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DOI News – Department of Interior

Bureau of Land Management News

BLM Schedules 38 Oil and Natural Gas Lease Sales on Public Lands for 2010

TUE, NOVEMBER 24, 2009, 3:47 PM EST

The Department of the Interior has scheduled 38 oil and natural gas lease sales for U.S. public lands in 2010, including a sale in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the first in nearly two years. Read More >

BLM Schedules 38 Oil and Natural Gas Lease Sales on Public Lands for 2010


11/24/2009

The Department of the Interior has scheduled 38 oil and natural gas lease sales for U.S. public lands in 2010, including a sale in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the first in nearly two years.

The schedule will be busier than the 35 onshore lease sales in 2009 which generated more than $126 million in revenue for American taxpayers. “Our nation needs a balanced and appropriate use of our conventional and renewable energy resources,” Secretary Salazar said. “That means oil, gas and coal will continue to play an important role in our energy mix, as we develop and expand the use of wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable sources.”
oilWell
The Bureau of Land Management’s 37 quarterly oil and natural gas lease sales scheduled for 2010 will offer thousands of parcels in a dozen states, most in the West. The BLM’s Alaska State Office oil and gas lease sale will offer available tracts in the Northeast and a portion of the Northwest areas of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The sale is scheduled for August 11 in Anchorage, Alaska.  The last sale for the Reserve was held September 24, 2008.

Oil and gas leasing in the NPR-A is authorized under the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976, as amended.  Integrated Activity Plan/Environmental Impact Statements have been prepared for both the Northeast and Northwest planning areas.

(from )

http://www.doi.gov/news/BLM_Schedules_2010_Oil_Gas_Lease_Sales.cfm

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Secretary Salazar and BLM Director Bob Abbey at a press conference  announcing energy reforms

Changing the Way We Do Business

WED, JANUARY 6, 2010, 12:00 AM ESTBLM launched reforms to the onshore oil and gas leasing process in an effort to improve protections for land, water, and wildlife and reduce potential conflicts that can lead to costly and time-consuming litigation. Read More >

http://www.doi.gov/news/doinews/

***
My Note – apparently the state of California has at least $18 Billion dollars in cuts to education.

“With $18 billion in cuts to education, this could be an important source of revenue to save important services for our students,” said Jai Sookprasert, the tax policy analyst for the California School Employees Association.

“Seniors have borne the brunt of these draconian budget cuts; we have seen a reduction in adult day health care programs that allow seniors to stay in their homes, the elimination of Alzheimer’s research, and aid to low-income seniors has been slashed,” said Gary Passmore of the Congress of California Seniors. “The Fair Share Act will bring much needed revenues to support these essential programs.”

(excerpt from article below)

***

Calif. Assemblymember Nava Introduces Oil Industry Fair Share Act

Edited by Valerie Gotten
published Wed, 06 Jan 2010 – 01:18:18 -0800 PST

SACRAMENTO /California Newswire/ — On the eve of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s State of the State Address, and the release of his 2010-11 Budget Proposal, Assembly member Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) introduced today The Oil Industry Fair Share Act. The legislation will establish an oil severance tax of 10% on the gross value of each barrel of crude oil pumped by companies in California. This tax will provide more than $1.5 billion in revenue to the General Fund annually. These desperately needed dollars could be used for public safety, education, health programs for children, human services, and other vital programs.

“California oil companies are getting a free ride. Right now, California is the only major oil producing state that does not charge a severance tax on oil extraction. It is time for California to catch up with Alaska, Texas, Alabama, and Arkansas. We need to collect the people’s share of this revenue source by forcing Big Oil to pay its fair share,” said Nava.

The Governor is advocating for a proposal to allow a single oil company to bypass existing environmental review processes and begin the first new drilling in Santa Barbara in California Coastal Sanctuary waters in more than 40 years, since the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. This will raise less than $100 million annually.

Said Nava,”The Governor is placing at risk coastal recreation and tourism industries by advocating for new offshore oil drilling in the Coastal Sanctuary. This is just plain wrong and wrong headed. New drilling is not the answer and is not worth the risk. My proposal will generate more than 15 times the Governor’s proposal annually without any new drilling or jeopardizing California’s coastal environment and economy.”

Nava’s Oil Industry Fair Share Act has received broad support from many different organizations throughout the state:

“With $18 billion in cuts to education, this could be an important source of revenue to save important services for our students,” said Jai Sookprasert, the tax policy analyst for the California School Employees Association.

“Seniors have borne the brunt of these draconian budget cuts; we have seen a reduction in adult day health care programs that allow seniors to stay in their homes, the elimination of Alzheimer’s research, and aid to low-income seniors has been slashed,” said Gary Passmore of the Congress of California Seniors. “The Fair Share Act will bring much needed revenues to support these essential programs.”

“Recent budget cuts are harming nurses’ ability to provide for the critical health needs of people in our state,” said Elizabeth Pataki, RN, of the California Nurses Association. “An oil severance tax could provide much needed revenue to help pay for Californians’ healthcare needs.”

“The last round of budget cuts has affected every Californian,” said Willie Pelote of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. “We are dismantling programs and need to ensure that sufficient revenue is available to mitigate the State’s fiscal crisis.”

“Oil companies have been making enormous profits while depleting finite natural resources and polluting the environment,” said Gina Goodhill of Environment California. “It is time they pay their fair share.”

ABOUT THE EDITOR: Valerie Gotten (aka Valerie G) is an abstract painter, former movie stand-in, and volunteers for “green events” to help raise awareness about global warming, and help preserve California’s wilderness and natural beauty.

(from)

http://californianewswire.com/2010/01/06/CNW6418_011818.php

***

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/03/04/us.day.of.action/index.html?hpt=T2

Students, professors to protest education cutbacks

March 4, 2010 9:36 a.m. EST

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Proposed cuts in higher education spur rallies on campuses nationwide
  • Critics argue cutbacks will raise tuition, make higher education unobtainable to many
  • Budget cuts have resulted in canceled classes, longer class waiting lists in California

(CNN) — A movement born of $1 billion in budget cuts to California’s state university system has blossomed into a nationwide protest, as students and professors in 33 states will challenge administrators and state lawmakers to ante up.

(etc.)

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/03/04/us.day.of.action/index.html?hpt=T2

***

Georgia Lottery announces record profits

ATLANTA – The Georgia Lottery Corp. today announced record first-half profits for education. Georgia Lottery profits for the first half of fiscal year 2010 totaled $429,754,000, surpassing the previous record set last fiscal year by more than $8.49 million.

The Georgia Lottery is the only traditional lottery in the U.S. to experience 11 consecutive years of growth in profits.

http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=226339

***

Internationally, America’s performance has improved slightly in math but remains in the middle of the pack, he said. The most recent Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study in 2007 showed U.S. eighth-graders to be behind peers in Japan and Singapore, but about equal to those in England and the Russian Federation.

(see article below – posted near end of post – or go here -)

http://toledoblade.com/article/20100303/ART16/100309907

***

In Georgia, a legislative committee proposed $300 million in cuts to the state’s college system, on top of $100 million cut in the past two years, University of Georgia President Michael F. Adams wrote in an open letter to students, faculty and staff.

(from article below -)

**

Students, professors to protest education cutbacks

March 4, 2010 9:36 a.m. EST

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/03/04/us.day.of.action/index.html?hpt=T2

***

WHAT IS SHARED GOVERNANCE?

Shared governance is a social system of self government wherein decision-making responsibility is shared among those affected by the decisions. At the community college level, shared governance means that responsibility for institutional decisions is shared among governing boards, district administrators, and faculty, with joint recognition and respect for the participation of staff and students (Lau, 1996).

An ideal shared governance model is collegial in nature, recognizing the contributions and requirements of all members of the college in a group consensus process. This process fosters a sense of empowerment, equal partnership and a vested interest in successful outcomes of institutional policy and implementation decisions. The purpose of such a system is to direct all available physical and financial resources toward meaningful improvement and progress (Lau, 1996). Ideally, shared governance can create game plans that bridge lines of authority, share resources to take advantage of unforeseen opportunities, and facilitate programs to even out the work load while maximizing system efficiency (Howell 1997; Acebo, 1995). There are many shared governance models available to institutions of higher education; the process and dynamics have been defined and the advantages and disadvantages articulated (Lau, 1996; Lee, 1997).

http://www.ericdigests.org/2000-2/shared.htm

ERIC Identifier: ED433077
Publication Date: 1999-08-00
Author: Schuetz, Pam
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges Los Angeles CA.

Shared Governance in Community Colleges. ERIC Digest

***

California State University Government Affairs Office Records CSU Office of Government Affairs records (1960-1991—mostly 1960s, 6 ft) deal with the State College and University systems interactions with the California State Legislature regarding legislation, college sites and controversial issues. Subjects include college sites, campus unrest, buildings and…

Scope and Content

CSU Office of Government Affairs records (1960-1991—mostly 1960s, 6 ft) deal with the State College and University systems interactions with the California State Legislature regarding legislation, college sites and controversial issues. The former Government Affairs office is currently called the Office of Advocacy and Institutional Relations.

Subjects include Board of Trustee Actions, production of the play “The Beard” at Fullerton; college name changes; Association of Student Body Presidents; buildings and grounds; architects; proposed college sites; Les Cohen speeches; campus dissent; Vandenburg Air Force Base; individual campus issues; correspondence with Chancellors, legislators, Governors including Ronald Reagan, and Lt. Governors; possible Ventura County campus sites; Dow Chemical/Anti-war demonstration; joint doctoral degree programs; John Gilbaugh correspondence with chancellor; legislative progress reports; State Technical Services Act; faculty recruitment; labor unions; grievance procedures; faculty staffing formula; faculty research; bond issues; nudity; nursing program; “pornography;” R.O.T.C.; George Murray, National Defense Student Loans; weekly briefing, student admissions; Vietnam Moratorium Day; year-round operations; San Francisco State crisis (1968-1969); remedial education; and many other issues.

http://www.oac.cdlib.org/view?docId=kt4489q4nx;query=;style=oac4;view=admin#scopecontent-1.2.4

***

http://www.sacbee.com/2009/04/22/1799351/capitol-staffers-receive-raises.html

(excerpts -)

Fifty-three of the aides had salaries exceeding $80,000 before the sweetener, including 33 whose pay topped $100,000, records show.

Edwards will continue receiving her current pay, $190,000 annually, a sum that was boosted by $50,000 a few months after Bass replaced Fabian Núñez as Assembly leader last year.

Pitney said the pay hikes are a pittance for the Assembly – the Legislature’s combined annual budget exceeds $262 million – but “the political symbolism is really damaging.”

