Marathon Oil
31 января, 08:58

Чего ждать от новой энергетической дипломатии США

Энергетическая отрасль уже давно стала инструментом внешней политики США на Ближнем Востоке и в других странах, в том числе в России, "перезагрузку" в отношениях с которой намерен провести Трамп.

30 января, 17:13

Guess Who's Backing Scott Pruitt To Head The EPA? The Koch Brothers.

The two dozen nonprofit groups and Senate committee members defending Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump's nominee for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, have at least two things in common. Like Pruitt, they're climate science deniers. And, like Pruitt, most of them are funded by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who own the coal, oil and gas conglomerate Koch Industries. That funding helps explain why they all consistently misrepresent the scientific consensus on climate change. After all, money buys influence, and since 1997, Koch foundations have paid a network of think tanks and advocacy groups more than $88 million to spread climate science disinformation -- more than twice what ExxonMobil, the second-biggest denier-network funder, has spent. Likewise, Koch Industries has contributed $38.5 million to federal candidates over the last 25 years and spent another $117 million since 1998 on lobbying. The Kochs didn't endorse Trump for president, but there's no doubt they would consider a guy like Pruitt heading the EPA a dream come true. When David Koch ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket back in 1980, his party platform called for abolishing the EPA (and a number of other federal agencies, along with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security). Although Pruitt won't be able to go that far, his six-year track record as Oklahoma's attorney general suggests he will do what he can -- with the help of Koch-funded members of Congress and the rest of the Trump administration -- to defund the agency and undermine its authority. Koch Denial Network is Alive and Well In advance of Pruitt's nomination hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on January 18, a coalition of 23 nonprofit groups sent a letter to the entire Senate urging his confirmation. "Attorney General Pruitt has consistently fought for Oklahoma families and communities," the letter states, "and has been a stalwart defender against federal intrusion into state and individual rights." In fact, Pruitt has consistently fought for the corporate polluters that have financed his political campaigns, dismantling his office's Environmental Protection Unit, halting efforts to reduce poultry manure in Oklahoma waterways, opposing a wind energy transmission line, and suing the EPA 14 times to block stronger air, water and climate safeguards that would better protect Oklahoma families and communities. But I digress. Let's follow the money. The groups that signed the letter endorsing Pruitt include such high-profile, climate-science-denier organizations as the American Energy Alliance (AEA), whose president, Thomas Pyle, is a former Koch Industries lobbyist; the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), whose top climate disinformer, Myron Ebell, oversaw the Trump EPA transition team; and Heritage Action, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation. Heritage economist David Kreutzer, who maintains there is no justification for Obama administration climate policies, also served on the EPA transition team. Those three groups and at least 15 other letter signatories have received generous support from one or more of the Koch brothers' numerous foundations, including American Encore, the Charles Koch Foundation, Charles Koch Institute, the now defunct Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, and Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a de facto Koch bank that distributes contributions from wealthy conservatives to free-market, anti-government groups. A number of the organizations on the letter are also funded by Donors Trust, a secretive, pass-through money laundering operation that received more than $13 million from the Kochs' Knowledge and Progress Fund between 2005 and 2014. Eight of the signatories, including AEA, CEI and Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, collectively received $30.2 million between 2010 and 2014 from American Encore, a "social welfare" nonprofit organization the Kochs established in 2009 as the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR). The organization has been one of the Koch network's primary conduits for funneling dark money -- private donations not subject to public disclosure -- to conservative campaign funding groups. American Encore is no fan of environmental protections. A December 2016 blog post on its website calls for slashing "excessive and burdensome regulations" on hydraulic fracturing, opening up the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to oil drilling, and canceling the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan to curb electric utility carbon emissions. A significant chunk of the American Encore-CPPR budget came from Freedom Partners, which gave the organization a whopping $115 million between 2012 and 2013. From 2012 through 2015, Freedom Partners also donated nearly $38 million to five of the groups on the Pruitt support letter: AEA, American Commitment, Club for Growth, Heritage Action and the 60 Plus Association, which spent the bulk of its $16.5 million in Freedom Partner grants on political advertising. Like American