2:00PM Water Cooler 12/22/14

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


“Can Liberal Zionists Count On Hillary Clinton?” [New York Times]. Remarkably similar to the “he has to say that,” “his heart is in the right place” discussion of Obama in 2009.

Guy Cecil, front-runner for Clinton campaign manager job, bows out [The Hill].

Please tell me Rudy’s not running again [The Hill].

Jebbie’s first follow on Twitter [Mother Jones]. Karl Rove. Alrighty, then.

Herd on the Street

“It’s going to be pretty tough to divine anything meaningful from the market this week with Christmas coming up on Thursday and with trading desks half-staffed” [Bloomberg].

UK to extend Libor manipulation laws to cover gold, oil, silver [Reuters].

“‘Selling volatility’ — as such wagers are known — became one of the most popular trades of the year [FT]. So in essence we have punters betting the market will stay rigged. Isn’t this situation made for somebody who understands and can exploit reflexivity? And/or is all the fear-mongering about speculative churn?

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Ferguson to increase police ticketing to close city’s budget gap [Bloomberg]. Doubling down.

“Middleburg Heights Motel 6 manager accused of attacking protesters also used racial slurs during incident, police say” [Cleveland Plain-Dealer]. Motel 6 says “they’re reaching out to local authorities.” Note that the only reason this incidents got taken seriously is that it was streamed.

Brinsley cop-shooting timeline [New York Times, “New York Officers’ Killer, Adrift and Ill, Had a Plan”].

Cuomo: “I’d like to get past this period and bring the temperature down. Let’s grieve and respect the families of Ramos and Lui” [Buzzfeed]. Oddly, or not, the first death in Brinsley’s spree is no longer part of the narrative. Or gun control.

Self-indulgent wankery of “What do we want? Dead cops” chanting used to trash non-violent branding of Ferguson die-ins, other protests [Bloomberg]. So these clowns chant, and go home to their beds. Good for them. The activists I follow were universally horrified at this nonsense, since it would make the cops at their protests more trigger happy. Skin in the game, as it were.

“Blue Lives Matter” [Ta-Nahesi Coates, The Atlantic]. “[O]ne does not have to work hard to imagine a future when the agents of our will, the agents whom we created, are in fact our masters.” Indeed.

When Sally Met Tom [Vox].

Whither Oil?

Not enough shops to retrofit tank cars to carry flammable liquids, so “[t]he oil ‘is either going to move by trucks or it’s going to stay in the ground’” [WSJ, “Railcar Bottleneck Looms for Oil”]. Oil is a nasty and disgusting fluid, besides being toxic. It should be taboo, like sh*t. We should respect that taboo by leaving as much as possible in the ground. Why not start now?

Canada’s high cost tar sands operations going offline. So, the commodity boom ends, but households are highly leveraged… [Sober Look].

U.S. authorities torpedo Morgan Stanley deal to acquire Rosneft because Putin [Reuters].


Alstom to pay Justice record $772 million fine for violating bribery laws [Reuters]. So the fine isn’t the last bribe in the chain why?

Public prosecutors in Brazil charged 36, including executives from some of the country’s leading civil engineering companies, with involvement in a multibillion-euro graft scheme at the state-controlled oil giant Petrobras [Irish Times]. Roussef: Senior Petrobras executives not involved [Reuters].

Terse announcement: Ling Jihua, senior Party official, now under investigation for “suspected serious disciplinary violation” [China Radio International].

The Haitian Court of Justice on December 16 decreed that a corruption investigation focused on the [President Michel Martelly]’s son Olivier, and the First Lady Sophia, could proceed [VOA News]. “[C]onsiderable popular discontent with what is called Haiti’s ‘culture of corruption'”.

Panel delays key vote into graft claims related to former ministers [Hurriyet Daily News]. “[S]pectacular graft scandal” [Al Ahram].

Doctors and a head nurse at a hospital in Serbia’s third largest cit arrested for accepting bribes of up to €13,000 and using their networks to secure healthcare jobs for relatives [Transparency International].

