 billion -- a big number even for Exxon. No sooner had the venture struck oil beneath the Kara Sea, though, than Exxon was forced to down tools as U.S. sanctions over the Ukraine crisis kicked in.

What Exxon, like any major, really seeks are very large, oil-focused prospects that play to its strengths, where reserves can be booked periodically to top up the tank and high upfront costs can be defrayed over decades of production. In other words, exactly what Russia potentially offered. Whether focusing on such mega-projects is a good way to go is debatable, but for now that is Exxon's way. And the company's judgment on this score has notably been called into question this year. For example, as Wolfe Research analyst Paul Sankey has pointed out, the cut to Exxon's triple-A credit rating by Standard & Poor's was directly linked to concerns around the huge spending required to replace its reserves.

No worries for them about pesky regulation since all Trump appointees are for deregulation and either deny climate change or in the case of Tillerson, acknowledge it's real, but maintain that we will just need to adjust to new realities.


In a speech on Wednesday, Tillerson acknowledged that burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet, but said society will be able to adapt. The risks of oil and gas drilling are well understood and can be mitigated, he said. And dependence on other nations for oil is not a concern as long as access to supply is certain, he said.
Tillerson, in a break with predecessor Lee Raymond, acknowledged that global temperatures are rising. "Clearly there is going to be an impact," he said. But he questioned the ability of climate models to predict the magnitude of the impact. He said that people would be able to adapt to rising sea levels and changing climates that may force agricultural production to shift.

"We have spent our entire existence adapting. We'll adapt," he said. "It's an engineering problem and there will be an engineering solution."


Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) will likely be tapped to lead the Department of the Interior, which oversees all of the U.S. public lands, including forest management, the Parks Service, and fossil fuel extraction.
McMorris Rodgers has repeatedly expressed her support for oil. She supports expanding offshore drilling, voted for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and voted against raising the royalty rates for oil and gas that comes from public lands.
The Department of the Interior includes the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management, which permits offshore drilling and renewable energy. A proposed plan to include parts of the Atlantic in the bureau’s five-year plan was scrapped earlier this year after community opposition. If confirmed under the Trump administration, McMorris Rodgers will have a key role in shaping the next plan.

Previously, the joint venture was just aiming for drilling on the Russian side. They have been trying for years to drill in ANWR, but had been mostly blocked. Now they can exploit both sides in a joint venture.

Never forget - money makes their world go 'round.

Boeing and Carrier - blue state vs red state?

I've been wondering if Trump's recent publicity blitzes with Boeing and Carrier are connected to reward and penalty for political support.

Carrier is in a state that voted for Trump and that is the home of his Vice President.

There have been reports that the Carrier deal is more about securing advantage in federal contracts for its parent company than about Carrier's jobs.

Carrier Corp.'s decision to keep hundreds of jobs in Indianapolis had more to do with access to the federal government than state incentives, sources familiar with the deal told IndyStar.

Carrier is maintaining its Indianapolis operations largely because of the business interests of its parent company, United Technologies Corp., said John Mutz, an Indiana Economic Development Corp. board member. The IEDC awards state incentives, primarily training grants and tax credits.

Mutz, who was briefed on the state's offer to Carrier, said United Technologies "wants to make sure they maintain a favorable relationship" with the incoming Trump administration.

Meanwhile, Boeing's headquarters are in Illinois and its traditional manufacturing base is in Washington State, both of which voted for Hillary.

Is this the opening shot in a possible pattern of rewarding red states and punishing blue ones?

That is what happened at the 1913 suffrage march. They didn't give up.


The procession began late, but all went well for the first few blocks . Soon, however, the crowds, mostly men in town for the following day's inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, surged into the street making it almost impossible for the marchers to pass . Occasionally only a single file could move forward. Women were jeered, tripped, grabbed, shoved, and many heard “indecent epithets” and “barnyard conversation.”5 Instead of protecting the parade, the police “seemed to enjoy all the ribald jokes and laughter and part participated in them.”6 One policeman explained that they should stay at home where they belonged. The men in the procession heard shouts of “Henpecko” and “Where are your skirts?” As one witness explained, “There was a sort of spirit of levity connected with the crowd. They did not regard the affair very seriously.”7

But to the women, the event was very serious. Helen Keller “was so exhausted and unnerved by the experience in attempting to reach a grandstand . . . that she was unable to speak later at Continental hall .”8 Two ambulances “came and went constantly for six hours, always impeded and at times actually opposed, so that doctor and driver literally had to fight their way to give succor to the injured”9 . One hundred marchers were taken to the local Emergency Hospital. Before the afternoon was over, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, responding to a request from the chief of police, authorized the use of a troop of cavalry from nearby Fort Myer to help control the crowd.10

Seattle will also have a solidarity march.
The day after the inauguration of Donald Trump, "ALL women, femme, trans, gender non-conforming, and feminist people (including men and boys) are invited to march... support for the community members who have been marginalized by the recent election." This event will take place in solidarity with the Million Women March being planned for the same day in Washington, DC.

We should watch stories about Hamm for awhile since he's part of Trump's inner circle.

Trump is all about confusing people and the press with purposeful misdirection and bombast. Past and current actions and statements by his inner circle and appointees are more telling of the direction he is taking.


Hamm, who made his fortune by pioneering new drilling methods in North Dakota's Bakken Formation, did not offer a timeline for when this would be possible, but it would certainly be a difficult task. Surging U.S. production since 2008 was largely responsible for creating a global oversupply of oil that sent prices spiraling from more than $100 a barrel to $26 this past winter.

The billionaire oilman and energy advisor to President-elect Donald Trump acknowledged the difficulty of such a renewed boom in oil production.

"We could take it from 10 to 20 . The key here is not to get too much production coming back in — oversupply the market — or prices collapse and that's not a good deal for everybody," Hamm told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

"We have that potential in this country. That's what's available here. It needs to be done in a very systematic way," he said.


Billionaire oilman Harold Hamm said Thursday he has suggested that President-elect Donald Trump should nominate Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., for Energy secretary.

Hamm, an energy adviser to Trump, has long been seen as a candidate for the position, but he has repeatedly said he already has a full-time job running Continental Resources. The company made its name proving crude oil could be profitably extracted from shale rock in North Dakota using advanced drilling methods.

Cramer has said Hamm should have the right of first refusal for Energy secretary, but Hamm told CNBC that Cramer is the man for the job.

"Kevin's a great guy, and he would be a perfect candidate, as well. I've put his name forward," Hamm said on "Squawk on the Street." "He'd sort of do a better job in that post than me."

Trump has an interest in pushing this. The protestors know this.

Some background:

“I don’t feel less needed,” said Peterson, who, like others, said he was concerned the victory could melt away if the company drilled anyway. There is also concern that President-elect Trump — an investor in the project — could seek to push the pipeline through once he takes office.

Many opponents — who have been dubbed “water protectors” — said they still don’t want to leave the camp as long as the company has equipment at its drill pad and police continue to block the highway that accesses the construction site.


“I hope everyone can just go home; it’s real,” he said of the victory. “It’s not a hoax. Of course what is on everyone’s mind is what happens in seven weeks (when Trump takes office), and that is a legitimate question.”

Indeed, Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., the state’s only congressman and a longtime Trump supporter — and someone Trump is said to be considering for Energy Secretary — issued a statement Sunday promising a turnaround.

"Trudeau OKs expanding Trans Mountain oil pipeline to B.C.; foes vow to fight"


A major expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline that will nearly triple the capacity of an existing pipeline carrying oil from Alberta to a Vancouver-area harbor was approved by the Canadian government yesterday.

The project is opposed by many environmental groups, First Nations and tribes on both sides of the border because it would lead to a dramatic increase in tanker traffic on the Salish Sea — marine waters shared by British Columbia and Washington state — and increase the chance of spills, as well as stoke global warming.
The expansion will result in a sevenfold increase in the number of oil tankers in the Salish Sea from 120 per year to 816 per year. That also creates a significant increase in the chance of spills, according to a vessel-traffic risk assessment by George Washington University.

“I stand tall and firmly say that this pipeline is not going to be built, whatever it takes,” said Charlene Aleck, an elected councilor of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. “You don’t just need First Nations’ consultation, you need their consent. They have never had a meaningful consultation, let alone gotten to consent,” she said of Kinder Morgan.

Yes, and to retire, too. Her husband wants to remove pensions.


The fact is the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) is not broken. It won’t bankrupt our state – unless, perhaps, antagonists succeed in shutting it down. And the loss of a secure retirement safety net for school employees will only exacerbate teacher shortages already being felt in Michigan.

Rumors of a coming public pension fight had swirled in Lansing since summer, and they were confirmed with a speech in late September by Amway President Doug DeVos – who called restructuring of government employee pensions the top goal of the West Michigan Policy Forum.

That’s the same group behind the Legislature’s ramrodding of so-called right-to-work legislation in 2012 and corporate tax cuts before then.

In his speech, DeVos said the West Michigan Policy Forum’s vote to advocate moving public employees to a 401(k)-style retirement system “sends a message to all of our elected officials. And we take these (votes) very seriously; we move them forward with all of our might.”

Exactly. Her father was a founder of the Family Research Council and her husband

used Orwellian language to fight against unions in Michigan, labeling it "Freedom to work."


The pressure came largely from one man present at that fundraiser: Richard "Dick" DeVos Jr. The 58-year-old scion of the Amway Corporation, DeVos had arm-twisted Richardville repeatedly to support right-to-work. After six years of biding their time, DeVos and his allies believed the 2012 lame duck was the time to strike. They had formulated a single, all-encompassing strategy: They had a fusillade of TV, radio, and internet ads in the works. They'd crafted 15 pages of talking points to circulate to Republican lawmakers. They had even reserved the lawn around the state capitol for a month to keep protesters at bay.

A week after Richardville's early morning call to Jackson, it was all over. With a stroke of his pen on December 11, Gov. Rick Snyder—who'd previously said right-to-work was not a priority of his—now made Michigan the 24th state to enact it. The governor marked the occasion by reciting, nearly verbatim, talking points that DeVos and his allies had distributed. "Freedom-to-work," he said, is "pro-worker and pro-Michigan."
In late 1992, Dick succeeded his father as the president and CEO of Amway, aggressively expanding the company into Asian markets like China and Korea, which produce much of Amway's profits today. His wife, Betsy, an heiress to a Michigan auto parts fortune, hailed from a conservative dynasty of her own; her father, Edgar Prince, was a founder of the Family Research Council. (Betsy's brother is Erik Prince, the ex-Navy SEAL who founded the infamous private security company Blackwater.) Together, Dick and Betsy formed Michigan's new Republican power couple.

Betsy, who is 56, is the political junkie in the relationship. She got her start in politics as a "scatter-blitzer" for Gerald Ford's 1976 presidential campaign, which bused eager young volunteers to various cities so they could blanket them with campaign flyers. In the '80s and '90s, Betsy climbed the party ranks to become a Republican National Committeewoman, chair numerous US House and Senate campaigns in Michigan, lead statewide party fundraising, and serve two terms as chair of the Michigan Republican Party. In 2003, she returned at the request of the Bush White House to dig the party out of $1.2 million in debt. A major proponent of education reform, Betsy serves on the boards of the American Federation for Children, a leading advocate of school vouchers, and Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education, which supports online schools.

Trump picks billionaire Betsy DeVos, school voucher advocate, as Education Secretary

Source: Washington Post

President-elect Donald Trump intends to name Betsy DeVos, a conservative activist and billionaire philanthropist who has pushed forcefully for private school voucher programs nationwide, as his nominee for Education Secretary, according to a person close to DeVos.

Trump’s pick underlines his promises on the campaign trail to put “school choice” — the expansion of taxpayer-funded charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools — at the center of his efforts on education.

DeVos and her husband are major GOP donors who during the 2016 cycle gave a total of $2.7 million to the GOP and to Republican candidates and political action committees; they made no donations to Democrats, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.

DeVos’s brother is Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, one of the most profitable private security firms during the Iraq War. Blackwater came under intense scrutiny after the company’s guards shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007; four guards were convicted on charges related to the massacre. Prince has since left the company, which is now called Academi.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/trump-picks-billionaire-betsy-devos-school-voucher-advocate-as-education-secretary/2016/11/23/c3d66b94-af96-11e6-840f-e3ebab6bcdd3_story.html

Trump was playing Kabuki theatre by meeting with Jerry Falwell, to make his real choice seem less threatening.

DeVos is for privatization and will now be in a position to oversee the dismantling of our public school system. Though less well known, she is just as dangerous, maybe more so.

Kabuki theatre, to make the radical choice of Betsy DeVos, sister of Blackwater founder

Erik Prince, seem less threatening by comparison.

We will now have a Secretary of Education who is for privatizing public schools and will be in a position of power to begin dismantling the public system.


Trump appoints Betsy DeVos to education secretary post


The Family That Gives Together
Across four decades and two generations, the DeVos family has poured more than $200 million into the key institutions of the Christian right and the conservative movement.

Members of the DeVos family rank among the most generous benefactors of the conservative movement and the Christian right, up there with the Bradleys, the Coorses, and the Kochs. Not only has billionaire Amway cofounder Richard DeVos Sr. cut checks to anti-union and anti-tax efforts, but these days he's also a fixture at the Koch brothers' invite-only donor summits. Name an organization—Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority, David Koch's Americans for Prosperity, the arch-conservative Heritage Foundation—and odds are a DeVos family member has donated to it.

How extensive is the DeVos family's largesse? Below, we trace the family's many millions as they flow out of family foundations into the biggest-name think tanks and advocacy groups in American politics today. And for good measure, we've included Erik Prince, the founder of the private-security company Blackwater, who is the brother of Dick DeVos' wife, Betsy. What a small world.
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