Halloween candy prices expected to jump 34% but its not deterring shoppers

Halloween

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%

www.foxbusiness.com

Daniella Genovese

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.”   

HERSHEY WARNS IT WON’T ‘FULLY MEET CONSUMER DEMAND’ THIS HALLOWEEN, CHRISTMAS

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. 

FED’S PREFERRED INFLATION GAUGE ACCELERATED MORE THAN EXPECTED IN AUGUST

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.

Kids sort through candy

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. 

https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/halloween-candy-prices-expected-jump-not-deterring-shoppers

Why Are Walmart And Other Major US Retailers Canceling Billions Of Dollars In Orders As Summer Comes To An End?

www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Do they know something that they aren’t telling us?  As you will see below, Walmart, Target and other major U.S. retailers are literally canceling billions of dollars in orders ahead of the coming holiday season.  I have never heard of such a thing happening before, and under normal conditions it wouldn’t make any sense at all.  The holiday season is typically the busiest time of the year for retailers, and at this time in 2021 there was actually a great deal of concern that there wouldn’t be enough inventory due to global supply chain problems.  But now everything has changed.  All of a sudden major retailers are feverishly canceling orders, and this would only make sense if a severe economic downturn was imminent.

For example, Walmart is admitting that it has canceled “billions of dollars in orders” as we approach the upcoming holiday season…

John David Rainey, Walmart’s EVP and CFO, said it had cleared most summer inventory, was reducing exposure in electronics, home and sporting goods, and canceled “billions of dollars in orders” to realign inventories. He said, “Our actions in Q3 will allow us to make significant progress toward rationalizing absolute levels and mix, which will enable our stores to be well positioned ahead of the holiday season.”

It is extremely odd that Walmart would decide to do such a thing.

Recently I had an opportunity to stroll through a Walmart, and there were plenty of inventory holes.

So what would make them suddenly cancel “billions of dollars” in orders that they thought that they were going to need for the holiday season?

Perhaps some enterprising reporter will be willing to ask them such a question.

Meanwhile, we just learned that Target has also canceled “more than $1.5 billion” in orders…

Target said it had reduced its “inventory exposure in discretionary categories” throughout Q2 by canceling more than $1.5 billion of orders in these categories and marking down products.

Target is much smaller than Walmart is, and so for Target to cancel so many orders is a really big deal.

And it turns out that Kohl’s and Under Armour have also been canceling large numbers of orders as well

Kohl’s has also pulled back on order receipts and increased promotions to get through an inventory glut.

“We have taken action to address inventory, including increasing promotions, being aggressive on clearing excess inventory and pulling back on receipts,” said Kohl’s CFO Jill Timm in a call with investors.

Under Armour also said it made some proactive cancellations due to supply chain constraints to ensure that “the right inventory was coming in at the right time,” said interim president and CEO Colin Browne in a call with investors.

These retailers are obviously scared that they will end up stuck with massive amounts of inventory that they cannot sell.

Do they believe that economic activity during the months ahead will be much lower than they originally anticipated?

One corporate executive that is actually publicly admitting that he believes that a recession is coming is FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam

FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday that he believes a recession is impending for the global economy.

“I think so. But you know, these numbers, they don’t portend very well,” Subramaniam said in response to Cramer’s question of whether the economy is “going into a worldwide recession.”

The CEO’s pessimism came after FedEx missed estimates on revenue and earnings in its first quarter. The company also withdrew its full year guidance.

Sadly, he is right on target.

For months, I have been warning that the economic numbers were telling us that big trouble was on the way, and now everyone can see it.

But unlike the “Great Recession” of 2008 and 2009, this time we are also going to have to deal with raging inflation even as economic activity slows down all around us.

In fact, the Wall Street Journal is ominously warning that U.S. consumers “are set to pay even more this winter” as heating costs continue to soar to absolutely ridiculous levels…

U.S. utility customers, faced with some of their largest bills in years, are set to pay even more this winter as natural-gas prices continue to climb.

Natural-gas prices have more than doubled this year because of a global supply shortage made worse by the war in Ukraine, and they are expected to remain elevated for months as fuel is needed to light and heat homes during the winter. The supply crunch has made it substantially more expensive for utilities to purchase or produce power, and those costs are being passed on to customers.

The cost of living has been rising much faster than our paychecks have for quite some time now, and a lot more pain is on the horizon.

I really like how Brandon Smith recently summarized the current state of the U.S. economy…

A common refrain from people who are critical of alternative economists is that we have been predicting crisis for so long that “eventually we will be right.” These are generally people who don’t understand the nature of economic decline – It’s like an avalanche that builds over time, then breaks and quickly escalates as it flows down the mountain. What they don’t grasp is that they are in the middle of an economic collapse RIGHT NOW, and they just can’t see it because they have been acclimated to the presence of the snow and cold.

Economic decline is a process that takes many years, and while you might get an event like the market crash of 1929 or the crash of 2008, these moments of panic are nothing more than the wreckage left behind by the great wave of tumbling ice that everyone should have seen coming far in advance, but they refused.

That is so true.