FIFA to release WC ‘corruption’ report [Al Jazeera]. “The report was drawn up by top US lawyer Michael Garcia who resigned on Wednesday in protest at the handling of the inquiry by FIFA’s leadership.”

The FBI and Texas Rangers lead new public corruption task force created in South Texas [Washington Times]. DA: “Do we have corruption here in South Texas? Yes we do. Is it only in South Texas? No. It’s all over. We haven’t cornered the market on corruption.” Nope.

Harvard survey finds Pennsylvania among most corrupt states [Times-Leader]. Larry? Is that you? Marty? Timmy? Bob?

Class Warfare

“[H]is stomach was empty when he died, there was no food in the flat – and he had just £3.44 in his bank account” [Private Eye (quoted print version)]. It’s “Neoliberalism expressed as simple rules”: There’s Rule #1: Because Markets, which handles the “public policy” [snort] aspects; this particular story, however, is falls under Rule #2: Go die. See also “Competitive Caring” [Private Eye].

Former American Apparel sleaze schmatta merchant CEO Dov Charney down to his last $100K, sleeping on his friend’s couch [Business Insider]. Expensive couch.

In the 1940 census she listed her occupation as a “maker of games.” In the column for her income she wrote, “0″ [Smithsonian]. Monopoly’s original designer, Lizzie Magie.

Stats Watch

Existing home sales, November 2014: “[S]inking a very steep 6.1 percent”; “November’s weakness is broad based with all 4 regions showing single digit monthly declines” [Bloomberg].

News of the Wired

  • How universal health care fell apart in Vermont [Vox]. When Shumlin called in Gruber to make the numbers work, you knew the fix was in. And the Shumlin approach cut revenue sources while adding administrative complexity [Politico]. So Democrats punch the hippies once again.
  • Op-ed: Prosecute torturers, starting with Cheney, Addington, Tenet, Yoo, and Bybee [New York Times]. The line of elite criminals who ought to be in jail and still walk the streets is pretty long, so pick a number.
  • Aircraft built by amateurs have disproportionate accident rate [Newsday].
  • Coca Cola shuts down voicemail, to be replaced with text [Bloomberg]. No more voicemail hell?
  • Italian police arrest 14 neo-fascists planning attacks on politicians, prosectors, and the police [Reuters].
  • Experts say faults at nuclear plant in northeast Japan could be active [Japan Times].
  • The daily habits of highly productive philosphers [Open Culture].
  • “The Categories Were Made For Man, Not Man For The Categories” [Slate, Star, Codex]. Be sure to read ’til you get to the hair dryer.

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (CG):


The moral of this luscious peach tree is start with perennials, not with annuals!

Readers, naughty and/or nice, I’m still feeling more than a little angst over fuel, now that the heating season in Maine is upon me, so any help you can give will be appreciated!

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat:

Talk amongst yourselves!

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Luke The Debtor

    Oil is stored solar energy. It is the million year alteration of previous life – photosynthetic bacteria. That said, it is nasty but absolutely necessary to produce. Burning it as a fuel is wrong but the biggest push to eliminate oil as a fuel comes from the incorrect understanding and of climate change. Since that crowd is not physically doing anything about it and dismisses everyone who opposes their view as deniers, oil will remain the status quo.

    1. Rosario

      How about a level playing field?


      Yes the source is Wikipedia, but it is the most comprehensive I have found. With regard to subsidies to renewables it is either blanket subsidies to all renewable industries (completely ineffective) or, in a round about way, a subsidy to agriculture (ethanol, biofuel, etc.). People are trying to do something about it everyday, and they are getting buried primarily by petroleum industries. I could continue the critique with policies supporting petroleum/fossil fuel based infrastructure, business structure and environmental “externalization” but I don’t have the energy (pun unintended, at first ;).

  2. Jim Haygood

    ‘Liberal Zionists’ — fabulous oxymoron, more commonly rendered as LEFI (Liberal Except For Israel).

