Putin /Trump

Meanwhile, in 2008…

Russia is the world’s 3rd largest oil producer, not far behind Saudi Arabia. If any of those three get into a big war, oil prices are going to go way up. Doesn’t much matter, for that, if the U.S. is lead by a small-d-democrat, or by an autocrat-wannabe.

Not mentioned in your post, but the idea that Biden is behind broader inflation is also mistaken. Prices are surging world wide, from Canada to India. Just to mention the latest shock, the incredible edible egg price I paid yesterday, neither Trump nor Biden could stop avian influenza, which is also international.

Maybe you are thinking that Trump could have delivered Ukraine to Russia. Answer: Not at all quickly. And the Ukrainians would have something different to say about that.

France and Germany would have a big problem with abandoning Ukraine on Trump’s say-so.

Again, that is missing that congress did not trust Trump and with reason.

In a statement, Trump expressed his own doubts about the legislation: “The bill remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate.”

‘Seriously flawed’

“Congress could not even negotiate a health care bill after seven years of talking. By limiting the executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together,” he said in a statement.

He ended the statement by saying: “I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.”

Yup, I already agreed with you on that point. Which still doesn’t make a trade deal that hurts both us and them (but mostly us) a “favorable trade deal”.

China is a rival. They don’t care what happens to us, except in so far as it affects them. But as things currently stand, a strong US economy is good for them, so they’re not trying to sabotage us, and we shouldn’t try to sabotage them. Russia, meanwhile, is not a rival. Russia is an enemy. They do care about what happens to us, because they want us to fail. They are trying to sabotage us, and so we should fight back against them.

That’s because he invaded the wrong countries! We should have invaded Saudi Arabia and Canada. But no, Donald Rumsfeld really wanted to show Saddam “Who’s the Boss” (no, really; he wanted to imprison him in Gitmo and make him watch the Tony Danza/Judith Light sitcom until he cracked or admitted where he had hidden the secret sex tape he had of Rumsfeld and a an Islamic Village People cover band) and Cheney had a real hard-on for Ayatollah Khamenei (not going to touch that one; your imagination will do its worst). If we’d taken over the Saudi Peninsula and knocked those Mounties off their stupid horses we could have been rolling in black gold from here to eternity. Instead, we’re fricking and fracking and paying good beer money for expensive gasoline.

You’d think if the September 11, 2001 attacks were the conspiracy that people on Youtube.com say it is, we’d have made better use of the opportunity than dumping billions of dollars of cash into a hole in the desert, soaking it in avgas, and setting it all aflame and then telling soldiers to breath in deep because 4 out of 5 doctors recommend inhaling toxic petrochemical residue fumes.

Stranger

From CBS Trump vs Biden on Fracking
Politics

What is fracking, and where do Trump and Biden stand on it?

By Elizabeth Elkind

October 28, 2020 / 2:41 PM / CBS News

  • With just days until Election Day, President Donald Trump is reportedly considering issuing an executive order that would signal his support for fracking. Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign has said he wouldn’t ban fracking outright but does favor a ban on new fracking on federal land.

Good, because the last thing we need to do is encourage petroleum extraction through hydraulic fracturing. What we should be doing, of course, is putting a balls-to-the-wall effort at alternative sustainable fuels, electric vehicles for long haul transport, and otherwise investing in an infrastructure build for a future of using renewable and sustainable energy sources instead of continuing to burn petrocarbon fuels and assume the future will take care of itself.

Stranger

However, omitted from the list is former President Donald Trump, who in the past has praised Putin and recently asked the Russian president to release any dirt he has on Biden and his son, Hunter

But to be fair…

Other living former presidents like Barack Obama and George W. Bush are not on the list.

And deceased senators John McCain and Harry Reid are on the list.

I don’t think it was done with great care.

Then you’re fine with Biden and higher fuel prices.

Long haul transport would be better served with rail and not electric trucks. Electric semis are just lithium battery problems on steroids. It makes more sense to add more truck to rail terminals and focus semis on shorter routes.

But this is getting away from the thread.

what is needed from the Federal side is a nationwide effort to improve the power grid.

Biden is not the reason for higher fuel prices. Higher fuel prices are because Putin removed Russia, a major petroleum exporter, from the market. I don’t know why that is so difficult to understand for the Biden-haters.

I don’t know what your familiarity is with rail transport but I’ve worked with both, and the notion that we can expand the throughput of cargo rail in the United States to substantially replace long haul trucking is patently absurd. For one, despite the extensive railway networks in North America, actual depots are surprisingly few; the era when every town had a rail stop is long gone, and essentially all rail depots are intended for transshipment of either bulk cargo or high value cargo such as automobiles or containerized electronics. Rail shipment is cheap but not fast, meaning that if you have something perishable like produce or time sensitive for delivery like restocking retail outlets, rail is not the way to go.

For many years rail was heavily sustained by bulk cargo and specifically coal delivered directly to coal-fired plants but with the precipitous decline of the coal-fired electrical generation industry that business has all but gone away. There are oil and LNG shipments but for the most part these have either been replaced by pipelines or direct-from-refinary OTR. With all of this loss of business you’d think railroad companies—the seven major Class 1 carriers and twenty-odd regionals—would be slashing prices to encourage new business but even pre-pandemic the prices have gone steadily up. The industry itself is highly conservative, largely monopolistic, and hamstrung by powerful unions lead by the Brotherhood of Local Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) which in part drive costs and forestall technology improvements that might reduce jobs. It is quite literally an industry from another century, and I don’t mean the 20th century.

