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MAGA: Trump Unleashes Offshore Drilling; Pissing Off Environmentalists

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(Via Zeorhedge)

In December 2017, during the twilight days of the previous administration, as one of Barack Obama’s last executive actions the former president formally blocked offshore oil and gas drilling in most of the Atlantic and Arctic Ocean, responding to a call from environmentalists who say the government needs to do more to prevent drilling in environmentally sensitive areas of U.S.-controlled oceans.

The move was not surprising: Obama had been expected to take the action by invoking a provision in a 1953 law that governs Outer Continental Shelf offshore leases, and he did just that to block drilling in federal waters in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea and most of its Beaufort Sea. He also protected 21 underwater canyons in the Atlantic Ocean from drilling.

At the time, we said that the “move will likely be overturned promptly by the administration of Donald Trump.” And, a little over a year later, this is precisely what happened on Thursday afternoon, when the Trump administration announced it is proposing to greatly expand the areas available for offshore oil and natural gas drilling, including off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.


Speaking to reporters, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said that “the Trump administration is proposing to make more than 90 percent of the U.S. outer continental shelf available for oil leasing” adding that he is “proposing 25 of 26 planning areas on the Outer Continental Shelf be considered for responsible and regulated leasing” and that “nearly all of the nation’s outer continental shelf is being considered for drilling, including areas off the coasts of Maine, California, Florida and Alaska” in the first major step toward the administration’s promised expansion of offshore drilling.

The proposal, which environmentalists immediately panned as an environmental disaster and giveaway to the fossil fuel industry, is far larger than what was envisioned in President Trump’s executive order last year seeking a new plan for the future of auctions of offshore drilling rights. That order asked Zinke to consider drilling expansions in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, according to The Hill.


The plan is part of Trump’s agenda to boost domestic oil and natural gas production to create “energy dominance” and unlock the nation’s “great energy wealth.”

There’s more to come as Thursday’s announcement was just one of three major steps the administration must take to write a new plan for offshore drilling rights sales. After taking public comments on the proposal, officials must revise it and put out a new proposal and then finalize it, a process that could take more than a year.

At each of those steps, Interior can remove areas from consideration for drilling, but cannot make new areas available.

In the immediate aftermath of the announcement, environmentalists slammed the proposal as a giveaway to the oil industry.


“The Trump administration’s dramatic expansion of offshore oil drilling is beyond reckless,” said Alex Taurel, deputy legislative director at the League of Conservation Voters.”Seaside communities, businesses, and elected officials from both parties have consistently opposed risky offshore drilling because of the grave threat it poses to their way of life, our climate, and local economies that rely on tourism and fishing,” he said quoted by The Hill.

“This radical offshore drilling free-for-all is a clear example of politics over people, ignoring widespread local and state opposition,” said Diane Hoskins, campaign director at Oceana.

The announcement also garnered some Republican opposition. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said he would fight attempts to allow drilling near his state. “I have already asked to immediately meet with Secretary Zinke to discuss the concerns I have with this plan and the crucial need to remove Florida from consideration,” Scott said in a statement.

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Politics

Soros Newest Investor Of Tesla Bonds

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Tesla looks to have a new bond holder and it’s none other than George Soros. Whatever this mean, Soros has also taken a stake in Crypto-Currencies .

Zerohedge Reports: Amid Elon Musk’s darkest hour in late March – as his stocks and bonds tumbled in price – it seems there was at least one other billionaire willing to buy the ‘blood on the street’.

According to the latest 13Fs, George Soros’ investment firm took a $35 million stake in Tesla’s convertible bonds during the first three months of the year.

As a reminder, convertibles are hybrid securities, either bonds or preferred stock, that can be exchanged for a predetermined number of common shares. That effectively lets an investor participate in stock-price changes, but with the yield and greater security of a fixed-income instrument.

The March 2019 Converts bounced handsomely off those lows – tracking the stock’s divergent bounce – but in recent days has fallen back towards the lows, catching down to the straight bonds record low price.

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Culture

“Racial Bias Education Day” To Close Down Starbucks Nationwide

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Starbucks is going to the illogical extreme by taking an entire day to put their employees through what they call “Racial Bias Education Day”. Coming after a viral videos showed two men being arrested in a Starbucks in Philadelphia. Starbucks almost instantly gave into calls to do ‘something’ but will this really fix anything in a culture where ‘racism’ is more of a political talking point than an actual substantive conversation or debate.

CNBC Reports: Starbucks said Tuesday it will be closing all of its company-owned restaurants in the U.S. during the afternoon of May 29 to conduct a racial-bias education program.

“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, said in a statement Tuesday. “While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution. Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.”

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Business

Soros Now Investing In Crypto-Currencies

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(Via Zerohedge)
By TD


After a historic drop in cryptocurrency prices in the first quarter, one which deflated much of the euphoria that surrounded the sector in late 2017 and the start of this year, the space is about to get exciting again because none other than 87-year-old billionaire George Soros is reportedly preparing to trade cryptocurrencies as prices plunge.

According to Bloomberg, Adam Fisher -who oversees macro investing at New York-based Soros Fund Management – has received internal approval to trade virtual coins in the last few months, “though he has yet to make a wager.”

The question, of course, is whether Bloomberg’s leak is accurate, and if indeed Soros is only now getting started in the space or if he has quietly loaded up already.

What is ironic, is that just three months ago when speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Soros said digital coins cannot function as actual currencies because of their volatility, “but he didn’t predict the hard tumble that some observers had forecast at the time.”

“As long as you have dictatorships on the rise you will have a different ending, because the rulers in those countries will turn to Bitcoin to build a nest egg abroad,” Soros, 87, said on Jan. 25.

With Bitcoin tumbling below $7000 recently…

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