On Thursday, the United States Department of Energy announced that it had completed the sale of 15 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), capping off a total of 180 million barrels released this year to combat rising gas prices.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the contracts for the crude oil were sold to six companies: Shell Trading, Valero Marketing and Supply, Phillips 66, Marathon Petroleum Supply and Trading LLC, Equinor Marketing and Trading, and Macquarie Commodities Trading US. The oil will be delivered to the companies between December 1st and December 31st.
The price of gasoline in the United States has been rising consistently throughout 2022, primarily as a result of the Biden Administration’s cancelation of all domestic energy production, including halting the sale of any further leases for drilling on federal land, in a bid to force the country towards “green energy” sources.
As a result, gas prices soared to an average of over $5 a gallon nationwide, with some states reaching even higher. Prices rose even higher as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, leaving the international energy market diminished while American dependence on foreign oil grew. Biden announced earlier this year that he would be releasing 180 million of the 402 million total barrels of oil hidden underground in the SPR, which is usually reserved for use in emergencies such as war or an invasion.
Subsequently, the SPR is now at its lowest level since 1984, with many criticizing Biden’s actions as taking advantage of an emergency stockpile purely for political purposes, as the high gas prices caused his approval ratings to drop. But despite his attempts to lower prices with the strategic reserve, prices have nevertheless begun rising again as the 2022 midterms draw closer.
PFAS chemicals (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are toxic to humans, animals and the environment. They are comprised of approximately 12,000 compounds. They are ubiquitous in the U.S., appearing in many consumer and industrial products including household products (like carpeting, curtains, furniture upholstery, waterproof and stain-resistant flooring, etc.), cooking supplies (including cooking utensils and bake ware), clothing, personal care products (like cosmetics, including waterproof mascara) and even food (PFAS appears in processed food packaging) and public drinking water (tap water) that affects an estimated 2 million Americans. PFAS chemicals are usually found in products labeled “stain-proof” and “waterproof”. PFAS chemicals also appear in fire-fighting foam and other industrial products used at airports and military bases across the country, where the chemicals have leached into the groundwater. PFAS chemicals are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not readily break down in the environment or human body. PFAS chemicals have been linked…
A new scientific study has found that high levels of toxic PFAS* discharged from an industrial plant into the Cape Fear River in North Carolina has contaminated the water and is the likely culprit for making alligators sick with autoimmune disorders that appear similar to human diseases like lupus.
The new study compared Cape Fear alligators with a cohort from Lake Waccamaw in a neighboring watershed not subjected to direct PFAS pollution. Researchers found that alligators living near the industrial plant that is dumping PFAS into the water have extremely high levels of PFAS compounds and markers of immune disease in their blood.
Additionally, the expressions of interferon-alpha responsive genes in the Cape Fear River alligators were 400 times higher than those alligators in the control group from Lake Waccamaw. (Alligators further from the industrial plant showed lower levels of PFAS and lower expressions of interferon…
Four years after the House of Representatives flipped from GOP to Democratic control, Republicans are poised to win back the chamber’s majority in the midterm elections.
National Republican Congressional Committee chair Rep.Tom Emmer emphasized this week in a Fox News interview that he is confident “we’re going to make some history” and reiterated his prediction he has been making all cycle long: that Republicans are “going to be in the majority.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sees a different outcome, saying a week and a half ago in a CBS News interview that House Democrats “feel very confident” they will hold onto the majority they won in the 2018 midterms.
While the GOP lost control of the White House and the Senate majority in the 2020 elections, House Republicans bucked expectations and took a big bite out of the House Democrats’ sizable majority. Republicans need a net gain of just five seats in the 435-member chamber in next week’s elections to win back the House majority.
Fox Power Rankings graphic indicating Democrats holding 186 seats in the House, the GOP holding 223, and 26 seats in a toss-up. (Fox News)
Democrats are facing historical headwinds — the party that wins the White House traditionally loses more than 25 House seats in the ensuing midterm elections — and a very rough political climate fueled by record inflation, soaring crime and a border crisis, and these are accentuated by President Biden’s rebounding, but still underwater, approval ratings.
Democratic prospects of bucking historical precedent and retaining their majority soared over the summer, thanks in part to declining gas prices, a slew of congressional legislative victories and a surge in the importance of abortion as an issue in the wake of the blockbuster move by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. However, the apparent fading of abortion as a top voter concern and a relentless GOP spotlight on record inflation and crime has deflated Democrats’ hopes the past two months. Both sides, in recent weeks, have dished out big bucks into Democratic-leaning districts that were once thought to be safe.