      1. optimader

        It does jump off the page as an oxymoron, but it is legit terminology w/ provenance. “Liberal” is a mercurial term

    1. Carolinian

      Mondoweiss’ version is Progressive Except for Palestine. Seems there’s a lot of that going around. Paging Elizabeth Warren.

    2. j7915

      Conservative except when they threaten the rent control on that pre-war apartment building on the West Side, overlooking the Hudson.

      Most of those apartments are probably now in new hands and free market, but the spirit still lives on in the NY Times.

  3. grayslady

    Links for Vox on Vermont single payer and Bloomberg for Coke eliminating voice mail are not correct. I found the Coke article by doing a general search, but the description for the Vox article is too vague.

  4. Steve H.

    “So the fine isn’t the last bribe in the chain why?”

    Bribes are illegal. That’s why. It’s magic!

    1. albrt

      Also there is no reason to believe it’s the last. May be if you said the last in this turn of the cycle?

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I was going to deploy the Lanny Breuer parody video here, but it’s been blocked by Front Line on copyright grounds. Can somebody who knows Front Line tell them how stupid it is to block a legitimate parody?

  5. Eureka Springs

    Bravo to the NYT Editorial Board. They should print it every week until something is accomplished.

    1. Jim Haygood

      It IS really good for them. But it contains a poison pill: they took the president [Bush] off the table.

      That elevates the US president to a status similar to Japan’s emperor — exempt from culpability because of the majesty of his office.

      This is the cult of the imperial presidency, artfully inserted into an editorial advocating severe censure for the VICE president and sundry underlings. No accountability at the top means even worse behavior in the future.

  6. Jim A

    Re: Monopoly –It’s really no surprise that for most of the players in a typical monopoly game, after the important properties are bought the game is a long, slow agonizing trip into bankruptcy for those who don’t have them. That’s kind of the point, since it is really a tool to teach Georgist economics.

  7. Banger

    Interesting how the shooting of cops has become politicized not just in NYC but the country. Bratton blamed, in a roundabout way, the protests and so it goes. It will be interesting and important to see if DiBlasio does anything about the way-too-powerful police in NYC.

    1. fresno dan

      Its funny (no its not) but if your a right winger (Eric Fein) and you flat out murder a police officer due to your politics, and your apparently not nuts, it just is not worth discussing in the SARC liberal SARC media…
      Nope, talk of smaller government, lower taxes, crushing regulation and its talk had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the death of the Pennsylvania police officer…


    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      He hasn’t. We’re now living in a world where Truman didn’t fire MacArthur.

      Then again, since all the mayors who participated in Obama’s 17-city paramilitary crackdown on Occupy were Democrat, with the exception of “Mike” Bloomberg, perhaps this is what we should expect.

    3. different clue

      DiBlasio would need enough independent Armed Force to keep himself safe from police assassination in order to dare attempt to suppress this police mutiny. That is why I wondered whether he might think about asking Cuomo to call out the National Guard to suppress a Domestic Insurrection by the NYPD, and keep the Guard in NY to keep the NYPD suppressed long enough to carry out the necessary purges and decontamination of procedures-and-methods.

  8. Banger

    Also interesting is that everyone assumes North Korea was responsible for hacking Sony–where is the evidence. I’m not saying they didn’t but North Korea denied it. At any rate, some gov’t spokesman declares something to be true and the media assumes it is true and repeat it in all kinds of contexts such that it is now part of the culture and is part of “we all know” that makes up the media narrative. Of course mad-dog McCain wants to got to war over this and anything else.

    1. ambrit

      If McCain wants to go to war, let us send him down South of the Border, like “Black Jack” Pershing in 1917, to help pacify northern Mexico. Mexico can honestly be labeled a ‘failed state’ and so justify American Imperial intervention. (Annexing Baja California would be a good idea too. Save the whales! Etc…)

    2. RUKidding

      I’m of the tin foil hat (realist?) variety and believe absolutely nothing that comes out of the propaganda media, which is nearly all of it. I Q strongly whether NK did the hack. My speculation (based on nothing I can link to) is that it is more likely some sort of industrial espionage engineered by a Sony competitor – perhaps off-shored to some “consultant”?? Took advantage of this horrible excuse for a movie to hit Sony in a weak spot. Am I crazy? Maybe, or maybe crazy like a fox.

