The John Batchelor Show

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Air Date: 
July 30, 2013


Photo, above: The Idaho Department of Lands approved two permits to Alta Mesa Services to drill for oil and gas in Payette County. The permits, issued June 11 and June 27, were for two separate sites. . . . The new sites are north of New Plymouth. The state will allow Alta Mesa to drill to 5,800 feet and 6,500 feet at the two sites.  See: Hour 1, Block C, Bernard Weinstein, Maguire Energy Institute, Southern Methodist University, in re: in 2012, the US produced 70bil cu ft of gas per day – we're the world's biggest producer yet export little.


Co-host: Larry Kudlow, The Kudlow Report, CNBC; and Cumulus Media radio

Hour One

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Larry Kudlow,  in re: the president's laundry list of favored expenditures, some good but not always relevant in this contact and unlikely to be accepted by the House.  Obama wants 28; Kudlow would take 15.  Businesses need to invest in long-lived assets, which take time to build and then last long. 

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block B:    Phil Izzo, WSJ lead editor, Real Time Economics blog, in re: Secondary Sources: Immigrants, Jobless Benefits, Macroprudential Policies 
A roundup of economic news from around the Web.   The basic construction of the pipeline will create 15,000 and support services, another 15,000.  We won’t get to 5.5% growth while Bernanke is Fed chief.  Easy money: Larry Summers promises the same policy, as does Janet Yellin.

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Bernard Weinstein, Maguire Energy Institute, Southern Methodist University, in re: 1in 2012, the US produced 70 bil cu ft of gas per day – we're the world's biggest producer and export little Huge global demand; we're reaching a position of having excess. Overseas shipping requires chilling and liquefying to LNG; have two facilities a-building now in Louisiana and Texas, will come on line in a few years. Envtl lobby pushback.  CEO of Dow Chemical also objects: thinks it'll drive up the price. It's under $4/MCS; need to know the difference between cheap gas and dirt-cheap.  If we export 10% of our production, will have a minimal effect on price. A good price wd be $5-7. In face of growing supply, can bring up price by export, or by using it more widely. Invest in infrastructure to fuel cars – need Washington leadership, a president ho recognizes this potential. This Administration doesn’t like fossil fuel. Europeans will pay $10, Asians will pay $15 right now.    Canada, Qatar, South Africa all are getting into this bz; the US could miss the boat. There are 16 requests for permits; the Secretary says it'll "slow-walk" the apps.  Russia is less concerned about US competition, more concerned abt Caspian gas going to Europe via Georgia, the Adriatic, and Italy. The main buyers are in Asia. Pres Obama said Keystone XL wd provide only 50 permanent jobs after construction is completed. I'm not at all sure about that; however, thousands of other support jobs come into play right away and they're permanent: transport, refining distribution exploration, production, plus restaurants,  lodging, etc.  We get 50%+ of our electricity using coal-fired generators, but that's easing out.  We could lose 25% of capacity based on EPA regs.

Natural gas can help ensure global energy security.  World consumption of natural gas is on the rise while the relative shares of oil and coal are declining rapidly.  For example, in 1970 oil constituted about 50 percent of primary global supplies while gas was less than 20 percent.  Today, oil is down to 30 percent and natural gas is up to 25 percent.  If current trends continue, within a decade natural gas will surpass both oil and coal to become the primary source of world energy.

Why is this shift occurring?  Not only is natural gas abundant in many parts of the world but it’s by far our most versatile energy source.  It can be used to generate electricity, to heat homes and businesses, and to fuel industrial boilers.  Natural gas is a feedstock to the petrochemical industry and, in compressed or liquefied form, it can be used to fuel cars, trucks and railroad locomotives.  Natural gas is also a clean-burning fuel with a carbon footprint 50 percent lower than coal and 30 percent lower than oil.  Indeed, the substitution of natural gas for coal and oil in a variety of uses is the main reason greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are lower today than they were 20 years ago. Growing supplies of natural gas in North America and elsewhere are also enhancing global energy security.  For example, all of the eurozone nations—with the exception of the Netherlands—are net importers of gas with Russia the major supplier.  But as the recent past has shown, Russia has a tendency to use its dominance over the European gas market for political purposes.  Though geologic studies indicate several European countries have significant recoverable shale gas reserves—most notably Poland and France—it will be at least several decades before these resources are exploited. Fortunately, several new pipelines are under construction that will bring gas from non-Russian suppliers like Azerbaijan to the European market. [more]

*Weinstein is associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute in the Cox School of Business at SMU and aFfellow with the George W. Bush Institute.  This commentary is based on a presentation entitled “Energy Security from the Caspian to Europe” as part of the USA-Azerbaijan Convention held in Baku May 28-29.