The ownership of current rail throughways and difficulty in establishing any new ones pretty much restricts us to the current system that was largely laid out in the pre-Interstate Highway era, and the notion that any president is going to come in and change that moribund arrangement is even more implausible than generating energy from perpetual motion machines. Agreed that improving the power grid is key to electrification of transportation; it’s a pity that Trump had two years of a Republican-dominated Congress and did fuck all to move forward on his mythological infrastructure plan, and Republicans and a couple of Democrats in Congress now have cockblocked any effort by Biden to implement investment in infrastructure improvement and expansion.

The increased cost of gasoline is not a consequence of anything that Biden has done in his presidency, and the refusal to open up federal lands to expand low grade petroleum extraction through hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) is very much foresightful as not only would it not reduce prices in the short term (it would take a couple of years to establish new fracking operations and at enormous cost) but would doubtless result in ecological damage at those sites in addition to contributing to increased emission of greenhouse gases when we should be making all possible effort to reduce those even at the cost of short-term inflation because the long-term costs of climate change effects will vastly outweigh any savings now.

Stranger

Yeah, blaming Biden for current high gas prices is like saying that toilet paper shortages in summer 2020 were Trump’s fault.

I despise Trump for being an ignorant, incompetent fake-leader with absolutely zero real concern for anything except his own image and financial advantage, but unlike the “Let’s Go Brandon”-heads, I’m not deluded enough to simply assign him the blame for everything bad that happened during his presidency.

Miles driven went down during the Pandemic. There’s no reason our reserves shouldn’t have increased to cover people returning to work.

I already said it would require more stations to make that happen. right now it appears rail transport is down so there is some capacity built in. We could be adding more side tracks back into the system to handle greater loads. I know they took a lot of side tracks out in my part of the country so the right-away-and grade is still there for increased traffic by adding the track back in.

The point is that electric semi-trucks are not efficient if your goal is to reduce carbon. You’re talking about a lithium battery nightmare that will suck the life out of an electrical grid that needs updating. This is the kind of infrastructure that would benefit from Federal involvement.

Many of the retired throughways for side tracks have been sold or gifted for the real estate or tax break values notwithstanding that current local and regional route needs are very different from when right-of-ways were established. Nobody wants a railroad running through their subdivision or backyard, so expanding throughways for new tracks is not practically viable. In addition, highways and roads are far more flexible in terms of coping with changes in logistic needs. About the only thing rail has going for it is the energy efficiency of rail versus OTR which is significant but not really the driving factor in costs, especially when factoring in scheduling and all of the attendant costs of railroad operation. Building more stations and capacity for more traffic to replace OTR transport just isn’t a practicable reality in most areas, and is not cost-competitive or provides to the needs of shippers.

Well, yes; we need a massive overhaul of the electrical grid, and for more than just to support mass electrification of transportation. Of course, this is something that Biden has heavily promoted which is being blocked by GOP leadership across the board (and that the previous administration did fuck-all to promote or plan for). This is all very possible although it will require an investment and development of the power grid comparable in scale to the original national electrification program, so not cheap but an investment in the future.

The real Achilles’ heel of electrifying OTR shipping is lithium for batteries, which is why there is a desperate need for research into alternatives that use less lithium (or can use lithium in a way that is much easier to process for recycling) or alternative technologies such as solid state batteries that can charge fast and have comparable or better mass energy density. These technologies do exist but don’t yet meet cycle life requirements and have not been matured to the point that anyone is willing to invest many billions of dollars into production facilities to make wide deployment a reality, but it really is the only way to offset the largest amount of carbon emissions in the transportation sector (aside from grounding commercial flights which nobody seems to favor at any level).

Regardless, either electrification or fracking untapped petroleum reserves are both long term solutions to the more immediate problem of high gas prices that have been further elevated by the fracas in Ukraine, the issues of which stretch long back well before Joe Biden was in the Oval Office, and are not things that he can fix with any wave of an executive order.

Stranger

Putin is reportedly deeply worried about his military strategy in Ukraine, after Trump praised it as “brilliant.”

Sorry couldn’t resist.

What good do you think that would have done? The US Strategic Petroleum Reserves, which declined during the Trump administration, are nonetheless easily sustaining Biden’s unprecedented six-month 1 million barrels per day release, and gas prices are still high.

The US consumes on average nearly 20 million barrels of oil per day, and the total SPR stock at the end of Trump’s administration was about 650 million barrels, or about 33 days’ worth of usage. The historic high level of SPR stock is only about 750 million barrels.

There’s simply no way in real life that the SPR could singlehandedly provide enough oil for US consumption to completely wipe out price increases caused by persistent non-domestic supply problems. Trying to frame this situation as an avoidable blunder that Biden should somehow have “done something about” earlier in his presidency is mere drivelling.

Also, on the issue of non-domestic supply problems, the picture painted by many right now is quite misleading.

Let’s say the US produced 20 million barrels a day and fully met domestic supply. That would bring prices down, right? Well no, because firstly the oil companies are profit-making ventures. Why would they sell oil cheaply domestically when world prices are high?
And secondly, shale is not great for refining into gasoline. It makes more sense, economically, to sell at least some shale and import light crude.

So you admit it’s all Biden’s fault! :rofl:

I live four miles from the Canadian border, and there is a lot of train traffic. Sometime last year someone who had recently bought a house near the tracks posted on Nextdoor, wondering who to contact to make the trains stop blowing their horns at night. :rofl: (Needless to say, he was told he should have done some research before buying the house.)