      It took a little time for the legend to get legs that it was a NK hack, but now ObamaCo’s on board. Well boy howdy, who’s a big donor to ObamaCo if not buy Hollywood??? So Sony Fat Cats – who clearly dropped the ball on their security and privacy duties – go running to Uncle Sugar to get them out of trouble. After all, this arm of Sony Corp is in the story-telling business. Sony’s got lots of liabilities from this hack; why not make it look like – hey, that’s the ticket! – big-time cyber war from NK (kills 2 birds with one stone. once they distribute this steaming pile “movie,” there’s loads of chumps out there who’ll buy it in the name of freedumbs).

      Plus now it goes right into ye olde “Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste” playbook. So the PTB engage in false flag finger pointing; yet another shiny distraction for CIA Torture (which is so yesterday ho hum); plus maybe more Patriot-Act-Like draconian laws to further oppress the proles. Cui Bono?

      Am I crazy? Or…

      Does NK have the capability? Maybe but it’s not a given. Would they bother to do this over this stupid movie? Maybe. But not a given, either.

      I don’t trust the narrative. Just saying…

    3. Rosario

      When the hacker community calls bullshit on this people should listen. They don’t lie about what they know best, and they don’t have any reason to. Their calling this out for what it is using their psydonyms (which only have cred in the hacker community) is akin to an “expert” engineering consultant describing major flaws in a building design and receiving absolutely no credit or payment for doing so (it is obvious to other engineers so there is no ego boost either). The FBI/CIA/NSA/TPP/Illuminati (caught you napping) need/have needed to reel in the Internet and this is their golden opportunity.

    4. optimader

      If N.K. only has something like 1,200 IP addresses, who can tell me w/ a straightface that the NSA isn’t reading them all realtime and messing up their Harrod’s Fancy Foods Dept orders?

  9. Jackrabbit

    NYC Mayor De Blasio Calls for Suspension of Protests

    Cites respect for the families of the slain officers during the holiday season (similar to Gov. Cuomo). Calls the killings “an attack on all of us”.

    Why is a crazy, lone shooter a reason to shut down peaceful, democratic protest? How is that an attack on all of us? I wonder if the protestors would’ve had the good sense to suspend the protests themselves and if this is not De Blasio getting in front of a parade so as to score points with the police union.

    H O P

      1. Brian

        Want Rudi “Il Duce” Juliani to run. He speaks for the mob, some of whom are trying to get in the 1%, others are working to get rid of the 1%. Some low end soldier will get a big reward for tying the shoelace and big head to the lamppost. Benito had a delightful way with words too.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Halting protests is probably best for the protesters. Consider now the entire NYPD blames the protesters for the murder of two of their brothers. Forget the fact that the gunman was a mentally ill wackjob who blew a gasket. It’s not gonna matter to pissed of police with guns itching for revenge.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      The false equivalence is stunning. Of course, it comes right out of Obama’s framing of “community” vs. “police.” If he had framed it as #BlackLivesMatter we would arguably have been in a better position.

  10. Steve H.

    “Ferguson to increase police ticketing to close city’s budget gap [Bloomberg]. Doubling down.”

    From the alleged PBA memo:
    “Absolutely NO enforcement action in the form of arrests and or summonses is to be taken unless absolutely necessary and an individual MUST be placed under arrest.”

    The (alleged) PBA memo comes close to what the citizens of Ferguson would likely prefer. When the situation gets extreme, the wings can sometimes circle around and get much closer. This happened with drunk driving, when right-wing moralism found common ground with left-wing abhorrence of innocents dying. “Since the early 1980s, alcohol-related traffic deaths per population have been cut in half…” [NIH]

    Perhaps “NO enforcement” is the balancing of what Joe Firestone called “a crime wave composed of wholesale obstruction of justice” by the government. If the police turn their back on authority, as happened to DeBlasio, then the authorities lose power and have to rely on influence. That is not categorically a bad thing.

