Oil rises ahead of US sanctions
Reuters, August 7, 2018
Oil prices rose on Tuesday ahead of the introduction of US sanctions against major crude exporter Iran. Spot Brent crude futures were at $73.88 per barrel at early on Tuesday, up 13 cents, or 0.2%, from their last close. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 1 cent at $69.02 barrel. US sanctions against Iran, which shipped out almost 3 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in July, are set to begin at 12:01 am US Eastern time on Tuesday.
Letter: How about a salmon tax?
Don Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, August 6, 2018
The Stand For Salmon group has a desire to restore Alaska’s salmon populations, but it wants to do it by only addressing salmon habitat. Alaska’s salmon bust problems are not that simple. Unfortunately, there are many offenders to blame for our current salmon bust problems.
Blaming only habitat issues for salmon bust, while ignoring user groups, is like trying to catch a serial murderer by regulating the park the murders are committed in. You catch a murderer by going after the murderer, not by regulating the environment they are murdering in. User groups are busy slaughtering hordes of salmon while Stand for Salmon is busy trying to regulate only salmon habitat. Our salmon bust problems are local and foreign user groups slaughtering our salmon, period. We can end our salmon bust problems by directly addressing the people who are overharvesting our salmon.
Alaska could address these people by charging a straight salmon tax for each salmon killed by anyone. A solution can be reached by increasing the tax until users either cannot afford to kill salmon or pay enough tax to finance a real salmon solution. A salmon tax would guarantee a salmon solution either way. Minor habitat impacts could then be addressed after reducing major user group impacts.
Our Take: While tongue in cheek, this letter makes some good points. Headlamp would like to add that a salmon tax will also capture wages that are going out-of-state with the fishermen who don’t live in Alaska.
New Coast Guard commandant sees the Arctic as an urgent concern
Melody Schreiber, Arctic Today, August 7, 2018
Less than two months into his new job, Adm. Karl L. Schultz, the new commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, encountered a surprise. The House of Representatives unexpectedly zeroed out the budget for a long-anticipated heavy icebreaker. Schultz was taken aback, but still has hopes the icebreaker — and five other polar-class vessels like it — will still find funding in Congress, and soon. “We need six icebreakers, three of them need to be heavy icebreakers, and we really need one today,” Adm. Schultz said at a recent event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “I am guardedly optimistic, but things change quick,” he said. “It’s a dynamic environment.”
Our Take: Headlamp shares Admiral Schultz’s concern. The U.S. needs icebreakers, today.
Chinese newspaper mocks Trump’s claim of winning trade war as ‘wishful thinking’
Engen Tham, Reuters, August 6, 2018
Chinese state media kept up their criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade policies, with a newspaper on Tuesday describing as “wishful thinking” Trump’s belief that a fall in Chinese stocks was a sign of his winning the trade war. As the world’s two biggest economies remained locked in a heated tariff dispute, Beijing and Washington have kept up a blistering rhetoric with threats and counter-threats of more punitive trade measures.
Russia says ‘deeply disappointed’ by US sanctions on Iran
AFP, August 7, 2018
Russia on Tuesday said it was “deeply disappointed” by US President Donald Trump’s decision to re-impose unilateral sanctions on Iran. “We are deeply disappointed by US steps to reimpose its national sanctions against Iran,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. The ministry said it will do “everything necessary” to save the historic 2015 Iran nuclear deal and protect its shared economic interests with Tehran.
Our Take: Russia promising to do “everything necessary” to protect its economic interests while China mocks President Trump about the trade war – lots of rhetoric and threats.
Trafigura plans US deepwater oil export terminal
David Sheppard, Financial Times, August 6, 2018
Swiss commodity trader Trafigura has submitted plans to build the first deepwater US oil export terminal capable of loading some of the world’s largest supertankers, with crude shipments expected to soar in coming years. The plan would see the commodity house build an offshore deepwater port facility in Corpus Christi, Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico, with a view to accommodate very large crude carriers capable of carrying more than 2m barrels of crude.