***

http://www.gopusa.com/theloft/?p=854

https://www.gopusa.com/backend/lettertoeditor/process_letter.php

The Loft leadership of GOP blog and info content

**

http://www.ireport.com/map?topicId=359609&center=37.821583,-95.165039&zoom=4&mapType=Terrain&sortBy=oncnn&hpt=Sbin

Topic: Protests for public education

**

UC Santa Cruz scheduled to reopen

// <![CDATA[// -1) {document.write(‘March 5, 2010 — Updated 1312 GMT (2112 HKT)’);} else {document.write(‘March 5, 2010 8:12 a.m. EST’);}
// ]]>March 5, 2010 8:12 a.m. EST

Many of Thursday’s demonstrations focused on cuts in state funding for colleges and universities, which supporters say drive up tuition, limit classes and make higher education unobtainable to many.

State funding for the California State University system was reduced by nearly $1 billion for the academic years between 2008 and 2010. Schools have responded by increasing fees, canceling classes, cutting student support programs and furloughing professors. Fees have increased 182 percent since 2002. Class waiting lists have doubled or tripled.

[ . . . ]

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/03/05/education.protest/index.html?hpt=Sbin

**

CNN Fact Check: How do California’s hikes in college costs stack up?

By Matt Smith, CNN

March 4, 2010 4:52 p.m. EST

The protests follow a round of demonstrations in November against a 32 percent increase in undergraduate fees for the next school year, while a persistent budget cap has resulted in canceled classes, increased fees and furloughs for faculty.

Given the anger, the CNN Fact Check Desk decided to look at what is bringing students out of classrooms and into the streets.

*(etc.)*

The fee increase approved by the University of California’s Board of Regents will raise undergraduate costs to more than $10,300 by the time it takes full effect this fall, school officials said in November. The much larger California State University system also voted to raise fees by more than 16 percent in 2009, bringing undergraduate costs up to about $4,800 per year

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/03/04/california.fees/index.html

***

My Note –

Tuition hikes, increased costs for textbooks and increased fees for registration, student activities, parking, student miscellaneous fees, class fees, lab fees, etc. undermines the possibilities of higher education, college, and university education, technical school education, and every professional school education to the majority of Americans. That can be fixed. At a time when our nation needs every American citizen to acquire a higher level of education and to be more capable, the authorities in nearly every state are making choices to exclude most of America’s population from access to those educational resources.

– cricketdiane

***

College students across the nation protest tuition hikes‎ – WBIR-TV936 related articles » onmouseout=”shut_ff(event)”1d68489″,event,1)” v:shapes=”_x0000_i1025″>

MUST-SEE VIDEOS: Colleges Protest Tuition Hikes, Budget Cuts and ‎ – Huffington Post (blog)

**

Tuition is getting expensive. States are cutting university budgets. Professors are being furloughed. Enough is enough, say young, first-time iReporters who are speaking out against the death of education.

Vivid protest photographs and chanting videos flooded iReport yesterday as students and teachers nationwide participated in a “national day of action.” We were thrilled to see so many students and new faces joined the iReport community to help tell a story that’s affecting their generation.

(etc.)

http://www.ireport.com/blogs/ireport-blog/2010/03/05/students-of-america-speak-out?hpt=Sbin

**

The California Oil Tax Initiative

Monday October 30, 2006

(my note – the last one that failed)

California produces one-eighth of America’s oil, and it uses all it produces. An initiative has come up, Proposition 87, to add a severance tax to California oil of a few dollars per barrel. The money would push efforts to move away from petroleum, whether through conservation or alternative fuels. I’m against it, and part of the reason is geological.

[ . . . ]

Here’s how I see it: The new tax is shunted out of the state budget into a separate pipeline operated strictly by a new agency, the California Energy Alternatives Program Authority (CEAPA). The directors of CEAPA are a cartoon-heroes gallery of experts appointed by a smorgasbord of politicians. It will have to spend $4 billion within 10 years in a rigid budget of five funds, but only the first has a concrete goal.

  1. It must spend $2.296 billion to help us reduce gasoline and diesel use by 25 percent over 10 years. The remaining $1.704 billion must be spent as follows:
  2. $1.07 billion to accelerate research and innovation
  3. $390 million to accelerate commercialization
  4. $100 million to train new workers
  5. $140 million for public education

The official goal for 2 through 5 is merely to spend $1.704 billion! The agency can heap extra money on other state programs, which have to spend it. It has no incentives for success and no punishments for failure. If the money is wasted, too bad. Each of the five funds gets a nine-person “advisory review committee” appointed, so between them and the CEAPA directors there are some 50 political appointees. CEAPA can also issue 25-year bonds against the $4 billion in case the money comes in slowly.

(etc.)

http://geology.about.com/b/2006/10/30/the-california-oil-tax-initiative.htm

***

A California tax on oil drilling? Why not?

June 15, 2009|MICHAEL HILTZIK

The most persistent misconception about Californians is that we hate to raise taxes. The truth is that we adore raising taxes — as long as someone else is paying, that is.

So nonsmokers vote to raise cigarette taxes, teetotalers to raise liquor taxes. The middle and working classes want to hike taxes on the rich, who are happy to return the favor.

Yet this only compounds the mystery of why we’re so resistant to raising taxes on perhaps the biggest, fattest target of all: the oil industry.

At least twice since 1981 Californians have considered proposals to impose a so-called severance tax on oil — a levy on every barrel that drillers take out of the California ground. Both times they went down to defeat — most recently in a $150-million initiative campaign that set a new standard for obscenity in campaign finance, thanks to Chevron and its fellow oil companies. The 2006 defeat of Proposition 87, which would have steered the tax proceeds to alternative fuel programs, preserved California’s status as the only one of the 22 major oil states to give the industry a free ride. And we’re the third-biggest producer in the country.

How embarrassing is it for California to be hanging out there alone? That outstanding anti-tax crusader, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in 2007 raised her state’s tax to 25% of the value of extracted oil and gas. Proposition 87 would have capped California’s levy at 6%. So even if it had passed, we’d still be suckers.

With the state’s fiscal disaster having concentrated the minds of political leaders as never before, the oil severance tax is back on the table in Sacramento. We can expect the oil industry to trot out the same arguments it employed to defeat the tax the last time, so to save time it might be helpful to deflate them now.

But first, let’s place the proposal in fiscal perspective.

According to the state Energy Commission, about 240 million barrels of crude were extracted last year from California lands and waters, including federal waters offshore.

At the current world benchmark price of about $70, the 6% tax contemplated by Proposition 87 would have generated more than $1 billion a year from that haul.

Consider some “what if” scenarios: At last year’s peak benchmark price of $130 for California crude, the take would be nearly $2 billion. Palin’s tax rate of 25% would generate $4 billion at a $70 price and nearly $8 billion at the top.

(Page 2 of 3)

An important aspect of the severance tax is that we’d better collect it now, while there’s still something to tax. California oil production has declined steadily from its 1985 peak of 424 million barrels. Since 2002, according to federal statistics, the state’s known reserves have been depleted to about 3.3 billion barrels from more than 3.6 billion.

The severance tax might be offset by reductions in property and corporate income taxes paid by oil companies. But an analysis of Proposition 87 prepared in 2006 by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office found that such offsets would amount to a mere fraction of the severance tax, so the state would still come out way ahead.

Let’s be candid about the rationale for the severance tax. States levy it because they can: The oil’s not going anywhere. Oil companies can’t pack it up and move it to a state where rates are lower. It creates wealth — enormous wealth at times of elevated market prices, like now — and any jurisdiction in need of funds to cover services it provides to its residents has a perfect constitutional right to claim a piece of it, as it claims a percentage of the value of real estate and income (earned, unearned and inherited).

The virtue of taxing oil is that it’s an easy target and really valuable. California’s failure to recognize this is just a measure of its economic stupidity.

The big question is who pays the tax. The public’s main fear about Proposition 87 was that the industry would pass it on to consumers in the form of higher prices at the pump. The oil companies played on this fear ruthlessly. The point had a certain shallow logic, since all California crude is refined in-state and almost all the refined output is sold here, too.

To undermine that argument, the measure’s drafters outlawed any such pass-through. No one was really sure how to enforce the provision — who really knows why gas prices rise or fall? In any case it was nothing but campaign window-dressing, for the drafters and the critics undoubtedly know that the very notion that oil companies could pass this through is flawed.

That’s because the price of crude is set by the worldwide market or, more pertinent to California’s situation, by the market for grades similar to ours, such as Alaskan crude. Severance taxes are more or less built in to the market price, and a California tax’s contribution to the total would be negligible, and probably invisible.

(Page 3 of 3)

As the leading oil economist Severin Borenstein of UC Berkeley told me last week, California producers couldn’t raise their prices to cover the tax, because California refineries have too many other options for the purchase of crude.

“California refineries can buy from anywhere in the world, and they do,” he says. Indeed, California oil drillers sell their crude for the market price even when their production costs would allow them to offer a discount. (Only 38% of the state’s crude supply comes from within our borders, with 13.4% coming from Alaska and the rest from overseas.) “Producers would have to absorb the tax,” Borenstein says.

Here’s an important piece of evidence that drillers knew it would be hard for them to stick consumers with the bill: The oil industry went to extraordinary lengths to kill Proposition 87.

The oil companies outspent the Yes on 87 side — which was bankrolled mostly by Stephen L. Bing, a movie producer and backer of green causes — nearly 2 to 1 during a campaign whose total cost of $150 million was the largest in any state on an initiative campaign.

It’s possible that Chevron and its cronies spent their $95-million share purely to save California residents from paying a few more cents at the pump. My skeptic’s soul tells me, however, that they probably did so because they knew the tax levy would come out of their hide.

One other argument against the severance tax deserves attention. This is the claim that it will drive marginal producers out of business. UC Riverside economist Mason Gaffney says we shouldn’t swallow this idea.

It’s natural, he says, for the industry to trot out marginal victims of a tax bite as though they’re typical. “These are the ‘widows and orphans’ of every tax debate, advanced to distract attention” from the big oxen getting gored, he says. Keep your eye on the big players — Chevron acknowledged that Proposition 87 would have cost it $200 million a year.

An oil severance tax in this state is long overdue. It might even serve as the vanguard of a new approach to overlooked sources of revenue. Gaffney mentions sand and gravel, undertaxed timberlands, water pumped for commercial sale and, yes, marijuana.

And why not? California has bestowed much of its natural wealth on the rest of the country for free, like a beribboned gift. In our time of need, we deserve to get something back.

Michael Hiltzik’s column appears Mondays and Thursdays.

Reach him at michael.hiltzik@latimes.com, read his previous columns at http://www.latimes.com/hiltzik, and follow @latimeshiltzik on Twitter.

