Daily Archives: September 14, 2013

A place to live if the RV breaks down

Hi readers. I swapped Gale for this trailer, finalized it yesterday.

In addition to giving me the means to get my stuff out of this valley and into storage in Harper, I can live in this thing if the RV breaks down somewhere up the road. It’s light enough so a half-ton junker pickup truck can pull it.

It takes a considerable load off my mind. Both Gale and Raymond, the guy up the hill have pointed out if that RV quits I’ll be dead in the water. I tried not to let it bother me, but couldn’t help it nagging me some.

But with a Coleman stove and oven, my diesel burning heater, a bunk, I can live in this thing. Better than almost all my ancestors almost certainly lived before they left Europe. And certainly better than any Native American ancestors did.

The DuoTherm heater began life in the late 1940s or early ’50s as a kerosene trailer heater. The man up the hill had it, but we couldn’t get the carb to work. Eventually replaced the carb with a needle valve and converted it to diesel fuel, which is cheaper and more easily available.

Besides, if a person doesn’t have much he doesn’t have much to lose.

Old Jules

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Old Sol: You’ve got’em by the shorthairs

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

Old Sol: You Chosen People don’t need any international agreements anymore. All that World Trade and Free Trade crap can go down the tubes. Along with NATO, and all those Asian and Pacific treaties. You won’t need NAFTA anymore because all of North America will be Chosen People.

Me: Isn’t that a bit extreme?

Old Sol: Only because you didn’t know you were ALL Chosen People in the United States. You thought just some people were Chosen People. Once the word gets around everyone’s going to want to be Chosen People. All those Mexicans, Guatemalans, you name it, they’re going to be gnawing at the doorstep. Begging to be let in. Oil. Oil. Oil. $20,000 per head per year for all Chosen People.

Me: What about the Four Civilized Nations on Earth you mentioned earlier? Australia, New Zealand and Canada?

Old Sol: No problemo. Canada’s already as good as in. That border’s just a damned nuisance to them. And Australia and New Zealand won’t have much choice. If they don’t join up to be Chosen People they’re going to be chock-full of Asians. It’s bad enough already.

Me: And Israel gets to be Chosen People again when they move to Nicaragua?

Old Sol: Yeah! Isn’t that exciting?

Old Jules

Wossname Bush dynasty looking out for US interests

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

Two members of the Extended Family of US Presidents are scared the US will get into trouble if big oil companies and producers can’t export crude instead of refining it inside the US.

There’s no telling what sorts of awful things might happen if those big companies aren’t allowed to send natural resources to places where the profits are higher and where the labor and other costs of refining can be done in backward places where workers get paid a dollar a day.

Isn’t that nice?

George W. Bush Institute – U.S. Export Restraints on Crude Oil Violate International Agreements
Posted by Alan M. Dunnon September 11, 2013

http://www.bushcenter.org/blog/2013/09/11/us-export-restraints-crude-oil-violate-international-agreements

The U.S. current policy of restricting crude oil exports is fundamentally at odds with binding U.S. commitments under a number of international agreements. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT, is the foundation agreement for the World Trade Organization, WTO. Among the principle GATT commitments adopted by all WTO member countries is a prohibition on the imposition of quantitative restraints on exports. There are exceptions to this prohibitionbut they are narrowly construed and apply only to certain, and very limited, circumstances.
Crude oil and natural gas, like almost all other products, are subject to GATT disciplines on trade. These same disciplines apply to crude oil and natural gas under U.S. free trade agreements, FTAs, such as the NAFTA, as well as numerous bilateral investment treaties, BITs, most of which also incorporate the GATT prohibitions on restricting exports.
The Prohibition on Export Restrictions Is Enforceable
GATT obligations prohibiting export restrictions are enforceable in binding proceedings under the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding, DSU. These are the very same procedures recently used by the U.S. to successfully challenge China’s restrictions on exports of raw materials and coerce Chinese compliance through the DSU mechanism. Currently, the U.S. again is using these procedures to pursue a second challenge to China’s export restraints on rare earths, tungsten, and molybdenum.
Importantly, some of the Chinese export restraints that were found to violate the GATT are comparable to the U.S. export restrictions on crude oil and natural gas, including:
• Quantitative restrictions;
• Additional requirements and procedures vis-à-vis the quantitative restrictions; and
• Delayed licensing requirements on exports.
Other U.S. international agreements incorporate the GATT obligations and prohibitions either by reference or direct recitation, and most of those agreements also provide a right of action by which parties may challenge violations to the agreements, typically in international arbitration and sometimes in the courts. For example, bilateral investment treaties and trade and investment facilitation agreements, TIFAs, often incorporate the GATT obligations and provide rights of action under arbitration.
U.S. Statutes Regarding Oil Export Licensing Should Be Interpreted By the Agency and the Courts to Avoid Conflict With GATT Rules
The current U.S. export control regime on exports of crude oil are rooted in a complicated web of U.S. statutes and implementing regulations that give the U.S. president and/or various executive branch agencies sufficient discretion to grant exports of crude oil or gas if the export would be consistent with the U.S. “national interest” or “public interest.” Basic rules ofstatutory interpretation dictate that the executive branch and the courts must resolve any ambiguity in interpreting these statutes in a manner that is consistent with the GATT and other U.S. international agreements. For example, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that:
[A]n interpretation and application of [a] statute which would conflict with the GATT Codes would clearly violate the intent of Congress.
Conclusion