      1. ambrit

        Do like in the old days. Walk the same beat for years. Learn the neighbourhood and its’ people. Let those people learn who you are. Build trust both ways.

  11. fresno dan

    “When Manney arrived in the park after the other officers had left, he said, he found Hamilton laying on the ground in the park and asked him to stand up. He said that Hamilton then stood up and turned his back to him. The police officer began patting-down Hamilton.

    As Manney was conducting the frisk, he told investigators, Hamilton twisted his body so he was facing Manney.

    Manney, who says Hamilton’s right hand was balled in a fist, said he tried to disengage from Hamilton, according to the DA’s report.

    Hamilton lunged and then tried to strike Manney with his fist, according to the police officer’s account. Manny blocked the punch and struck Hamilton with an open palm to the chin. Hamilton then grabbed Manney in the shoulder area, pulling the police officer towards him and struck him on the right side of his head, the report said.

    At that point, Manney felt he was losing control of the situation and decided to use his wooden baton on Hamilton.

    “Manney separated from Hamilton, removed his baton with his left hand and transferred it to his right hand,” the report said. “When Hamilton continued to be aggressive, Manney struck him once in the rib area with the baton. Manney states that Hamilton trapped his baton between his arms and his torso and spun away from Manney. Manney attempted to retain control of his baton but could not.”

    Manney also told investigators that he attempted to hit the emergency button on his radio but couldn’t reach it because of the struggle. As he tried to push away from Hamilton, Manney said, he felt a blow from his baton on the right side of his neck.

    He told investigators that he felt he was out of options and decided to draw his weapon in the hope that Hamilton would stop. But he said Hamilton continued to approach wielding the baton.

    “Manney fired his weapon but it did not seem to have any effect on Hamilton, so he continued to fire while walking backwards from Hamilton,” according to Manney’s account to investigators. “Hamilton fell forward and Manney continued to fire because he perceived Hamilton still to be a threat. He stopped firing when Hamilton was completely on the ground.”

    Chisholm said that a review of the incident by an outside expert on use of force by police, Emanuel Kapelsohn, concluded that Manney’s decision to fire his weapon was in line with his training.

    “The Dontre Hamilton incident is quite unusual in that P.O. Manney appears to have tried every level of force on the Force Option Continuum before resorting to deadly force,” Kapelsohn wrote in his report.

    As part of his report, the district attorney also released an autopsy sketch, detailing Hamilton’s wounds, as well as summaries of accounts from witnesses in and around the park that saw all or parts of the incident. Investigators heard conflicting accounts from witnesses who said that Manney continued to shoot Hamilton after he had fell to the ground.

    But the autopsy revealed no conclusive evidence that any of the shots were fired while Hamilton was prone.

    Police Chief Edward Flynn fired Manney in October, stating that the officer had identified Hamilton as mentally ill, but ignored department policy and treated him as a criminal by frisking him.

    The Milwaukee Police Association condemned Manney’s firing as politically motivated, and members voted no confidence in Flynn soon after the firing.”

    Emanuel Kapelsohn, concluded that Manney’s decision to fire his weapon was in line with his training – (adding reality – keeping shooting until they’re dead, which is the only way you can absolutely, positively be sure not to be in fear for your life…)

    In case it is not clear, the first sentence relates that two police officers had arrived, determined that a person lying on the ground is not a crime, and than left.

    1. Rosario

      I’m feeling the obviousness of the craziness right there with you in all its classical reason but to put it into nice Neoliberal, technocratic numbers:

      Arrest-related deaths (2003-2009):

      Officer deaths (2004-2013):

      When realizing that this data does not need to be adjusted for population (an officer is represented for each “criminal” related encounter or a person for a person, one-for-one). One can quickly see how dangerous the police are to citizens. Acknowledging that the data is off one year we could still safely presume a 4:1 ratio of citizen to officer death and even then a large number of officer deaths are from auto accidents (human negligence, mechanical failure), bringing this ratio closer to 7:1. Compare this to most other “dangerous” professions (note: controlling for their representation in the population or fatality rate).