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/15/business/fi-hiltzik15

**

Tax Oil Companies, Not Students


Posted on 04 March 2010

By Robert Cruickshank

As protests unfold across the state and the nation yesterday against cuts to education and fee increases, more attention is finally being drawn to the massive crisis facing our students, our schools, and our future.

20 years ago a year at UC Berkeley cost just over $1,000 in fees. Even that was much higher than the $0 cost that the 1960 Master Plan pledged. The early 1990s saw a big rise in fees, and by the time I started at UCB in 1997 the cost had risen to over $4,000 a year. Now the cost is slated to rise to a whopping $10,000 per year, something many students and their families cannot afford to pay. And even as those costs rise, including at CSU and community colleges, classes are being cut as educational quality declines.

It’s no way to run a state. California’s current prosperity is owed largely to the investments Pat Brown made in the 1960s, building a public higher education system that was the world’s envy – and that fueled our innovation and economic creativity. But instead of renewing those investments for a new century, Arnold Schwarzenegger is destroying them. The fee increases are a massive tax increase on the young and on the working- and middle-classes. They must be reversed.

The only way they will be reversed is to generate new revenue. That’s why the Courage Campaign, where I work as Public Policy Director, is joining the California Faculty Association and the University of California Students Association in launching our pledge to support AB 656, the oil severance tax for California.

AB 656, authored by Assemblymember Alberto Torrico, would generate $2 billion a year for higher education by levying a 12% tax on the extraction of oil and gas in California. Texas uses this tax to fund higher education there, and Sarah Palin increased Alaska’s oil severance tax in 2007 in order to buy the love of her constituents. Every major oil producing state in the union has an oil severance tax – except California.

The result of this massive tax break we give to oil companies is the destruction of our public colleges and universities. Fees have risen since the early 1990s only because of cuts in the amount of state funding the schools receive. The only way to make college affordable again is to increase that funding. An oil severance tax is a good place to begin.

Stand up for students, for faculty, for staff, and for higher education by taking the pledge to support AB 656 today. We will use these pledges to help convince the legislature to pass the bill, adding to the fact that 2/3rds of Californians said they’ll pay higher taxes for education. Let’s tax oil companies, not students.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Robert Cruickshank is a historian, activist, and teacher living in Monterey. He is a contributing editor at Calitics.com and works for the Courage Campaign, in addition to teaching political science at Monterey Peninsula College. Currently he is completing his Ph.D. dissertation in US history, on progressive politics in San Francisco in the 1960s and 1970s. This article was originally published in Calitics.

http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/site/?q=node/7515

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Do you even read this crap before you cite it?

Submitted by George Hanshaw on Sat, 03/06/2010 – 10:00.

For a PhD candidate, your research skills are atrocious.

we will use these pledges to help convince the legislature to pass the bill, adding to the fact that 2/3rds of Californians said they’ll pay higher taxes for education.

Going to your own source one finds that two-thirds of people wanted to spare K-12 education and were willing to increase taxes to do so. Higher education had lesser support.

The exact statement, cut and pasted in:

When asked which of the four main areas of state spending they would most want to protect from budget
cuts, 58 percent choose K–12 public education—the area most Californians have wanted to spare each of the nine times PPIC has posed the question. Fewer choose health and human services (17%) or higher education (15%). Far fewer choose prisons and corrections (6%). Californians back up these views when asked if they would be willing to pay higher taxes to maintain current funding for these areas:
§ K–12 public education: 66 percent yes, 32 percent no
§ Higher education: 50 percent yes, 48 percent no
§ Health and human services: 50 percent yes, 47 percent no
§ Prisons and corrections: 11 percent yes, 87 percent no
Across political parties, and regional and demographic groups, residents are most willing to pay more
taxes to maintain funding at K–12 schools, with 79 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of independents, and 49 percent of Republicans saying they would be willing to do so. Prisons and corrections garner less than 15 percent support for higher taxes across parties, regions, and demographic groups.

If you actually READ the document:
http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/survey/S_110MBS.pdf

K-12 education is the only thing that over half of the public is willing to increase taxes to support. 47% of the people opposed a tax increase to fund higher education and 47% opposed a tax increase for social services. That isn’t much of a mandate for anything other than K-12 education.

Perhaps AB 656 should be rewritten to send the money to K-12 education instead of to higher education.

http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/site/?q=node/7515

**

Chevron Corporation

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“CVX” redirects here. For the United States Navy future aircraft carrier program, see United States Navy CVN-21 program.

Chevron Corporation
Type Public (NYSECVX)
Founded 1879
(Standard Oil of California)
Headquarters San Ramon, California, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Key people John Watson
(Chairman) & (CEO)
Industry Oil and gasoline
Mining
Products Oil
Petroleum
Natural gas
Petrochemical
Fuel
Lubricant
List of marketing brands
Revenue US$ 273.005 billion (2008)
Operating income $ 42.957 billion (2008)
Net income $ 23.931 billion (2008)
Total assets $ 161.165 billion (2008)
Total equity $ 86.648 billion (2008)
Employees 67,000 – March 2009
Website Chevron.com

Chart of the major energy companies dubbed “Big Oil” sorted by latest published revenue

Entrance to Chevron’s headquarters complex in San Ramon, California

One view of the sprawling Chevron headquarters complex

One of 16 Chevron stations branded as “Standard” to protect Chevron’s former trademark; this one is in Las Vegas, Nevada

Chevron Corporation (NYSECVX) is an American multinational energy corporation. Headquartered in San Ramon, California, and active in more than 180 countries, it is engaged in every aspect of the oil, gas, and geothermal energy industries, including exploration and production; refining, marketing and transport; chemicals manufacturing and sales; and power generation. Chevron is one of the world’s six “supermajor” oil companies

Contents

History

Chevron traditionally traces its roots to an oil discovery in Pico Canyon (now the Pico Canyon Oilfield) north of Los Angeles. The discovery led to the formation, in 1879, of the Pacific Coast Oil Company, the oldest predecessor of Chevron Corporation. Another side of the genealogical chart points to the founding of The Texas Fuel Company in 1901, a modest enterprise that started out in three rooms of a corrugated iron building in Beaumont, Texas. This company would later become known as Texaco.

Chevron Corporation was originally known as Standard Oil of California, or SoCal, and was formed amid the antitrust breakup of John D. Rockefeller‘s Standard Oil company in 1911. It was one of the “Seven Sisters” that dominated the world oil industry in the early 20th century. In 1933, Saudi Arabia granted SoCal a concession to find oil, and oil was found in 1938. In the early 1950s, SoCal discovered the world’s largest oil field (Ghawar) in Saudi Arabia. SoCal’s subsidiary, California-Arabian Standard Oil Company, developed over years, to become the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) in 1944. In 1973, the Saudi government began buying into ARAMCO. By 1980, the company was entirely owned by the Saudis, and in 1988, the name was changed to Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco).

Standard Oil of California and Gulf Oil merged in 1984, the largest merger in history at that time. Under the antitrust regulation, SoCal divested many of Gulf’s operating subsidiaries, and sold some Gulf stations and a refinery in the eastern United States. SoCal changed the name to Chevron Corporation.[1]

In June 1992, Dynegy, Inc. (NYSEDYN) was created from the merger of Chevron’s former natural gas and natural gas liquids business with Dynegy’s predecessor, NGC Corp. (formerly NYSENGL). NGC had been an integrated natural gas services company since around 1994.[2]

In a merger completed February 1, 2000, Illinova Corp. (formerly NYSEILN) became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dynegy Inc., in which Chevron also took a 28% stake.[2]

In 2001, Chevron Corporation acquired Texaco to form ChevronTexaco.

On May 9, 2005, ChevronTexaco announced it would drop the Texaco moniker and return to the Chevron name. Texaco remains as a brand under the Chevron Corporation. On August 19, 2005, Chevron acquired the Unocal Corporation. Because of Unocal’s large South East Asian geothermal operations, Chevron became the world’s largest producer of geothermal energy.[3]

Overview

Chevron employs approximately 67,000 people worldwide (of which 27,000 are U.S.-based) and had approximately 12 billion barrels (1.9 km³) of oil-equivalent net proved reserves at December 31, 2003. Daily production in 2003 was 2.5 million net oil-equivalent barrels (400,000 m³) per day. In addition, the company had a global refining capacity at year-end 2003 of 2.2 million barrels (350,000 m³) of crude oil per day. The company has a worldwide marketing network in 84 countries with approximately 24,000 retail sites, including those of affiliate companies. The company also has interests in 13 power generating assets in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Chevron also has gas stations in Western Canada.

Chevron was headquartered in San Francisco for nearly a century before it relocated across the bay to San Ramon, CA. The headquarters at 555 and 575 Market Street, built in the mid-1960s, in San Francisco were sold in December 1999.[4] Its original headquarters were at 225 Bush St., built in 1912.[5] Now, their headquarters are at 6001 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA.

Chevron is the owner of the Standard Oil trademark in 16 states in the western and southeastern U.S. To maintain ownership of the mark, the company owns and operates one Standard-branded Chevron station in each state of the area.[6] Chevron also owns the trademark rights to Texaco brand gasoline. Chevron’s network of wholesalers supplies Texaco fuels.

Several automakers, including General Motors and Toyota, use gasoline only from Chevron when they test vehicles. (Ford uses Chevron gas, too, despite its strategic alliance with BP.) Chevron also has often had one of the highest brand loyalty for gasoline in America, with only Shell and BP (through Amoco) having equally high loyalty.[citation needed]

Chevron Shipping Company is a wholly owned subsidiary company which handles the maritime transport operation for Chevron Corporation. The fleet comprises crude oil and product tankers, as well as three gas tankers operated by Chevron Shipping for other companies. The fleet is divided into two sections: The US fleet transports oil products from Chevron refineries to customers in the US. The ships are manned by US citizens and are flagged in the US. The International fleet vessels are flagged in the Bahamas and have officers and crews from many different nations. The largest ships are 308,000 tonne VLCCs. The job of the international fleet is to transport crude oil from the oilfields to the refineries. The international fleet mans two LPG tankers and one LNG tanker.

Chevron ships originally had names beginning with “Chevron”, such as the Chevron Washington and Chevron South America, or were named after former or serving directors of the company. Samuel Ginn, William E Crain, and most notably Condoleezza Rice were amongst those honored, but the ship named after Rice was subsequently renamed as Altair Voyager.[7] All the ships were renamed in 2001 to reflect the corporate merger with Texaco. Ships in the international fleet are all named after celestial bodies or constellations, such as Orion Voyager and Altair Voyager, and the American ships are named after the states in the country, as in Washington Voyager and Colorado Voyager.

Alternative energy

The company is developing technology for alternative energy, including fuel cells, photovoltaics, advanced batteries, and hydrogen fuel for transport and power.