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, Article XI, prohibits U.S. export restrictions on crude oil and natural gas to other GATT/WTO member countries, except under very limited exigent circumstances. The limited exceptions to the basic prohibition on export restrictions are narrowly construedand reliance on these exceptions to the GATT prohibition would require the U.S. to impose onerous restrictions on domestic U.S. production and consumption of crude oil and/or natural gas. In addition, even delaying exports under protracted export licensing schemes have been found to be violations of the GATT.
These well-established rules of international trade are incorporated in numerous binding international agreements to which United States is a party. The WTO and other agreements have enforcement mechanisms that enable the parties to these agreements to compel U.S. compliance.
For all of these reasons, the current U.S. policies and procedures restricting exports of U.S. crude oil and natural gas are highly vulnerable to legal challenges in WTO as well as other international forums and the U.S. courts.

Alan Dunn served as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Administration of George H. W. Bush and as one of the lead U.S. negotiators in the multilateral GATT Uruguay Round negotiations, which established the World Trade Organization (WTO). He also served as a lead negotiator in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations with Mexico and Canada. He is a partner at Stewart and Stewart and has been practicing international trade law for 30 years. This guest post is in conjunction with the Bush Institute’s September 12 conference, Energy Regulation: Lessons about Growth from the States, the Nation and Abroad.

If a person can’t tell where the interests of a family hide when they’re inoffice, it’s nice to be able to see it by hindsight.

Old Jules

The Promised Land is swimming in oil and production’s barely begun

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by. I have great news for you today. Your elected representatives and senators, and the US president are going to make sure you get some benefits from all these new shale oil deposits being discovered under US soil.

That’s right readers. They’re keeping it as a surprise, planning to spring it on you around Christmas. But since we’re about to have to export crude oil, because we’ve got so damned much, and since our gasoline prices go up instead of down because export of refined petroleum is allowed, the people who look out for your interests are going to tax crude exports when they allow it to be exported.

They let those multi-nationals send all the US jobs overseas, and now they’re going to let the refinery jobs follow them. But the government is going to make certain regular US citizens are going to be taken care of. Not just the rich wealthy Americans, the way they do in Saudi Arabia and all those backward barbaric greedy Middle Eastern places.

They’re going to tax every gallon, every barrel of US petroleum products and give every adult citizen $20,000 per year income from it. No matter what neighborhood those citizens live in, no matter what social strata they occupy.

Isn’t that nice?

US crude oil exports may be inevitable – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/15/us-column-kemp-us-oilexports-idUSBRE89E0OQ20121015

EXPORTS OF LIGHT SWEET OIL
The same oversupply problem that has bedeviled NGL producers is likely to occur with the light sweet crude oils being produced from Bakken and other shale plays.
U.S. imports of light sweet crude (mostly from West Africa) will dry up by 2014, according to Total, due to rising production from Bakken and other shale deposits as well as because of U.S. refinery closures.
But the increasing domestic output of light sweet crude is a poor match for U.S. refineries, which have been reconfigured to process much heavier and sulphurous oils and need heavier oils to produce more heating oil and diesel.
Pressure will therefore build for the federal government to permit crude exports.
CCL EXPORT RESTRICTIONS
Crude exports are regulated under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (1975), the Mineral Leasing Act (1920), the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments (1978), and the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act.
Crude is listed as a commodity in “short supply” on the Commerce Control List (CCL) drawn up and enforced by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“A license is required for the export of crude oil to all destinations, including Canada,” according to BIS (15 CFR 754.2).

Imagine that. Just freaking imagine that. Those elected people recognize that the regular people of the US could enjoy some benefits from all these new oil discoveries under US soil. They know the citizenry’s having to compete with Chinamen and other foreigners at the gas pumps because the refined products are being sold to them instead of exclusively for domestic use. So they’re going to compensate for it.

Isn’t that nice?

Imagine that! Regular US citizens drawing benefits from US natural resources! Whether their parents and grandparents and great grandparents got into the oil business or not. Whether someone among their ancestors bought up oil rights a century ago, or didn’t!

Isn’t that nice?

They might keep it a secret from you longer than I said earlier, though. They’ve got a lot going on and they might forget to tell you about it at all.

Old Jules