Pointing to the surge in the GOP’s electoral fortunes that polls have indicated over the past six weeks in the battle for the House majority, Emmer touted that “there were 18 races that we [NRCC] were playing in as of the end of last week that Biden won by double digits.”
NRCC spokesman Mike Berg was also bullish about the Republican incumbents who face tight re-election races. “We are confident our battle-tested incumbents in tough races will come out ahead on Election Day. Democrats cannot say the same about their group of vulnerable Pelosi puppets,” Berg said.
Fox Power Rankings graphic indicating which way seats are likely to vote by state. (Fox News)
However, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesperson Chris Taylor predicted that “Democrats’ mainstream agenda of lowering prices, investing in America to create jobs, and protecting freedoms will prevail on Election Day.”
The latest Fox News Power Rankings forecast indicates Republicans taking control of the House with a 19–seat majority, or 236 total seats. That is a gain of 23 seats compared to the number they hold in the current Congress. According to the forecast, the Republicans could end up winning as many as 249 seats or as little at 223.
Here’s a look at the nine House members running for re-election who may be sent packing next week.
Five Democrats at risk of losing seats in the House
Rep. Angie Craig, Minnesota 02 — The two-term lawmaker represents a district that includes most of the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities as well as some outlying rural areas. She is being challenged by Republican Tyler Kistner, in a rematch of their 2020 showdown. The race is considered one of the most expensive House elections this cycle.
Rep. Elaine Luria, Virginia 02 — The Navy veteran, who spent most of her two decades in the service assigned to Navy ships as she rose to the rank of commander, is being challenged by Republican state Sen. Jen Kiggans, who served as a U.S. Navy helicopter pilot, in a southeastern Virginia district anchored by Virginia Beach and parts of Norfolk.
Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington on July 21, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Rep. Tom Malinowski, New Jersey 07 — The two-term congressman, who served on the National Security Council during former President Clinton’s administration and as a deputy Secretary of State during former President Obama’s administration, is running for re-election in a traditionally red district that became even more Republican friendly due to redistricting. He is being challenged for a second straight cycle by Tom Kean Jr,. a former longtime state lawmaker who is the son of popular former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean.
Rep. Cindy Axne, Iowa 03 — The two-term lawmaker represents a district that covers most of the southwestern part of Iowa and is anchored by Des Moines, the capital and state’s largest city. She is being challenged by state Sen. Zach Nunn, a former Air Force officer and member of the Iowa Air National Guard.
Rep. Tom O’Halleran, Arizona 02 — The former Chicago police officer, who later became a member of the Chicago Board of Trade, is a three-term congressman who represents Arizona 01, a large district that includes much of Arizona outside the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas. Due to redistricting, O’Halleran is running for re-election in the state’s 2nd Congressional District, which has become more Republican friendly, against GOP nominee Eli Crane, a former Navy SEAL.
Some Republicans face tough races to keep their seats in the House
Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio 01 — The Republican lawmaker has represented the Cincinnati area district in the southwest corner of Ohio for all but two years since first winning the seat in 1994. However, thanks in part to redistricting, Chabot is fighting for his political life as he faces a challenge from Democratic nominee Greg Landsman, a Cincinnati city councilor.
Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, votes no on the second article of impeachment as the House Judiciary Committee holds a public hearing to vote on the two articles of impeachment against then-President Trump in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill Dec. 13, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images)
Rep. David Valadao, California 22 — The dairy farmer and four-term congressman is being challenged by Democratic state assemblyman Rudy Salas. The district is located in California’s San Joaquin Valley, covering parts of Fresno and Tulare counties.
Rep. Yvette Herrell, New Mexico 02 — The realtor and first term lawmaker is the first Republican Native woman elected to Congress. The only GOP member of New Mexico’s congressional delegation is being challenged by Democratic Las Cruces City Councilor Gabe Vasquez.
Rep. Don Bacon, Nebraska 02 — The former Air Force brigadier general and three-term GOP congressman represents the Omaha area district. He’s being challenged by educator and Democratic State Senator Tony Vargas.
Paul Steinhauser is a politics reporter based in New Hampshire.
There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. —Soren Kierkegaard. "...truth is true even if nobody believes it, and falsehood is false even if everybody believes it. That is why truth does not yield to opinion, fashion, numbers, office, or sincerity--it is simply true and that is the end of it" - Os Guinness, Time for Truth, pg.39. “He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard
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