Biofuels

Chevron is investing $300M USD a year into alternative fuel sources, and has created a biofuels business unit.[8][9]

Chevron and US-DOE‘s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced that they had entered into a collaborative agreement to produce biofuels from algae. Chevron and NREL scientists would develop algae strains that can be economically harvested and processed into transportation fuels, such as jet fuel.[10]

Controversy

Tax evasion

Chevron was found to have evaded $3.25 billion in federal and state taxes from 1970 to 2000 through a complex petroleum pricing scheme involving a project in Indonesia.[11] [12] Chevron and Texaco, before they merged in 2001, each owned 50 percent of a joint venture called Caltex, which pulled crude oil from the ground in a project with the Indonesian state oil company, Pertamina. Chevron was accused of reducing its tax liabilities in the U.S. by buying oil from Caltex at inflated prices. One internal Chevron document set the price it paid Pertamina for oil at $4.55 a barrel higher than the prevailing market price. Chevron was then able to overstate deductions for costs on its U.S. income tax returns. Indonesia appeared to levy tax on this oil at 56%, a rate far higher than the corporate tax rate in the U.S. Because the United States gives companies a credit for taxes paid to foreign governments, tax paid to the Indonesian government reduces tax to the U.S. government.

Caltex transferred fund out of the U.S. to Indonesia, because the Indonesian government compensated Caltex for the excessively priced oil and the extra taxes paid by giving oil for free. Because Caltex had to pay taxes on that oil, too, the Indonesian government gave it even more oil to cover the taxes.

Environmental damage in Ecuador

From 1965 to 1993, Texaco operated development of the Lago Agrio oil field in Ecuador. Chevron is now being sued for extensive environmental damage caused by these operations. An Ecuadorian court could impose a legal penalty of up to $28 billion in a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Amazonian villagers in the region. Chevron claims that agreements with the Ecuadorian Government exempt the company from any liabilities.[13][14] In September 2009 a documentary on the issue, Crude, premiered.

Pollution in Richmond, California

Chevron’s activities in Richmond, California have been the subject of ongoing controversy. The project generated over 11 million pounds of toxic materials and caused more than 304 accidents.[15] Chevron’s Richmond refineries paid $540,000 in 1998 for illegally bypassing waste water treatments and failing to notify the public about toxic releases.[16] Overall, Chevron is listed as potentially liable for 95 Superfund sites, with funds set aside by the EPA for clean-up.[17] In October, 2003, the state of New Hampshire sued Chevron and other oil companies for using MTBE, a gasoline additive that the attorney general claimed polluted much of the state’s water supply.[18]

Oil spills in Angola

Chevron’s operations in Africa have also been criticized as environmentally unsound.[19] In 2002, Angola became the first country in Africa ever to levy a fine on a major multinational corporation operating within its borders, when it demanded $2 million in compensation for oil spills allegedly caused by Chevron.[20]

Violation of the Clean Air Act in the USA

On October 16, 2003, Chevron U.S.A. settled a charge under the Clean Air Act, which reduced harmful air emissions by about 10,000 tons a year.[21] In San Francisco, Chevron was filed by a consent decree to spend almost $275 million to install and utilize innovative technology to reduce nitrogen and sulfur dioxide emissions at its refineries.[22] After violating the Clean Air Act at an offline loading terminal in El Segundo, California, Chevron paid a $6 million penalty as well as $1 million for environmental improvement projects.[23] Chevron also had implemented programs that minimized production of hazardous gases, upgraded leak detection and repair procedure, reduced emissions from sulfur recovery plants, and adopted strategies to ensure the proper handling of harmful benzene wastes at refineries.[21] Chevron also spent about $500,000 to install leakless valves and double-sealed pumps at its El Segundo refinery, which could prevent significant emissions of air contaminants.[24]

Defenders of Chevron’s environmental record point to recent changes in the corporation, particularly its pledge in 2004 to combat global warming.[25]

NiMH battery technology for automobiles

ECD Ovonics founder, Stan Ovshinksy, and Dr. Masahiko Oshitani of the Yuasa Company, invented the NiMH technology used in hybrid vehicles .[26][27] In 1994, General Motors acquired a controlling interest in Ovonics‘s battery development and manufacturing business. On October 10, 2001, Texaco purchased GM’s share in GM Ovonics, and Chevron completed acquisition of Texaco six days later. In 2003, Texaco Ovonics Battery Systems was restructured into Cobasys, a 50/50 joint venture between Chevron and Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) Ovonics.[28] Chevron’s influence over Cobasys extends beyond a strict 50/50 joint venture. Chevron holds a 19.99% interest in ECD Ovonics.[29] In addition, Chevron maintains the right to seize all of Cobasys’ intellectual property rights in the event that ECD Ovonics does not fulfill its contractual obligations.[30] On September 10, 2007, Chevron filed a legal claim that ECD Ovonics has not fulfilled its obligations. ECD Ovonics disputes this claim.[31] Since that time, the arbitration hearing was repeatedly suspended while the parties negotiate with an unknown prospective buyer. No agreement has been reached with the potential buyer.[32] Cobasys’s patents relating to NiMH batteries expire in 2015.

Sometimes gas stations (oftentimes Chevrons) have restaurants in them, such as this one in Chilliwack, British Columbia, which has a White Spot inside of it.

In her book, Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars that Will Recharge America, published in February 2007, Sherry Boschert argues that large-format NiMH batteries are commercially viable but that Cobasys refuses to sell the batteries or license the technology to small companies or individuals. Boschert argues that Cobasys accepts only very large orders for the batteries. Major automakers showed little interest in placing large orders for large-format NiMH batteries. However, Toyota complained about the difficulty in getting smaller orders of large format NiMH batteries to service the existing 825 RAV-4EVs. Because no other companies were willing to place large orders, Cobasys was not manufacturing or licensing large format NiMH battery technology for automobiles. Boschert concludes that “it’s possible that Cobasys (Chevron) is squelching all access to large NiMH batteries through its control of patent licenses in order to remove a competitor to gasoline. Or it’s possible that Cobasys simply wants the market for itself and is waiting for a major automaker to start producing plug-in hybrids or electric vehicles.”[33]

In an interview with Economist, Ovshinsky subscribed to the former view. “I think we at ECD we made a mistake of having a joint venture with an oil company, frankly speaking. And I think it’s not a good idea to go into business with somebody whose strategies would put you out of business, rather than building the business.”[34]

In December 2006, Cobasys and General Motors announced that they had signed a contract under which Cobasys provides NiMH batteries for the Saturn Aura hybrid sedan.[35] In March 2007, GM announced that it would use Cobasys NiMH batteries in the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu hybrid as well.

In October 2007, International Acquisitions Services and Innovative Transportation Systems filed suit against Cobasys and its parents for refusing to fill an order for large-format NiMH batteries to be used in the electric Innovan.[32]

In August 2008, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International filed suit against Cobasys, on the ground Cobasys did not tender the batteries it agreed to build for Mercedes-Benz’s planned hybrid SUV.[36]

Niger Delta incident

On May 28, 1998, activists staged a demonstration and took several individuals hostage on a company oil platform in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Nigerian police and soldiers were allegedly flown in with Chevron helicopters. Soldiers shot at the activists and subsequently two activists (Jola Ogungbeje and Aroleka Irowaninu) died from their wounds.[37] Chevron describes the situation as “a violent occupation of private property by aggressors seeking to extort cash payments from the company.”[38] The Nigerian government is reportedly 80% dependent upon oil production and is condemned by many for its reported treatment of environmentalists.[39] The documentary “Drilling and Killing” covers these and other topics.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, allowing a lawsuit brought by victims and victims’ families against Chevron to proceed, said that there may be evidence that Chevron has hired, supervised, and/or provided transportation to Nigerian military forces known for their “general history of committing abuses.”[40] In March 2008, the plaintiffs’ lawyers, without explanation, “quietly moved to withdraw half of their claims” against Chevron.[41]

On December 1, 2008, a federal jury cleared Chevron of all charges brought against them in the case. The jury deliberated for less than two hours and the verdict was unanimous. Chevron had claimed that the military intervention was necessary to protect the lives of its workers and considers the jury’s decision vindication for the accusations of wrongdoing.[42]

New policy and development

Chevron’s 500kW Solarmine photovoltaic solar project in Fellows, California

Chevron has taken steps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and pursue cleaner forms of energy.[43] Chevron has scored highest among U.S. oil companies for investing in alternative energy sources and setting targets for reducing its own emissions.[43] Chevron is the world’s largest producer of geothermal energy, providing enough power for over 7 million homes.[44]

Board of directors

As of Janaury 2010 [2]:

Condoleezza Rice is a former member of the board of directors, and also headed Chevron’s committee on public policy until she resigned on January 15, 2001, to become National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush.

On September 30, 2009, John Watson, age 52, was elected Chairman of the Board and CEO, effective at the December 31, 2009 retirement of David J. O’Reilly

Marketing brands

The typical Chevron gas station design that was used until 2006.

In 2006, Chevron began phasing in this gas station design.

Fuel

Convenience stores

  • Star Mart
  • Extra Mile
  • Redwood Market
  • Town Pantry

Lubricants

  • Delo (sold by Caltex and Chevron)
  • Havoline (sold by Caltex and Texaco)
  • Revtex (sold by Caltex)
  • Ursa (sold by Texaco)

Fuel additives

  • Techron – Chevron, Texaco (phased in during 2005), Caltex (phased in during 2006 and later)
  • Clean System 3 – Texaco (phased out during 2005 in favor of Techron)