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Larry Kudlow,  in re: North Carolina, Alaska, Louisiana, will be most affected by Obamacare. Also, IRS issue refuses to go away; underperformance of the economy - the job numbers, only, are getting better, and that may be part-timers. The president's main interest is increasing spending.  The sequester is the GOP's main achievement.

Hour Two

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: Katharine Houreld, Reuters in Islamabad, Pakistan; in re: the Pakistani Taliban claim they sent a complex attack: 100 fighters to attack a prison for a mass prison-break of 250 prisoners. Last year, freed nearly 400 prisoners, raising the question of why the govt wasn't better prepared for this.   Rashid _ tried to kill the president, seems also to be the mastermind of this operation. Taliban blasted the walls, took down electricity, shot through locks, got inside, had megaphone, called out the names of their allies, who were liberated. On he way out in the middle of the gunfight on the way out, they stopped to slit the throats of the Shi'a prisoners, their religious rivals, w hake up about 20% of the population.  Lashkar e Taiba and others.  They also kill Shi'a children on their way to school.   Mujahedeen forces funded by Saudis, US; Pakistan has officially stopped funding but perhaps not in practice. Pashtuns: probably most of the Pakistani Taliban force was Pashtuns, with a few other ethnic groups mixed in. If got was giver repeated and urgent warnings, why wasn't the govt better able to secure the prison?  The state needs to rethink and present a comprehensive security policy.  Lacking proof, but high suggestion that there was inside collusion – 70 guards instead of 200.

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  Chris Drew, NYT, in re: Boeing’s Dreamliner.

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  Shaila Dewan, Bloomberg, in re: American Dream Erased as Homeownership at 18-Year-Low – With ownership at 65 percent and home values rising, housing industry and consumer groups are pressing lawmakers to make the American dream more inclusive by ensuring new mortgage standards designed to prevent another crash are flexible enough that more families can benefit from the recovery. Regulators are close to proposing a softened version of a rule requiring banks to keep a stake in risky mortgages they securitize, according to five people familiar with the discussions. NYT: Richmond, California. Solution to use eminent domain for poor housing #’s.

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  John Avlon, CNN, The Daily Beast,  and Newsweek International, in re: Watch and Learn, GOP

Hour Three

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:   Stephen F Cohen, NYU, in re: Holder tells Russia U.S. won't seek death penalty for Snowden.  Striving to get Edward Snowden back to America, U.S., Attorney General Eric Holder has assured the Russian government the U.S. has no plans to seek the death penalty for the former National Security Agency systems analyst. In a letter dated Tuesday, the attorney general said the criminal charges Snowden now faces in this country do not carry the death penalty and the U.S. will not seek his execution even if he is charged with additional serious crimes. Holder’s letter followed news reports that . . .

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Stephen F Cohen, NYU, in re: Top Russian opposition leader appeals conviction ahead of Moscow vote Russia's most prominent opposition leader and . . . his conviction and sentencing to five years in prison for embezzling.

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:   Arif Rafiq, Middle East Institute & Foreign Policy magazine, in re:  Pakistan: The Ramifications of a Prison Break These attacks often have long-lasting, destructive and widespread repercussions.

Musharraf to Face Bhutto Murder Charge

The Battle for Islamabad:   The Pakistani Taliban aren't headed off to fight in Syria. They're gearing up for an epic war at home.

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Matthias Gafni, Contra Costa Times, in re: Concord: Half of Affordable Care Act call center jobs will be part-time.   Earlier this year, Contra Costa County won the right to run a health care call center, where workers will answer questions to help implement the president's Affordable Care Act. Area politicians called the 200-plus jobs it would bring to the region an economic coup.  Now, with two months to go before the Concord operation opens to serve the public, information has surfaced that about half the jobs are part-time, with no health benefits -- a stinging disappointment to workers and local politicians who believed the positions would be full-time.  The Contra Costa County supervisor whose district includes the call center called the whole hiring process -- which attracted about 7,000 applicants -- a "comedy of errors."  [more]

Photo, right: Abraham Lincoln’s administration published a new fighting code for Union soldiers in 1863, which diffused far beyond American shores: to the Prussian Army in 1870, into the landmark Hague Convention in 1899, and even into the Geneva Conventions and the Nuremberg trials after World War II. Witt, a professor at Yale Law School, writes that it was Francis ­Lieber, the Lincoln team’s foremost wartime legal authority, who — trying to figure out how Union troops should treat Southern irregulars — came up with some of the defining features of soldiers that guided the Third Geneva Convention in 1949: wearing distinctive insignia identifying them as combatants; operating under a command structure; and following the laws of war.

Hour Four

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History by John Fabian Witt (1 of 4)

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History by John Fabian Witt (2 of 4)

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History by John Fabian Witt (3 of 4)

Tuesday  30 July 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History by John Fabian Witt (4 of 4)

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Hour 1:  Michael Clayton; True Grit.

Hour 2:  Crysis. The Grey. Green Zone.

Hour 3: 

Hour 4: