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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 17,644

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How much would Keystone pipeline help US consumers?

Often lost in the political wrangling over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline – on hold after President Obama rejected TransCanada’s initial construction proposal – are some key findings that run counter to the rosy picture of abundant supply and lower prices so often painted by US politicians.

Canadian companies backing the Keystone XL – touted as enhancing US energy security with a big new surge of imported Canadian oil – actually expect it to supply more lucrative Gulf Coast export markets as well as raise Midwest oil prices by reducing “oversupply” in that region.

These little-publicized findings are contained in the studies and testimony of experts working for TransCanada, the company that wants to build the pipeline from Alberta’s tar sands across America’s heartland to Gulf Coast refineries.

Some of these concerns popped up, albeit briefly, in US congressional testimony last year on the pipeline project, and have given rise to a recent proposal to bar the sale of Keystone oil overseas.


Million-dollar hospital bills rise sharply in Northern California

A million dollars can buy a mansion in one of Sacramento's nicest neighborhoods, near its best schools and parks.

Or it can buy an ever-dwindling number of weeks in the intensive care unit of a local hospital.

Bradley Showalter, an Arden gas station attendant and laid-off construction manager, can't afford either of those expenses, but the cancer eating his liver didn't get the memo, so he's steeling himself for a massive bill related to a future organ transplant.

Sarah Eide hasn't given the million-dollar hospital bill her family will receive much thought. She's too concerned over the health of her newborn child, Austin, who has spent the first 140 days of his life in a Sacramento hospital.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/11/4328036/million-dollar-hospital-bills.html#storylink=cpy

Financial regulations gutted in new bill

Source: Kathleen Pender, Chronicle Columnist

It's hard to believe that Democrats, who brought you the Dodd-Frank financial regulation act and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, are solidly backing a bill that would weaken or obliterate many regulations designed to safeguard investors.

The bill, HR3606, sailed through the House Thursday with 222 Republicans and 168 Democrats voting for it. Only 23 members, all Democrats, voted against it. President Obama has endorsed the bill. The Senate is fast-tracking its own version, which could come to the floor Monday night.

Under the guise of creating jobs, the House bill would make it easier for companies to raise money from the public without fulfilling some - or in certain cases virtually all - of the obligations designed to protect investors in public companies. However, there is no requirement or guarantee that companies would use any of the money to hire a single person.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/11/BUPU1NIGVF.DTL&type=business

Fordgetaboutit: China to Buy Only Domestic-Branded Cars

Ford is thinking of selling its top-of-the-line Lincolns in China, according to company executives. Why not? Mercedes-Benz and Audi notched sales gains exceeding 35% last year, easily outpacing a sluggish market there. In 2011, passenger car sales increased only 5.19%, a reflection of inevitable slowing after a period of torrid growth, especially in 2009 and 2010.

David Schoch, chairman and chief executive of Ford China, says his company will outperform the China market, the world’s largest, in 2012. He needs to do that in order to justify big bets Ford has made in Chongqing, where it opened a $490 million passenger car factory late last month.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers forecasts sales in the country to increase 9.5% in 2012, but that’s optimistic. “The best scenario is for annual car sales to remain flat, even if automakers try harder in the latter half,” says Zhang Xin of Guotai Junan Securities. “The current official forecast for about 10 percent growth doesn’t look realistic.”

So far, Zhang looks correct as the year has not started out well. Car sales plunged 23.8% in January. The Lunar New Year break adversely affected the number, but the results for the first two months, when they are aggregated to eliminate the holiday effect, may not look much better. According to analyst estimates, sales for the January-to-February period will fall 3% from the same months in 2011. If that happens, it will be the worst start to a year since 2005.


Dollar wise if you total up all the lost wages to american workers - The Free Trade Lie Wall St has perpetuated upon Washington has cost Americans more then the Wall St Bail Out, the 2008 Mortgage Crisis, and the S&L Crash of the 80s combined
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