Encore, Freedom Partners' goal is to roll back consumer, public health, environmental and workplace safeguards. It recently posted A Roadmap to Repeal, a list of Obama administration initiatives that can be repealed in the new administration's first 100 days and others that would require a longer term strategy. In the short term, Freedom Partners calls on the Trump administration to rescind the moratorium on new federal land coal leases, abandon the Paris climate agreement, and block any proposed EPA programs related to the Clean Power Plan. It also recommends that Congress repeal a number of regulations finalized during the last 60 legislative days of 2016, including rules that protect streams from coal mining, cut heavy-duty truck carbon emissions, and reduce methane leaks from oil and gas operations on public lands. Over the long term, Freedom Partners wants the administration and Congress to kill the Clean Power Plan and the "Waters of the United States" rule, which extends federal protection to headwaters and wetlands that feed drinking water supplies. Koch-Funded Senators Fawn Over Pruitt How much impact could Freedom Partners and the rest of the Koch network have? Quite a bit, actually. They are planning to spend $300 million to $400 million over the next two years to influence politics and public policy, and Marc Short -- Freedom Partners' president up until February 2016 -- was just named the White House director of legislative affairs. Formerly Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff when Pence was in the House of Representatives, Short likely will find a receptive audience on the Hill -- at least from one side of the aisle. The welcome Pruitt got at his Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee hearing two weeks ago may be an indication of things to come. Republican committee members fell all over themselves to praise Pruitt and attack the EPA for, as Chairman John Barrasso put it, creating "broad and legally questionable new regulations [that] have done great damage...." Democratic committee members, conversely, pressed Pruitt on his financial ties to fossil fuel interests, his efforts to weaken environmental safeguards, and his scientifically indefensible claim that the role human activity plays in causing climate change is "subject to continuing debate." Why were Republican EPW Committee members so hospitable to Pruitt? Like Pruitt, most of them are on the Koch gravy train and their campaign coffers are flush with fossil fuel industry cash. Nine of the 11 Republicans on the committee together received $368,000 in campaign contributions from Koch Industries over the last five years. Even more telling, the company was among the top 10 donors for seven of those nine beneficiaries and the top donor for two -- Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who is in line to become the Trump administration's attorney general. In addition to the Koch funding, the Republican committee members received more than $1.5 million since 2011 from a veritable Who's Who of energy companies, including coal giants Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal, Murray Energy and Peabody Energy; oil and gas titans BP, Chevron, Devon Energy, ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil and Valero Energy; and electric utilities American Electric Power, NextEra Energy and Southern Company. Pruitt, meanwhile, received $62,500 since 2010 from Koch Industries and eight other companies listed above, including Devon Energy, ExxonMobil and Valero Energy. By contrast, none of the 10 Democrats on the committee received Koch money, let alone any coal or oil and gas industry support. The only energy-related businesses that contributed to their campaigns in the last five years were three diversified electric utilities that are heavily invested in nuclear power: Dominion Resources, Entergy and Exelon. Drain the Swamp? Donald Trump campaigned as a populist who promised to stand up to Washington lobbyists and "drain the swamp." The back story on Scott Pruitt -- and the vast sums spent by the Kochs and other fossil fuel interests to promote their agenda -- tell a very different story. Still, one may fairly question what any of this actually proves. Does money really dictate the positions that a nonprofit think tank or U.S. senator takes, be it on climate change or any other policy issue? As it turns out, none other than David Koch addressed this very question in an interview with Brian Doherty, author of the 2007 book, Radicals for Capitalism: The Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement. Koch was talking specifically about funding think tanks and advocacy groups, but what he said could easily be applied to elected officials as well. "If we're going to give a lot of money, we'll make darn sure they spend it in a way that goes along with our interest," Koch told Doherty. "And if they make a wrong turn and start doing things we don't agree with, we withdraw funding. We do exert that kind of control." I rest my case. Elliott Negin is a senior writer at the Union of Concerned Scientists. All federal campaign spending information came from the Center for Responsible Politics. State campaign information came from the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Unless otherwise identified, foundation donation information came from Conservative Transparency and tax forms posted by the Foundation Center. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

25 января, 16:38

Is the Options Market Predicting a Spike in Marathon Oil (MRO) Stock?