See also

References

  1. ^ Chevron Products Homepage
  2. ^ a b CHEVRON CORP. APPLAUDS DYNEGY-ILLINOVA MERGER, Chevron Press Release Archives, February 2, 2000
  3. ^ “Chevron claims energy debate”, BBC News, 2006-02-19, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4716334.stm, retrieved 2009-12-31
  4. ^ Chevron leaving San Francisco – Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal:
  5. ^ http://www.sfbctc.org/highrise-91701.htm
  6. ^ Standard Oil Today
  7. ^ Marinucci, Carla (2001-05-05). “Chevron redubs ship named for Bush aide”. San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2001/05/05/MN223743.DTL. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
  8. ^ BBC NEWS | Business | Chevron claims energy debate
  9. ^ Reuters.com
  10. ^ NREL: Chevron and NREL to Collaborate on Research to Produce Transportation Fuels using Algae
  11. ^ http://www2.hawaii.edu/~gramlich/caltex/financials
  12. ^ Johnston, David C. (2003). Perfectly Legal. New York: Penguin Group. pp. 253–255. ISBN 1591840694.
  13. ^ 60 Minutes “Amazon Crude”, May 3, 2009
  14. ^ Chevron annual meeting heats up over Ecuador suit
  15. ^ Environmental Justice Case Study: Richmond, CA
  16. ^ CHEVRON RICHMOND REFINERY TO PAY $540,000 ENVIRONMENTAL PENALTY | Newsroom | US EPA
  17. ^ Responsible Shopper Profile: Chevron
  18. ^ Knowmore.org – Question Your Goods. Vote With Your Wallet
  19. ^ AfricaResource.com – Chevron, Oil Pollution, and Human Rights
  20. ^ BBC NEWS | Business | Angola fines Chevron for pollution
  21. ^ a b “Environmental Protection Agency”. 2003-10-16. http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/b1ab9f485b098972852562e7004dc686/0fd3f9216a2c5fbf85256dc10054c376?OpenDocument. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
  22. ^ “Department of Justice”. 2003-10-16. http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2003/October/03_enrd_575.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
  23. ^ [http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2000/August/493enrd.htm “CHEVRON AGREES TO RECORD $7 MILLION ENVIRONMENTAL SETTLEMENT”]. 2000-08-11. http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2000/August/493enrd.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
  24. ^ “CHEVRON AGREES TO RECORD $7 MILLION ENVIRONMENTAL SETTLEMENT”. 2000-08-11. http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2000/August/493enrd.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
  25. ^ Quest for clean energy / Chevron, PG&E cited for positive steps to combat global warming
  26. ^ http://www.greencar.com/article/nickel-metal-hybrid-batteries/
  27. ^ http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/ovshinsky.html.
  28. ^ Roberson, J. (March 14, 2007) “Supplier Cobasys exploring more hybrid batteries” Detroit Free Press
  29. ^ ECD Ovonics Definitive Proxy Statement of January 15, 2003
  30. ^ ECD Ovonics Amended General Statement of Beneficial Ownership of December 2, 2004
  31. ^ ECD Ovonics 10-Q Quarterly Report for the period ending September 30, 2007
  32. ^ a b ECD Ovonics 10-Q Quarterly Report for the period ending March 31, 2008
  33. ^ Boschert, S. (2007) Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars that Will Recharge America (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers) ISBN 9780865715714
  34. ^ http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1030-stanford-ovshinsky-and-the-future-of-energy-interview-part-1
  35. ^ Abuelsamid, S. (December 6, 2006) “Cobasys providing NiMH batteries for Saturn Aura hybrid” Autobloggreen.com
  36. ^ “Mercedes sues Cobasys over battery deal” Automotive News Europe
  37. ^ Democracy Now! | Transcript of Drilling and Killing Documentary
  38. ^ “Nigerians pull half of claims in Chevron suit”. Walter Olson, Pointoflaw.com. Published April 7, 2008. Last accessed April 8, 2008.
  39. ^ [1]
  40. ^ Chevron can be sued for attacks on Nigerians, U.S. judge rules
  41. ^ Nigerians pull half of claims in Chevron suit, Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle. March 12, 2008.
  42. ^ S.F. jury clears Chevron of protest shootings. Bob Egelko, sfgate.com. Published December 2, 2008. Last accessed December 3, 2008.
  43. ^ a b Quest for clean energy / Chevron, PG&E cited for positive steps to combat global warming
  44. ^ Chevron – Chevron Stories

External links

San Francisco Bay Area portal
Companies portal
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Chevron (company)
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**

California may drill into oxy expansion: state mulls extraction tax while oil company plans more fields.

Increasingly constrained overseas, Occidental Petroleum Corp. is planning to draw more oil from California–even as the state Legislature is debating whether to slap a big tax on oil extraction.

The L.A. company hopes to use new extraction technology to get more oil out of older fields near Long Beach and Bakersfield, drilling 20 new wells this year alone.

“Occidental believes that California has long been underdeveloped since about 1970,” company spokesman Richard Kline said.

The surprising element in Occidental’s move is that it comes as California lawmakers are considering a 9.9 percent tax on oil extracted in the state. Backers said that could bring in up to $2 billion a year to state coffers and help balance a $24 billion budget deficit. California currently is the only major oil-producing state in the nation that does not have an extraction tax.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Occidental doesn’t seem overly concerned by the prospect. The company appears to be banking on history: An oil extraction tax has been debated for decades, and voters have turned down three specific proposals. The most recent was in 2006. Republican legislators have said they will oppose any tax, including one on oil extraction.

Kline acknowledges, however, that passage of the tax would cause the company to rethink its strategy in the state.

“It would make a significant difference and lessen our potential production in California,” he said.

Steadfast opposition

Rock Zierman, chief executive of the California Independent Producers Association, which is fighting the latest oil extraction proposal, said a 9.9 percent tax, added to existing levies, would make California the most expensive state for oil and gas production.

“Suddenly, other places in the country would be more attractive for oil companies to invest in,” Zierman said.

Any vote in the Legislature this year to impose an extraction tax would need a two-thirds majority; Republicans have so far been steadfast in their opposition and the tax would need the endorsement of at least two GOP legislators in the Assembly and the Senate to pass.

Analysts said that it’s pointless for Occidental to wait because the tax question has been asked for so long, and the company would be basically paralyzed in California while holding out for a resolution of the issue.

“You can’t plan your entire investment strategy off of what will or will not happen in the state Legislature,” said Cory Garcia, senior research associate with Raymond James & Associates in Houston.

Garcia and other oil industry analysts said the more pressing concern for Occidental is trying to find additional oil supplies at a time when companies are being shut out of several major oil-producing areas around the globe, either because of war, political unrest or a trend toward nationalizing oil production.

“There are fewer hospitable places now for oil companies to go,” said Fadel Gheit, senior oil analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. in New York. Gheit noted that:

Governments in Venezuela and Ecuador have nationalized some or all oil production within their borders.

In Nigeria, growing anarchy is threatening production.

In the former Soviet republics, corruption is making it increasingly difficult to do deals.

Occidental faces its own particular challenges abroad.

In 2005, it became the first major oil company to return to Libya after the United States lifted sanctions against the North African nation. That deal is showing less promise these days.

“The Libyan government has been very slow in working with Occidental,” Gheit said.

There is a major opportunity in Iraq, where dozens of oil companies–including Occidental–are bidding on contracts to service and revive major oil fields. Occidental Chief Executive Ray Irani and President Steve Chazen were not available for interviews early last week because of a bidding deadline for Iraq contracts. On June 30, a consortium led by BP plc was awarded the first big contract for rebuilding one of Iraq’s biggest oil fields after Exxon-Mobil Corp. failed to reach agreement with the Iraqi government.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

For Occidental, getting a foothold in Iraq would be crucial.

“This is a much bigger prize than Libya,” Irani told Bloomberg late last month. “The potential from a production point of view is much bigger in Iraq.”

But even if Occidental does manage to win some bids in Iraq, the security risks would be considerable, and the political situation is far from stable.

All that makes increasing production in California and other states more attractive. The company is currently the biggest oil producer in Texas and the third largest in California; it’s also the largest producer of natural gas in California.

Occidental’s annual report shows that the company produced 128,000 barrels of oil and natural gas per day in California. It hopes that new production in the state could yield hundreds of millions of barrels of crude.

The company hasn’t said how much more oil it plans to produce in California. The plans involve exploration in addition to extraction, and company experts don’t know how much more oil they’ll be able to find.

Its 2008 oil and gas production in California is more than one-third of the company’s total national production of 361,000 barrels per day, and more than one-fifth of its total worldwide production of 601,000.

California gold

Most of Occidental’s 1.1 million acres in California holdings are in the oil fields of western Kern County–the site of the early 20th century oil boom depicted in the 2007 film “There Will Be Blood.”

Occidental nearly doubled its California holdings in 1998 when it won the bid for the former U.S. naval oil reserve site in Elk Hills, just outside Bakersfield.

At that time, with oil prices near historic lows, it made little sense for Occidental to invest in technology to try to wring more production out of Elk Hills. But in recent years, as oil prices have soared, oil companies have been racing to install new slant drilling technology. The technology, which has become more precise, allows companies to expand the reach of old wells by drilling outward from old vertical shafts. Kline said Occidental is looking at more slant drilling at Elk Hills.

Occidental also owns offshore oil production facilities on small artificial islands off the Long Beach coast and is exploring slant drilling possibilities there, too.

Analysts said making improvements to these sites is a smart place for Occidental to place its money.

“Right now, they have more money to invest than at any time in the past 10 years and few places to invest it in. Looking back home definitely makes sense,” Oppenheimer’s Gheit said.

Occidental Petroleum Inc.

Los Angeles

CEO: Ray Irani

Employees: 10,400

Market Cap: $51.3 billion

P/E *: 10

EPS *: $6.58

* Twelve months trailing.

[GRAPHIC OMITTED]

By HOWARD FINE Staff Reporter

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/California+may+drill+into+oxy+expansion:+state+mulls+extraction+tax…-a0204318968

**

·  Saudi Aramco – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The joint venture became known as the California Texas Oil Company, or Caltex. …. Fiscal Year End: December*Revenue: $194 billion USD; Revenue Growth (1
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Aramco – CachedSimilar

·  ExxonMobil – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil company, and was formed on …. In 2000, ExxonMobil sold a refinery in Benicia, California and 340 In 2006, Wal-Mart recaptured the lead with revenues of $348.7 billion
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExxonMobil – CachedSimilar

Show more results from en.wikipedia.org

·  When California Oil Company Acquaire Oil Production on Bahrain …

Feb 8, 2010 San Francisco-based Standard Oil Company of California (Socal)–now In the years up to independence in 1971, Bapco oil revenues annually
favoritearea.com/when-californiaoilcompany-acquaire-oil-production-on-bahrain – Cached

·  January 6, 2010 – Nava Introduces Oil Industry Fair Share Act

Jan 6, 2010 California oil companies are getting a free ride. “An oil severance tax could provide much needed revenue to help pay for Californians’
democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/…/20100106AD35PR01.aspx – Cached

  • [PDF]

AB 6X 1 (Nava) Oil Industry Fair Share Act

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
California, the third largest oil producing state in the nation, Prohibits oil companies from passing the tax on to consumers in the form of higher gas Here is one possible way in which oil revenues could be spent based on the
democrats.assembly.ca.gov/…/OilIndustryFairShareAct-FactSheet.pdf

**

Calif. Assemblymember Nava Introduces Oil Industry Fair Share Act

Edited by Valerie Gotten
published Wed, 06 Jan 2010 – 01:18:18 -0800 PSTNo Comment

SACRAMENTO /California Newswire/ — On the eve of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s State of the State Address, and the release of his 2010-11 Budget Proposal, Assemblymember Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) introduced today The Oil Industry Fair Share Act. The legislation will establish an oil severance tax of 10% on the gross value of each barrel of crude oil pumped by companies in California. This tax will provide more than $1.5 billion in revenue to the General Fund annually. These desperately needed dollars could be used for public safety, education, health programs for children, human services, and other vital programs.

http://californianewswire.com/2010/01/06/CNW6418_011818.php

***

January 31, 2006

Large Oil Industry Tax Payments Undercut Case for Windfall Profits Tax

by Jonathan Williams and Scott A. Hodge

Fiscal Fact No. 48

In the midst of corporate earnings season on Wall Street, the major domestic oil companies continue to report record profits. If the media attention to the sizeable profits from the third quarter of 2005 is any indicator, the new earnings reports will be met with equal vigilance.