      The heroic officer is a myth. They may be an important asset in our society (somehow) but their profession is far from ripe for consumption. Their is an obvious group in need of reform and restructuring here and it is the one with all the power.

  12. dearieme

    “Oddly, or not, the first death in Brinsley’s spree is no longer part of the narrative.” If you mean his girl friend, didn’t she survive? Or has she died since?

    Anyway, obviously blacks shot by blacks don’t count. Because if they did count they’d completely dominate the “narrative”, wouldn’t they?

  13. Bill Frank

    Lambert, do you think any of the folks listed in this 2016 section (or any other 2016 segment) are willing to take on the New Robber Barons?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I’m not a prophet. I think if the right politician meets the right opportunity, it could happen.

      I wish Sanders could combine his wider program with Warren’s cannonball intensity. Then we’d have something.

  14. Jim Haygood

    New record high for the S&P today — 2078.54.

    Historically, the period from now till the fourth business day of January is up more often than down.

    J-Yel likes to quote Pink Floyd: ‘I do believe it’s working, good.’

  15. Manny Goldstein

    Man, I can’t remember the last time I was not enlightened by Ta Nehisi Coates or Bruce Dixon. It’s really too bad that the vast majority of white Americans don’t even know who they are, let alone of what they write. Lines in the sand were drawn a long time ago and what’s coming won’t be pretty.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      When I read some comment sections — not this one, needless to say — I feel like I’ve wandered into a zombie movie, and Coates and Dixon are the plucky survivors. Can intelligence and intellectual honesty overcome the ravening hordes?

    2. different clue

      I have not followed Coates closely, or hardly at all really. Hasn’t he been a cheerleader for Obama for years and years?

  16. afisher

    Slight sideways on Police Shooting in NYC. Is sitting in a car considered Community Policing? Seriously, there was a great program on AlJazeera TV on how a community in LA area converted to everyone wearing cameras AND omg – getting out of their cars and walking and talking with people in that community.

    Now back to mainstream non-reality and finger-pointing with a smattering of racism (here).

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        That’s a great link from Taibbi:

        Nobody’s willing to say it yet. But after Ferguson, and especially after the Eric Garner case that exploded in New York yesterday after yet another non-indictment following a minority death-in-custody, the police suddenly have a legitimacy problem in this country.

        Hence the hysteria. We aren’t in full-blown legitimacy crisis mode — I’ve been listening to this podcast, and it’s surprising how many decades these things take to play out — but I would bet more elite and near-elites are feeling a bit sketchy than we imagine.

  17. optimader

    RE: the railcar tanker rolling stock
    My recollection is there is a new transportation standard for rail tank cars wall construction (thicker and double wall) as well as venting. The present rolling fleet has insufficient venting for the higher vapor pressure Bakken oils. it has a higher % of light fractions, (ie more evaporation) –fractions referred to as Natural Gas Liquids (NGL).
    My guess is the new standard enforcement will just be delayed and efforsts will be stepped up to strip the lighter fractions at the well.

    A coalition pushing for separating all liquids from Bakken crude oil supplies is taking its case to lawmakers, firefighters and emergency managers in North Dakota, pushing the process known as “stabilization,” or stripping of natural gas liquids (NGL).

    The uptick in activity by the Coalition for Bakken Crude Oil Stabilization comes as the North Dakota Industrial Commission prepares in the next few weeks to finalize new rules for the state’s crude content (see Shale Daily, Nov. 14).

    A spokesperson for the Department of Mineral Resources said the proposed rules, on which public comment was closed this week, include standards for how well site equipment should operate to properly remove gas from the oil. Federal authorities — the Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration — will determine if crude-by-rail shipments will require all liquids to be stripped out of Bakken supplies, she said.