Investors in Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) need to pay close attention to the stock based on moves in the options market lately.

24 января, 21:35

Note To Prez: Keystone XL Will Raise Gas Prices, Not Create US Jobs

The populist president just revived what will be a bad economic deal for Midwest gas prices and American jobs, the Keystone XL pipeline. My nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog studied the issue in 2013 and found that the Keystone XL extension was a way to move Canadian crude to Asia through the gulf coast, which would re-route cheap crude that now feeds Midwest refineries. The likely result: higher Midwest gasoline prices. President Obama nodded to the analysis in delaying the deal. Under scrutiny, the deal as proposed produced very few US jobs. The report found that: •Drivers, especially in the Midwest, would pay 20 cents to 40 cents more at the pump if the disputed pipeline were built, as the current discount of up to $30 a barrel for Canadian oil disappears. •The true goal of multinational oil companies and Canadian politicians backing the pipeline is to reach export outlets outside the U.S. for tar sands oil and refined fuels, which would drive up the oil's price. •With U.S. oil production rising fast, any "energy security" benefit for the U.S. would vanish as American oil output was expected to exceed that of Saudi Arabia in about 2020, according to the International Energy Agency. The report, produced by Research Director Emeritus Judy Dugan and independent energy analyst Tim Hamilton, utilized industry data, public records and company documents. "Keystone XL is not an economic benefit to Americans who will see higher gas prices and bear all the risks of the pipeline," said report author Judy Dugan. "The pipeline is being built through America, but not for Americans." The report found that Canadian crude oil currently being sent to the Midwest from Canada would be easily diverted to Keystone XL to satisfy overseas demand. Much of the Canadian oil would go directly to Gulf Coast refineries owned by the same multinational companies investing in tar sands. These companies include Exxon Mobil, former employer of Trump's Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, Chevron, Koch Industries, Marathon Oil and Shell Oi. Gulf refineries would refine the tar sands crude oil into diesel oil, which is in high overseas demand, and gasoline for export. Political leaders in the Canadian province of British Columbia have opposed plans for a major new tar sands oil pipeline from Alberta through their province to the Pacific Coast. TThis Canadian opposition increases the motivation of tar sands investors and developers and to get Keystone XL built as sure access to overseas markets. "Any reduction of deliveries to Midwest refineries would crimp gasoline supply, further driving up pump prices, and Keystone XL's backers want to move cheap oil out of the Midwest," said report author Judy Dugan. "Many major Midwest refineries have also made expensive changes to maximize their use of the tar sands oil and could not operate as efficiently using different grades of oil from other sources." While the pipeline developers have insisted that the pipeline would create tens of thousands of jobs, they have offered no proof of substantial jobs created beyond construction and maintenance of the pipeline itself, the report said. The conclusion : "U.S. consumers should be wary of the Keystone XL pipeline--not just for substantial environmental and safety reasons, but because it threatens their wallets. Given the fleeting benefits of construction jobs, the unprovability of long-term benefits and the negative effect of higher gasoline costs on consumers, Keystone XL is no economic boon to the United States. U.S. consumers and the overall economy would bear the substantial risks of the pipeline without measurable permanent benefits" -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

23 января, 22:46

What Lies Ahead for Oil & Gas ETFs?

Can the OPEC-driven rally in Oil & Gas ETFs continue this year?

04 января, 16:37

Marathon Petroleum Offers Updates on Strategic Initiatives

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) on Jan 4, 2017, reported updates on company`s previously announced initiatives in order to enhance shareholder value.