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    Daily Digest 3/28 – Clean Coal Is the Future, ACA Signups Show Disparity

    by DailyDigest

    Friday, March 28, 2014, 2:45 PM


Obama Says ‘Deeply Held Grievance’ Led Putin to Seek Crimea (jdargis)

“You would have thought that after a couple of decades that there’d be an awareness on the part of any Russian leader that the path forward is not to revert back to the kinds of practices that were so prevalent during the Cold War,” Mr. Obama said, “but in fact to move forward with further integration with the world economy and to be a responsible international citizen.”

Deadline Near, Health Signups Show Disparity (jdargis)

“The whole narrative about Obamacare — ‘Will they get to six million? What is the percentage of young adults going to be?’ — has almost nothing to do with whether the law is working or not, whether the premiums are affordable or not, whether people think they are getting a good deal or not,” said Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, whose analysts are closely tracking the measure.

“It’s almost like trying to predict the local weather from national averages,” Mr. Altman said. “This is really now a state and local game, not a national one.”

Potential Crackdown on Russia Risks Also Punishing Western Oil Companies (jdargis)

Russia hopes Exxon Mobil can aid in shale oil development in Siberia and in offshore Arctic exploration. These new oil production sources, energy experts say, are critical if Russia hopes to maintain its output of 10 million barrels a day, which is expected to decline by a million barrels by the end of the decade.

Renewables Aren’t Enough. Clean Coal Is the Future (jdargis)

China already emits one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gases, more than any other country. The International Energy Agency (IEA), a Paris-based think tank sponsored by 28 developed nations, estimates that Beijing will double its ranks of coal-fired power plants by 2040. If that happens, China’s carbon dioxide figures could double or even triple. “Coal is too low-cost, too plentiful, and too available from reliable sources to be replaced,” says fuel analyst John Dean, president of the JD Energy consulting firm. “China is putting in solar and wind power at a tremendous pace, but it will have to use more and more coal just to keep up with rising demand.”

Chinese Pigs Eating Soybeans Cut U.S. Supply to 1965 Low (Wendy SD)

Barge convoys are heading south along the world’s busiest inland waterway to New Orleans export depots at a record pace as demand surges from pig farmers in China, the largest pork-eating country. Soy stockpiles in the U.S., where farmers harvested the third-largest crop ever just six months ago, are the lowest relative to demand in at least five decades, fueling the second-biggest rally in prices to start the year since 2005.

A U.S.-Saudi Move to Lower Oil Prices? (James B.)

Not only that, but as LeVine notes, the Saudi King is convinced the U.S. is “unreliable,” and relations between the two countries hit a low point after Obama’s back and forth over air strikes on Syria last year. With Saudis increasingly frustrated with the U.S., why would they shoot themselves in the foot just to help out an unreliable partner? Now they could be interested in striking a blow against Iran, which lower oil prices would do. But, that doesn’t seem like enough of an upside.

Borrowed Time on Disappearing Land (jdargis)

“There are a lot of places in the world at risk from rising sea levels, but Bangladesh is at the top of everybody’s list,” said Rafael Reuveny, a professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University at Bloomington. “And the world is not ready to cope with the problems.”

New Mexico Is Reaping a Bounty in Pecans as Other States Struggle (jdargis)

“I would expect that we were a little more prepared to adjust to drought conditions,” Mr. Daviet said. He said he had seen the industry expand over the years in the surrounding Mesilla Valley, where a fertile supply of groundwater has also helped offset the lack of rain.

As is the case elsewhere, pecan farming in New Mexico is typically a family business. But nobody is quite sure how the trees, which are native to Texas, first got here.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 3/27/14

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