Scrutiny over third-quarter profits sparked action from lawmakers to increase taxes on the oil industry. Legislation was drafted to create a federal windfall profits tax, and states, such as California, are now considering instituting their own windfall profits taxes. On the federal level, several provisions aimed at the oil industry have gained traction. For instance, measures to disallow some use of foreign tax credits and “last in, first out” (LIFO) accounting methods have received support in Congress. These measures represent an indirect attempt to raise taxes on the domestic energy industry.

In the past week, quarterly earnings were announced for the three largest integrated oil and gas producers in the nation. The most recent media attention is directed towards the earnings report from Exxon Mobil. (NYSE:XOM) These earnings come on the heels of last week’s announcements by ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX) Based on preliminary SEC filings, these companies reported combined annual corporate gross earnings of $108.2 billion, throughout the course of 2005.

It is important to remember that net income reported on financial statements, is the result of subtracting income-based taxes from corporate gross earnings. Before shareholders receive a return on their investment, the government takes its significant share off the top.

During 2005, these three companies paid a combined corporate income tax burden of $44.3 billion on their reported gross earnings. Compared to last year’s combined corporate income taxes of $29.7 billion, their burden for 2005 has increased by 49.2 percent and follows the overall trend of escalating corporate tax collections in the United States. In addition to corporate income taxes, the same companies paid or remitted over $114.5 billion in other taxes in 2005, including franchise, payroll, property, severance and excise taxes.

When the federal statutory corporate income tax rate of 35 percent is added to the weighted average of state corporate income taxes, the resulting rate of 39.3 percent means that corporations in the United States are currently at an international competitive disadvantage. In fact, as recent research has indicated, the top combined state and federal statutory corporate income tax in the U.S. is higher than any other country in the OECD.

Furthermore, the average effective tax rate on the major integrated oil and gas industry is estimated to equal 38.3 percent. This exceeds the estimated average effective tax rate of 32.3 percent for the market as a whole.

The magnitude of these tax payments made by US corporations raises the question of tax incidence. In other words, who bears the burden of taxes on the domestic oil industry? Every dollar a corporation spends, whether on taxes or anything else, eventually comes out of the pockets of individuals, specifically three groups of individuals: the corporation’s shareholders, in the form of decreased capital gains and dividends; its workers, in the form of lower wages; or its customers, in the form of higher prices.

Figure 1. Average Corporate Income Taxes of ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Exxon Mobil per Share Exceed 69 Percent of Net Earnings per Share

Source: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Tax Foundation.

If corporate income taxes are passed on to the shareholders, we estimate the corporate income tax per share of Conoco Phillips stock was $7.11 in 2005. If that amount is averaged together with the tax per share of Chevron stock of $5.18 and $3.80 tax per share of Exxon Mobil stock, the combined tax per share for an investor holding these three companies averaged $4.58 for 2005.

If the corporate income tax burden is entirely borne by their employees, the tax ranges from $198,179 per Chevron employee, to $276,732 per employee at ConocoPhillips in 2005. It is important to note that these calculations are exclusively based on corporate income taxes paid and neglect the vast assortment of additional taxes previously noted.

Conversely, if the corporate income taxes are passed on to American consumers, we all share in the burden by paying higher prices on products—most notably a higher price of gasoline at the pump. The debate over who ends up paying the bulk of corporate taxes is far from conclusive, but the undisputed and most significant fact is that corporations do not pay taxes; people do.

Table 1. ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Exxon Mobil’s 2005 Profits in Perspective

Annual 2005 Data (totals may not add due to rounding)
Company
Income Before Income Taxes ($ billions)
Corporate Income Tax ($ billions)
Net Income ($ billions)
Effective Corporate Tax Rate
Earnings Per Share
Corporate Income Tax Per Share
Corporate Income Tax Per Employee
ConocoPhillips
$23.5
$9.9
$13.5
42.1%
$9.71
$7.11
$276,732
Chevron
$25.2
$11.1
$14.1
44.0%
$6.58
$5.18
$198,179
Exxon Mobil
$59.4
$23.3
$36.1
39.2%
$5.76
$3.80
$271,269
Total
$108.2
$44.3
$63.8
41.0%
$6.59
$4.58
$249,336

Source: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Hoover’s Inc., Tax Foundation.

Attached Files

http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/1321.html

***

Nuclear fission algorithm is created

Published: Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:49 AM

ARGONNE, Ill., Jan. 25 (UPI) — U.S. Department of Energy scientists say they’ve created a computer algorithm that allows a substantially enhanced view of nuclear fission.

The Argonne National Laboratory scientists said the algorithm, known as the neutron transport code, enables researchers for the first time to obtain a highly detailed description of a nuclear reactor core.

“The code could prove crucial in the development of nuclear reactors that are safe, affordable and environmentally friendly,” laboratory officials said in a statement.

To model the complex geometry of a reactor core currently requires billions of spatial elements, hundreds of angles and thousands of energy groups — all of which lead to problem sizes with quadrillions of possible solutions, the researchers said. Such calculations exhaust computer memory of the largest machines, they said, and therefore reactor modeling codes typically rely on various approximations.

“The (neutron transport code) is intended to reduce the uncertainties and biases in reactor design calculations by progressively replacing existing multilevel averaging techniques with more direct solution methods based on explicit reactor geometries,” said Andrew Siegel, leader of Argonne’s reactor simulation group.

Officials said the code has run successfully in some of the world’s fastest supercomputers, including the IBM Blue Gene at Argonne and the Cray XT5 at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

UPI

http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2010/01/25/Nuclear-fission-algorithm-is-created/UPI-54671264430985/

***

Now, gee, let me think – what happens when we don’t have anybody in the US educated to be able to understand this stuff? Hmmm . . .

– my note, cricketdiane

***

Poll: Bush still blamed for economy

Posted: February 12th, 2010 05:52 PM ET

From CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

(CNN) – More than a year after President George W. Bush left office, more Americans continue to blame his administration over any other entity for the nation’s economic woes, according to a new poll.

In a New York Times/CBS News survey out Friday, 31 percent of Americans said the Bush administration is at fault for the current state of the economy while only 7 percent pointed their finger at President Obama and his team.

An additional 23 percent said the fault lies with Wall Street institutions while 13 percent assign the blame to Congress. Nearly 10 percent said the blame lies with all of them.

(etc.)

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/02/12/poll-bush-still-blamed-for-economy/?fbid=2XQfN6LrdR7

***

Oil Patch digs in on tax issue

Companies say closing foreign loopholes to cost U.S. jobs

By BRETT CLANTON
Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle

May 30, 2009, 6:04PM

FOREIGN PROFITS

Business leaders say: White House plans to collect more taxes on foreign profits of U.S. companies would hurt firms nationwide, including many in Houston. Some numbers: Multinational companies in Houston: 354 Employees: 150,000 Employees of U.S.-based global companies in the U.S.: 22 million Contribution to U.S. gross domestic product: $2.5 trillion Source: Greater Houston Partnership, office of U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands)

Obama administration proposals to reap more tax dollars from the foreign-earned profits of U.S. companies are not going over well in the Oil Patch. Billed as a way to make multinational corporations pay their fair share to Uncle Sam, the measures could add millions to the tax bills of some of some of the largest oil and gas companies, on top of the billions the industry says it already pays each year in taxes.

At the heart of the effort are calls to end certain tax benefits U.S. corporations have enjoyed, including one that allows indefinite deferral of U.S. tax payments on foreign income and another that offers credits against U.S. taxes for foreign taxes paid. President Barack Obama’s administration also wants to close what it characterizes as loopholes that have enabled U.S. companies to avoid U.S. tax obligations by shifting foreign profits to subsidiaries located in tax haven countries.

The White House says strengthening international tax laws could raise $210 billion over 10 years, as well as create a greater incentive for multinational companies to invest in the U.S. rather than taking their money and jobs overseas. But companies in the oil and gas industry, along with a chorus of U.S. business groups, say the measures would penalize them by adding costs, make them uncompetitive with foreign companies and possibly force them to downsize. “Contrary to statements made by the administration, these proposals will not create U.S. jobs and could even result in U.S. job losses,” said Stephen Comstock, tax counsel for the American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group in Washington.

The impact could be especially deep in the Houston region, home to more than 350 multinational companies with some 150,000 employees, U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, told a group of local business leaders last week. “This is going to cost us jobs,” he said, in a presentation to the Greater Houston Partnership. The proposed changes make good on Obama campaign pledges to crack down on corporate abuse of the tax system and come as the administration is looking for new sources of revenue to fund government programs and plug ballooning deficits. While a range of U.S. industries could be affected, the measures could be acutely painful for oil and gas businesses since much of their product and profit is derived from foreign countries.

Hitting oil companies One example is San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp., the nation’s largest oil refiner, which has operations in the Caribbean. It stands to lose about $30 million in tax deductions per year if all the new rule changes are implemented, company spokesman Bill Day said. Major oil and gas producers could be hit worse.

In 2004, the most recent year for which data is available, U.S. multinational companies paid about $16 billion in U.S. taxes on about $700 billion of foreign profits, for an effective tax rate of about 2.3 percent, according to a recent White House estimate. The administration said earlier this month that the tax code gives companies a competitive advantage to invest and create jobs overseas and is “rife with opportunities to evade and avoid taxes through offshore tax havens.”

It points to a December 2008 report by the Government Accountability Office showing that 83 of the 100 largest publicly traded U.S. companies have subsidiaries in countries that have been labeled as tax havens. On the list are several oil companies, including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Hess, ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil, Valero and Sunoco. The oil and gas industry and other business groups say there are legitimate business reasons for having foreign subsidiaries and that the tax code already contains provisions that prevent abuse.

Leslie Hiltabrand, a spokeswoman for Marathon, said the company creates foreign subsidiaries “to own assets in international projects and avail itself to international banking and corporate law facilities that are widely accepted around the world.” Valero has subsidiaries in Aruba and the Cayman Islands because it owns and operates a large refinery in Aruba and has insurance in the Caymans, Day said. Other oil and gas companies cited in the GAO study either declined comment or said they needed to see more details of the proposals before taking a position.

