.@RepMTG: "I think the American people and the taxpayers of this country deserve to know why the Biden administration and this Congress is so interested in funding the protection of Ukraine's border, and not the protection of our border." pic.twitter.com/0cGkTNyoJx
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.
As Townhall covered last month, months of negotiations between America’s railroad companies and rail unions ran until the eleventh hour and narrowly averted a massive, economy-crippling strike at the time, a supposedly positive resolution that the Biden administration sought to take credit for after intervening to force a tentative agreement.
Declaring victory for his administration in the matter — despite the fact that rail worker unions still hadn’t voted to approve the latest agreement — Biden said that the near-shutdown of America’s railways was “validation” that “unions and management can work together for the benefit of everyone.”
In his September remarks, Biden also claimed the tentative contract agreement was a “win for America” to go along with what Biden claimed are other “signs of progress in lowering costs” that have come through his administration’s work to “rebuild a better America.”
All that bluster over a tentative agreement that delayed the strike at the time, as Vespa pointed out earlier, did not mean that a strike was entirely averted. Now, weeks since Biden bragged about the greatness of unions and his administration’s negotiating prowess, a strike is back on the table and looming as a greater threat by the day.
On Monday, members of America’s third-largest rail union voted against the negotiated contract. For those who remember this song and dance from September, all 12 unions agreed to strike in solidarity unless every union agreed to a deal. This time around, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division has said its workers will stay on the job until “five days after Congress reconvenes in mid November,” but their vote against a deal means the risk of a strike has been renewed again, sending parties back to the negotiating table.
According to a report from AP:
Over half of track maintenance workers represented by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division who voted opposed the five-year contract despite 24% raises and $5,000 in bonuses. Union President Tony Cardwell said the railroads didn’t do enough to address the lack of paid time off — particularly sick time — and working conditions after the major railroads eliminated nearly one-third of their jobs over the past six years.
“Railroaders are discouraged and upset with working conditions and compensation and hold their employer in low regard. Railroaders do not feel valued,” Cardwell said in a statement. “They resent the fact that management holds no regard for their quality of life, illustrated by their stubborn reluctance to provide a higher quantity of paid time off, especially for sickness.”
The group that represents the railroads in negotiations said they were disappointed the union rejected the agreement, but emphasized that no immediate threat of a strike exists because the union agreed to keep working for now.
So, the clock Biden saw run down to its last 24 hours to avert a strike in September has been reset to roughly one month from now — running through November’s midterms — until another scramble to avert a strike will seemingly be imminent.
All this despite Biden’s bragging that the mayhem in September that saw Amtrak cancel its long haul routes as a precaution and freight lines stop shipments of certain critical goods, realities that could again set in as all 12 unions prepare to walk off the job if a deal can’t be reached to resolve all workers’ concerns.
The speculation earlier this week was that OPEC+ was going to cut oil output by 1 million barrels a day, and the Biden White House was described as being in “a panic” about this prospective move, because gasoline prices are starting to soar again just in time to help tip the midterm election further in favor of Republicans.* CNN reported:
The Biden administration launched a full-scale pressure campaign in a last-ditch effort to dissuade Middle Eastern allies fromdramatically cutting oil production, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. . .
On Wednesday morning, OPEC+oil ministers meeting in Vienna agreed to an even larger production cut than the White House had feared— 2 million barrels per day, beginning in November, according to a readout of the meeting released on Wednesday. The…
Residents give out candy as kids trick-or-treat in the Kensington neighborhood in Brooklyn on October 31, 2021 in New York City. (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images / Getty Images)Ticker Security Last Change Change % HSY THE HERSHEY CO. 220.53 -3.18 -1.42%
Candy buyers will see a less than sweet surprise this Halloween as confectionary prices surge over 30%. Even so, industry experts say it’s not deterring consumers.
According to PayPal data, the cost for Halloween sweets is projected to rise 34% compared to last year.
The National Confectioners Association (NCA) told FOX Business that both “chocolate and candy companies faced the same supply chain challenges that every industry has faced, especially around packaging.”
Earlier this summer, The Hershey Company, the maker of KitKat, Reese’s and Twizzlers, told analysts during an earnings call that it had to increase prices to offset the higher raw material and logistics costs.
Still, the National Retail Federation (NRF), the nation’s largest trade group, and the NCA are projecting a spike in participation for the upcoming holiday.
“Even with inflation … more people are celebrating, more people are focusing on the holiday experience,” Katherine Cullen, NRF senior director of industry and consumer insights, told FOX Business, adding their researchers haven’t seen a drop-off in spending.
The NRF estimates consumers will collectively dole out $3.1 billion in candy alone, outpacing last year’s spending of about $3 billion. The total is second behind costume spending, at $3.6 billion.
Two children sort through Mars Inc. and Hershey Co. brand Halloween candy. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)
Halloween spending overall is expected to reach a record $10.6 billion, exceeding last year’s record of $10.1 billion. The NRF says Halloween is the second biggest retail event of the year.
PayPal Vice President of Shopping Greg Lisiewski told FOX Business that although families won’t be dishing out less candy necessarily, they will be “more diligent about finding deals and discounts.” The NRF says 67% of those surveyed plan to hand out candy.
Shoppers are also starting their Halloween shopping even earlier to help lessen the sting ahead of the big day.
“The longer shopping season allows shoppers to spread the cost out and better integrate the higher price into their budget.” Lisiewski said, adding candy has been on shelves since around Labor Day.
According to NRF data, nearly half, 47%, of all Halloween participants already started shopping in September or earlier.
Following in the spirit of Britain's Queen Boudica, Queen of the Iceni. A boudica.us site. I am an opinionator, do your own research, verification. Reposts, reblogs do not neccessarily reflect our views.