    Existing North Dakota safety standards call for all flowing oil wells to produce through “an approved oil/gas separator or emulsion treater of ample capacity and in good working order.”

    Since several rail mishaps last year involving Bakken crude shipments, including fires and explosions, the high liquids content of Bakken supplies and the overall content of the oil has received heightened scrutiny from regulators and the industry, such as the North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC) (see Shale Daily, June 5).

    NGLs are routinely stripped from crude in other oil production areas, such as the Eagle Ford in Texas, but in those cases the infrastructure of stabilizers has been in place to do the job where the production sits relatively close to robust NGL markets. North Dakota has no in-state petrochemical market (see Shale Daily, May 27) and is 1,500 miles away from the Gulf.

    In its latest communication, the stabilization coalition is alleging that Bakken producers don’t want to remove the NGLs because of the additional cost.

  18. Jim Haygood

    ‘Oil is a nasty and disgusting fluid, besides being toxic. It should be taboo, like sh*t. We should respect that taboo by leaving as much as possible in the ground. Why not start now?’

    My elementary school was named for Anthony F. Lucas, who brought in the Spindletop gusher in 1901. As history records,

    ‘The occasion was witnessed by about 50,000 spectators. The population of Beaumont mushroomed from 8,000 to 60,000 within a year.’

    … about half of whom were roughnecks, and the other half ladies lookin’ for a date.

    If oil (pronounced ‘awl’ in Beaumont) ever goes completely out of fashion, maybe they’ll rename it for country singer George Jones.

    Jones recalled his second wife Shirley making it physically impossible for him to travel to Beaumont, located 8 miles away, to buy liquor. She would hide the keys to each of their cars they owned before leaving. She did not, however, hide the keys to the lawn mower.

    Jones later described his thoughts in his memoir: “There, gleaming in the glow, was that ten-horsepower rotary engine under a seat. A key glistening in the ignition. I imagine the top speed for that old mower was five miles per hour. It might have taken an hour and a half or more for me to get to the liquor store, but get there I did.”

    Merry Christmas, y’all.

      1. different clue

        Make the disemployed Europeans willing to live along the New Silk Road and work in all the maquiladoras along it once China gets it built.

  19. skippy

    Marry X-Mass [grave] Straya….

    December 22, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Didn’t take long for the free market mob…

    As Scott Morrison prepared to step in as Social Services Minister, his new department was contacting housing advocacy groups and other community services providers on Monday to inform them their funding had been cut and contracts with the Commonwealth would be discontinued.


  20. OIFVet

    Gift wrapping with the cat. Cats are furry little b%&@$s. One of mine just drew my precious bodily fluids with her claws while I attempted to dislodge her from the wrapping paper at my SO’s behest. Which, come to think of it, shows my SO’s superior brains in ordering me into harm’s way while dispensing snarky advice from a safe distance.

    1. Light a Candle

      Funny comment and funny link. I also have cats “helping” out when I change the bed sheets and they’re very good at homework “supervision” too.

    1. OIFVet

      Well at least we now know what de Blasio’s response to NYPD’s insubordination is: complete capitulation. That alone makes him unfit for leading NYPD, much less the people of NYC.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Actually, no. Do not accept narratives of Democratic weakness! DeBlasio is doing exactly what Obama did. No national voice is legitimizing the protesters, when they — at least the original Ferguson ones — are the only players committed to non-violence. And no, Obama appointing Sharpton as proxy for the protesters does not in any way legitimate them in anyone’s eyes except the Black Misleadership Class. Exactly like Obama, all DeBlasio had to do was say #BlackLivesMatter. They didn’t, because fundamentally they don’t believe that.

        1. OIFVet

          If so, he is playing with fire. The chances are that he has now completely lost any respect and control he may have had within NYPD and that’s very dangerous situation. I admit I have a hard time thinking like a turncoat politico, the entirety of my training screams “Assert control, NOW.”

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