The industry says White House proposals neglect to mention how much the industry pays in U.S. taxes as well as foreign taxes and other costs of doing business internationally. In 2007, the effective income tax rate of the major oil and gas industry producers was 40.3 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That’s higher than the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent and partly reflects higher taxes paid in foreign jurisdictions. The industry included at least $211 billion of foreign earnings in its U.S. taxable income for 2004 to 2006, the last year for which data is available, according to an estimate by Comstock using Internal Revenue Service data.

Wish list

But at the end of the day, analysts doubt the administration will get everything on its wish list, given the far-reaching list of programs it wants to tackle. “Government has everything in the store sitting in the shopping cart,” said Kevin Book, with Clearview Energy Partners in Washington. “But when it’s time to get to the cash register, they’re not going to buy it all.”

brett.clanton@chron.com

(from)

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/energy/6448729.html

***

My Note –

Wonder, if what I read back in high school is still true about the oil companies ending up paying zero in taxes once the subsidies and other considerations, incentives and sidestepping is all added together?

– cricketdiane

**

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Contact:
Mark Cooper, CFA, (301) 807-1623
Adam Goldberg, CU, (202) 462-6262

RECORD PRICES, RECORD OIL INDUSTRY PROFITS
Consumers Gouged, Oil Industry Enriched, As Gasoline And Natural Gas Prices Increase By $250 Billion Since January 2000

(Washington, D.C.) – Domestic petroleum companies have stuck U.S. gasoline and natural gas consumers with about $250 billion in price hikes since January 2000, resulting in an increase in after-tax windfall profits of $50 to $80 billion to the industry, a report released today by the Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union concluded. The groups are calling on federal and state authorities to investigate oil company price manipulation as one way to bring prices down to more reasonable levels in the near terms and a strong commitment to increased fuel efficiency in the automobile fleet for the long term.

The report, entitled Fueling Profits: Industry Consolidation, Excess Profits & Federal Neglect, Domestic Causes of Recent Gasoline and Natural Gas Price Shocks, shows While OPEC has taken a bite out of consumer’ pocketbooks, domestic companies have taken about three quarters of the price increases since January 2000. The report attributes about half of the price increases to changes in domestic pricing behavior that was created by a wave of mergers that swept through the industry in the past decade.

“The industry became concentrated in the hands of a few vertically integrated companies and allowed domestic oil companies shut down refineries, reduce stocks, and exploit markets when they become tight,” said Mark Cooper, CFA’s Director of Research. “Since these price increases were about padding the corporate bottom line, not about responding to increased costs, petroleum industry profits have risen to record highs over the period.

“Based on results from the first quarter of this year, domestic petroleum industry profits are headed for another record with refining and marketing profits up about 50 percent compared to the first quarter of 2003, Cooper added.”

The report shows a dramatic increase in household energy bills for petroleum products:

  • Taken together and averaged across all households, expenditures for gasoline, heating oil and natural gas in 1999 accounted for about $1,400 per year of total household expenditures. Price increases over the past four years for these residential items added about $350 per household per year, meaning that domestic energy price shocks have increased household energy bills by 25 percent.
  • A comparison between 1999 and 2003 is even more dramatic – a $500 increase in average annual household expenditures for these petroleum products, which represents a jump of over 35 percent.

“Consumers have paid the price for increasing the profitability of the domestic oil industry,” said Adam Goldberg, a policy analyst in Consumers Union’s Washington office. “It’s time for the Bush Administration to step up and take some action to help out consumers at the pump and at home.”
In response, the groups called for :

  • Federal and state law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute domestic oil companies that violate the law. Such investigations will likely modify the companies’ behavior when it comes to pricing.
  • Congress to consider instituting a windfall profits tax, thus taking the incentive out of manipulating supplies to increase profits. In addition, policymakers should increase market flexibility by expanding fuel stocks through tax incentives to hold and draw down supplies in the face of price increases, mandatory stock requirements as a percentage of sales, and/or government owned/privately operated supplies.
  • Congress to increase automobile fuel efficiency standards at the rate achieved in the 1980s, and increase refinery capacity through expansion at existing refineries or redevelopment of the refineries closed in the past decade.
  • Promote a more competitive industry by preventing further consolidation through vigorous enforcement of the Department of Justice Merger Guidelines. Also, expose those companies that withhold supplies up to intense public and governmental scrutiny through a joint federal state task force of attorney’s general, and prevent manipulation of commodity markets.

“These policies would build a much more competitive and consumer-friendly energy market in this country for a lot less than the $250 billion consumers already have handed over to the oil companies,” Cooper concluded. “The $20 billion that the energy bill would give to the oil industry would be better spent as a down payment on a long- term commitment to reduce demand and increase domestic market flexibility.”

Click here to view a copy of the report.

Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, is an independent nonprofit testing, educational and information organization serving only the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public and protect consumers.

Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is a non-profit association of almost 300 pro-consumer groups, with a combined membership of 50 million, which was founded in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through advocacy and education.

http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_other_issues/001086.html

***

Next, House Republicans tried to pass legislation forcing the president to cut foreign aid and military sales to countries that “fix” oil prices. But again they were neutralized by fellow Republicans, including colleagues from oil states, who kind of liked oil prices the way they were.

The convenient approach was the one finally settled on: find a foreign scapegoat. Republicans and Democrats could agree on one thing: the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) needed to lower its prices. (We may think of ourselves as democratic, but when the subject is oil, the rest of the world gets very little slack.) In the end, OPEC begrudgingly complied, but U.S. gas prices have stayed high, and in some places continued to climb.

Now it’s Democrats who are agitated about the high cost of gasoline, especially in the Midwest. According to the Washington Post, Democratic congressional leaders have warned Clinton and Gore that anger over rising prices could cost the party its efforts to take back the House and Senate. Among the responses considered: lifting clean-air restrictions in Midwestern states, and tapping into the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve.

And while Republicans have tried to use the issue to bash the Clinton administration, even some cabinet officials have acknowledged a problem. “We were caught napping,” Energy Secretary Bill Richardson has admitted. “We got complacent.”

(etc.)

In 1999, the sale of SUVs, pickup trucks and minivans — all conveniently lumped together as “light trucks” by the auto industry in order to avoid the higher fuel-economy standards that apply to passenger cars — amounted to 44.3 percent of all vehicles sold, up from 9.8 percent two decades earlier.

In the same two decades, average fuel economy of new cars sold in the U.S. stagnated, and has actually dropped from a 26.2-mile per gallon peak in 1987 to 24.4 mpg now. Thanks to SUVs, the nation’s new car fuel-economy average is the lowest since 1980, and we spew an extra 240 million tons of global warming gases into the air each year.

[ . . . ]

True enough, gasoline prices typically “rocket and feather”: They go up like a rocket, but drop haltingly, like a feather. It’s for that reason, among others, that a 4.3-cent gasoline tax repeal looked ridiculous. Take away 4.3 cents in federal taxes from the price of gasoline, and the price that consumers pay almost certainly will drop a lot less than 4.3 cents: The oil industry pockets the difference. Oil companies have certainly enjoyed a windfall: A study by Public Citizen released this month found profits on average jumped 300 percent in the first quarter of 2000 — not quite the 500 percent claimed by Gore, but a noteworthy number nonetheless.

About the writer
Jacques Leslie is the author of “The Mark: A War Correspondent’s Memoir of Vietnam and Cambodia.” His article on global water scarcity, “Running Dry,” is the cover story of the July issue of Harper’s.

(from)

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2000/06/21/gas/print.html

***

July 29, 2009

Testimony of Tyson Slocum, Director
Public Citizen’s Energy Program

Before the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Energy Position Limits and Hedge Exemptions

My testimony today will describe how recent legislative and regulatory actions deregulated energy trading markets, which removed transparency and allowed powerful financial corporations to engage in harmful levels of speculation, resulting in higher and more volatile energy prices for families. Section 4(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act requires the CFTC to establish and maintain “position limits” on traders to prevent “sudden or unreasonable fluctuations or unwarranted changes” in commodity prices as a result of excessive speculation.

FULL TESTIMONY by Public Citizen.


more resources

(from )

http://www.citizen.org/publications/release.cfm?ID=7701

***

Education and Training

American Community Survey Educational Attainment, Bureau of the Census

Education Watch Online, The Education Trust

National Center for Education Statistics, Department of Education

CyberEducation, American Electronics Association

Public Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Data, Bureau of the Census

School Statistics, Sperling’s BestPlaces, Fast Forward, Inc.

The School Report, Homefair.com

State Report Cards, Education Week

State of Literacy in America, National Institute for Literacy

School Segregation Patterns, Civil Rights Project, Harvard University

International Archive of Education Data, National Center for Education Statistics and University of Michigan

Higher Education Facts and Figures, Chronicle of Higher Education

Postsecondary Education OPPORTUNITY

Measuring Up, National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education

Carnegie Classification of Institutes of Higher Education, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

College and University Rankings, U.S. News and World Report

Data Reports, National Education Association

  Rankings of the States, 1999

  School Modernization

SAT Program Data, College Entrance Examination Board

High School Student Academic and Career Preferences, National Research Center for College and University Admissions

College Access and Affordability, Lumina Foundation for Education Data on Science and Engineering Education, National Science Foundation

  WebCASPAR

Business School Rankings, Business Week

Historical Census Data, Geospatial and Statistical Data Center, University of Virginia

Adult Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Department of Education

Standardized Program Information Reports for JTPA, Employment and Training Administration

(from )

http://www.econdata.net/content_quicklinks.html

***

Debt Finance and Venture Capital
FDIC Statistics on Banking, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Aggregate Reports, Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
Small Business Finance, Small Business Administration
SBA Loan Activity, Small Business Administration
Credit Union Data, National Credit Union Administration
Venture Capital Profiles, Venture Economics
MoneyTree Survey, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Venture Capital Investments Data Base, Mercury Center, San Jose Mercury News
Recent Venture Industry Statistics, National Venture Capital Association
Venture Funding Reports, Growthink Research Limited Free  Data
Venture Capital Disbursements by Metro Area, Center for Economic Development
VentureXpert, Thomson Financial Securities Data Fee Required
National IPO Database, Hale and Dorr
Research and Advanced Technology
Division of Science Resources Studies, National Science Foundation
Useful Stats, State Science & Technology Institute
State Profiles of Federal R&D, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Federal R&D Activities, Science and Technology Policy Institute, RAND
Funded Federal Research, Community of Science
SBIR/STTR Awards, Small Business Administration
R&D Support in Health, National Institutes of Health
Federal R&D Funding Projections, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative
American Research Universities, TheCenter, University of Florida
Patents Awarded, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
State Science and Technology Indicators, Office of Technology Competitiveness, Technology Administration
RaDiUS, Science and Technology Policy Institute, RAND Fee Required
Regional Techline, CHI Research, Inc. Fee Required
AUTM Licensing Survey, Association of University Technology Managers Fee Required

(also from -)

http://www.econdata.net/content_quicklinks.html

***

U.S. Data


Summary
Weekly Supply Estimates
U.S. Crude Oil Supply & Disposition
more Summary data
Prices
Weekly Retail Gasoline and Diesel Prices
Spot Prices
World Crude Oil Prices
more Price data
Crude Reserves & Production
Crude Oil Production
Reserves, Reserves Changes, and Production
more Crude Reserves & Production data
Refining & Processing
Weekly Inputs, Utilization & Production
Refinery Yield
more Refining & Processing data
Imports/Exports & Pipelines
Weekly Imports & Exports
U.S. Imports by Country of Origin
more Imports/Exports & Pipelines data
Stocks
Total Stocks (Weekly & Monthly)
Stocks by Type
more Stocks data
Consumption/Sales
Product Supplied
Prime Supplier Sales Volumes
more Consumption/Sales data
International Data


Overview
World Oil Balance
World Crude Oil Prices
more

(from)

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oil_gas/petroleum/info_glance/petroleum.html

***

(and)

State Energy Profiles
Real (vs. Nominal) Petroleum Prices updated monthly
side arrow graphic more Petroleum Analyses…

**

from –

US Department of Interior

Bureau of Land Management

Oil Leases, Mining Rights, Sales of Public Lands, etc.

Interior Opens Conversation on Open Government

FRI, FEBRUARY 5, 2010, 12:00 AM EST

Today the Department of the Interior launched DOI.gov/open and an online dialogue about improving transparency, participation, collaboration and innovation in government Read More >

More >

FY 2011 Budget in Brief Cover

Interior Budget Emphasizes Fiscal Responsibility, Cost-Effective Government, Strategic Investments

MON, FEBRUARY 1, 2010, 12:00 AM ESTPresident Obama’s proposed $12.2 billion budget for Interior in FY 2011 is a fiscally responsible plan that will enable the Interior to carry out its stewardship responsibilities while making strategic investments in priority initiatives. Read More >

2009 Report featuring on the cover President Barack Obama and  Interior Secretary Salazar at Yellowstone National Park

Interior Issues Report on 2009 Accomplishments

THU, JANUARY 14, 2010, 12:00 AM ESTInterior Secretary Ken Salazar has issued a 2009 Report detailing his first year leading the Department.  The report is a comprehensive inventory of conservation, energy and land management initiatives and administrative reforms achieved in the past year. Read More >

(from)

http://www.doi.gov/news/doinews/

**
(And also found here -)
Secretary Salazar and BLM Director Bob Abbey at a press conference  announcing energy reforms

Changing the Way We Do Business

WED, JANUARY 6, 2010, 12:00 AM ESTBLM launched reforms to the onshore oil and gas leasing process in an effort to improve protections for land, water, and wildlife and reduce potential conflicts that can lead to costly and time-consuming litigation. Read More >

Changing the Way We Do Business


01/06/2010

Secretary Salazar and BLM Director Bob Abbey  at a press conference announcing energy reformsThe Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management launched several reforms to the onshore oil and gas leasing process in an effort to improve protections for land, water, and wildlife and reduce potential conflicts that can lead to costly and time-consuming protests and litigation of leases. In addition, Secretary Salazar issued a Secretarial Order creating a new Energy Reform Team.

Secretary Salazar said the following about the new reforms:

We need a fresh look – from inside the federal government and from outside – at how we can better manage Americans’ energy resources. The new guidance BLM is issuing for field managers will help bring clarity, consistency, and public engagement to the onshore oil and gas leasing process while balancing the many resource values that the Bureau of Land Management is entrusted with protecting on behalf of the American people. In addition, with the help of our new Energy Reform Team, we will improve the Department’s internal operations to better manage publicly owned energy resources and the revenues they produce.

Many of the reforms that the Bureau of Land Management will undertake follow the recommendations of an interdisciplinary review team that studied a controversial 2008 oil and gas lease sale in Utah.

Under the reformed oil and gas leasing policy, BLM will provide the following:

  • Comprehensive interdisciplinary reviews that take into account site-specific considerations for individual lease sales. Resource Management Plans will continue to provide programmatic-level guidance, but individual parcels nominated for leasing will undergo increased internal and external coordination, public participation, interdisciplinary review of available information, confirmation of Resource Management Plan conformance as well as site visits to parcels when necessary;
  • Greater public involvement in developing Master Leasing and Development Plans for areas where intensive new oil and gas extraction is anticipated so that other important natural resource values can be fully considered prior to making an irreversible commitment to develop an area;
  • Leadership in identifying areas where new oil and gas leasing will occur. The bureau will continue to accept industry expressions of interest regarding where to offer leases, but will emphasize leasing in already-developed areas and will plan carefully for leasing and development in new areas.

A comparison of the new guidance with current policy can be found here.

BLM Director Bob Abbey sat down with us to help explain what these new reforms mean for BLM and for oil and gas companies. Check out video of our interview with Director Abbey here.

http://www.doi.gov/news/doinews/BLM_energy_reform.cfm

**
My Note –
That doesn’t say anything about the cash for oil leases rather than “in kind” payments which had yielded all sorts of strange back-scratching deals between previous members of the Bureau oil lease management teams and oil companies, their lawyers and their lobbies. I’ll look some more.
– cricketdiane
**
In looking up that – I found this which really does make soap-opera style reading. It is apparently from a case about oil leasing rights in Texas. Its worth reading most of it – but yeah, more like a soap opera story than I would have ever expected –

http://www.leagle.com/unsecure/page.htm?shortname=intxco20100225766

A. The Scanio-Shelton Lease

Beckham is a company that develops oil and gas properties. In 1999, Beckham acquired a lease in Refugio, Texas, from the Scanio-Shelton family (the Lessors). Beckham developed the property, which resulted in oil and gas production and revenue for both Beckham and the Lessors. Beckham then sold ten percent of its interest in the Scanio-Shelton lease to KLA. For reasons not entirely clear from the record, a dispute over the lease arose between Beckham and the Lessors. The dispute was resolved without litigation, but the relationship between Beckham and the Lessors was strained from that point forward.

B. Beckham and Mantle’s Relationship

In February 2004, Beckham sold seventy-five percent of its interest in the Scanio-Shelton lease to Mantle. As consideration for the acquisition, Mantle paid Beckham $395,000 and agreed to drill five new wells on the property. Mantle was responsible for the up-front costs of the five new wells; after that, the proceeds were shared between the parties according to their respective ownership shares—i.e., seventy-five percent to Mantle and twenty-five percent to Beckham. The five wells were completed without controversy.

Beckham and Mantle’s relationship was governed by two agreements—an exploration and development agreement (the exploration agreement) and a joint operating agreement (the JOA). The JOA outlined the manner in which the parties would finance wells on the leased property after the first five that were drilled as consideration. The parties agreed that new operations would be subject to a “non-consent” clause, which meant, in short, that if one party proposed an operation, the other party had a choice to participate or not. Under the non-consent clause, if one party had chosen not to participate, the party who proposed the new operation would bear full responsibility for the up-front costs of drilling the well. The participating party would then be allowed to recover its costs out of production from the well until a stated percentage—here, 200%—was recovered. The percentage was meant to be a penalty to the non-consenting party. After the participating party recovered this amount, the non-consenting party would begin to receive its share of production from the well.

The exploration agreement contained an “area of mutual interest” clause (the AMI), which governed a large area around the lease and provided that if either party acquired an oil and gas interest within that defined area, the acquiring party was required to offer the other party a share of that acquisition in proportion to its ownership under the original lease. The AMI read, in relevant part, as follows:

Any Party acquiring an “oil and gas interest” within the AMI shall notify the other Party in writing of such acquisition, which notice shall include all pertinent terms of such acquisition (the “Notice”). For purposes of this Agreement, an oil and gas mineral interest shall include any leasehold, working interest, overriding royalty interest, mineral interest, royalty interest, farm-out, farm-in, or any other oil and gas interest of any nature or kind. The non-acquiring Party may elect to participate for its proportionate share in the acquisition by giving written notice of its election to the acquiring Party within ten (10) days from receipt of the Notice. A party electing to participate in an acquisition shall make payment of its proportionate part of all acquisition costs within twenty (20) days of its election. A Party’s failure to timely elect or make its payment thereafter shall be deemed an election not to participate in the acquisition.

C. The May 2004 Lease

In May 2004, Mantle entered into a new lease with the Lessors (the May 2004 lease), and pursuant to the terms of the exploration agreement, assigned Beckham twenty-five percent of its interest in the new lease.[ 3 ] However, to obtain the Lessors’ consent to the new lease in light of the strained relationship between Beckham and the Lessors, Mantle agreed to certain conditions in the lease that would eliminate any contact between Beckham and the Lessors and allow Mantle the right to execute a release on Beckham’s behalf regarding its interest in the lease. Specifically, the May 2004 lease contained the following language:

This Lease may not be assigned by the Lessee [Mantle] . . . without the express written consent of the Lessor . . . . Should any assignment as to all or any part of the leasehold, or any interest therein, or as to any segregated acreage covered by the Lease, be made by Lessee, or should any subsequent assignment be made by any assignee, the Lessee shall have the right to execute and deliver a release or partial release of the Lease in accordance with the other release provisions of this Lease without the joinder or approval of any other leasehold interest owner. . . . Any such action by the Lessee . . . shall be as the agent and attorney-in-fact for all other leasehold interest owners at the time of granting any release or partial release. It is agreed that the purpose of naming and appointing the Lessee . . . as the agent and attorney-in-fact is to allow the Lessor to look to only one party for execution and delivery of any release . . . . Each assignee of an interest in the leasehold estate shall be bound by this provision and grants to the Lessee . . . the right to release, in whole or in part, an assignee’s interest, as may be deemed necessary and proper by the Lessee . . . in accordance with other provisions of this Lease.

This language was used in Mantle’s assignment to Beckham of its twenty-five percent interest in the lease.[ 4 ]

This arrangement caused Beckham some anxiety. To ameliorate that concern, Mantle sent Beckham a letter in February 2005. The letter stated that the restrictions on assignment were “compelled by the trade with the Lessors in order to obtain consent to the assignment of your [Beckham and KLA] interest in the Lease.” The letter then provided that:

(etc.)

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Are all these things like this? I mean, oil companies or venture capitalists come out to people’s property and convince them to allow drilling, mining or whatever other appropriation of their resources, harvesting, profiting, accessing, etc. and then the original investors go out and sell percentages of the deal to somebody else – and then try to screw each other out of it? Is that it?

– cricketdiane

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