We are already in the midst of a raging economic crisis, but things will get so much worse during the months and years to come.

Walmart, Target and other major retailers are working really hard to get prepared for what is coming.

Are you?

I hope so, because at this point it should be glaringly obvious to everyone that exceedingly challenging times are on the way.

*  *  *

It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.

https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/why-are-walmart-and-other-major-us-retailers-canceling-billions-dollars-orders

“Walmart shoppers to pay more shopping online”

The Full $16Bn List of What Biden Has Sent Ukraine…

…and pictures of it.

7 hr ago

The U.S. military just told it’s own soldiers to use food stamps to keep their families fed during this ongoing period of high inflation, caused by the Biden regime’s own flawed economic analysis, coupled with the establishment’s COVID-19 lockdowns, and the war in Ukraine.

Which is why the full list of the $15bn+ in aid being sent to Ukraine by the U.S. government is likely to hit harder in the solar plexus.

Thanks for reading. Subscribe free to receive new posts and support this work.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, there has been a whopping $15.8 billion “in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration, including more than $15.1 billion since the beginning of Russia’s unprovoked and brutal invasion on February 24.”

Here’s a list of all your taxpayer-funded equipment that has been dumped into the most corrupt country in Europe:

  • Over 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems;

Stingers

Over 8,500 Javelin anti-armor systems;

Javelins

Over 32,000 other anti-armor systems;

Over 700 Switchblade Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems;

126 155mm Howitzers and up to 806,000 155mm artillery rounds

Howitzers

2,000 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds;

20 105mm Howitzers and 180,000 105mm artillery rounds;

126 Tactical Vehicles to tow 155mm Howitzers;

22 Tactical Vehicles to recover equipment;

16 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and ammunition;

HiMars

20 120mm mortar systems and 85,000 rounds of 120mm mortar rounds;

1,500 Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles;

Four Command Post vehicles;

Eight National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) and munitions

NASAMS

High-speed Anti-radiation missiles (HARMs);

20 Mi-17 helicopters;

Mi-17s, actually bought from a Russian state-owned arms dealer

Hundreds of Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs);

HMMWVs

Four trucks and eight trailers to transport heavy equipment;

  • The Scan Eagle
  • Unmanned Coastal Defense Vessels;
  • Over 50 counter-artillery radars;
  • Four counter-mortar radars;
  • Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems;
  • Ten air surveillance radars;
  • Two harpoon coastal defense systems;
  • 18 coastal and riverine patrol boats;
  • M18A1 Claymore anti-personnel munitions;
  • C-4 explosives, demolition munitions, and demolition equipment for obstacle clearing;
  • Tactical secure communications systems;
  • Thousands of night vision devices, thermal imagery systems, optics, and laser rangefinders;
  • Commercial satellite imagery services;
  • Explosive ordnance disposal protective gear;
  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear protective equipment;
  • 100 armored medical treatment vehicles;
  • Medical supplies to include first aid kits, bandages, monitors, and other equipment;
  • Electronic jamming equipment;
  • Field equipment, cold weather gear, and spare parts;
  • Funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment.

200 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers;

M113.

40 MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles with mine rollers

Mine clearing equipment and systems;

Over 10,000 grenade launchers and small arms;

Over 60,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition;

Over 75,000 sets of body armor and helmets;

Approximately 700 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems;

Phoenix “kamikaze” drones.

Laser-guided rocket systems;

Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems;

15 Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems

That’s… a lot of stuff. And just like in Afghanistan, there’s no mention of what happens to all this stuff after the war is over, assuming any of it still exists.

The likelihood is, just like America’s last forever war, it’ll end up in the hands of unsavory characters.

Considering the recent bans on political opposition in Ukraine, as well as the forced national consolidation of media, you might say it already has.

Michael Guarino7 hr ago

As a prosecutor, I saw this game play out in Los Angeles —and I guess it’s essentially the same game at the state and federal level: allocate huge, unmonitored sums to corrupt pals [for airport, harbor or blighted neighborhood “development”], block all attempts to question where the dollars went … sit back and wait for your corrupt friends to funnel some of the money back to you in the form of campaign contributions. Kinda the Perfect Crime —it’s financed with taxpayer money.

Folks keep saying this all comes to an end in November. Not really —at the very least Biden will pretty much declare war on American between the first week of November 2022 and the 3rd week of January 2023….. and, after that, I’m not so sure a majority of mainstream repubs give a shit about fixing this mess.

Johnny truthseeker7 hr ago

This is by design. It’s going to be funneled back to the states to be used by the new brown shirts. Then the government will declare martial law over “military weapons” on American streets. The leadership in Ukraine is too connected to the US deep state.

Weather forecasts now use a deep, dark red to represent glorious sunshine. Why?

Raheem Kassam

There are a whopping 413 redacted lines.

Raheem Kassam

The “fact check” team appears to have little to no experience in journalism.

Raheem Kassam

Gen. Mark Milley’s diary, as imagined by Raheem Kassam.

Raheem Kassam

Of all people, it was Fiona Hill who revealed the details.

Raheem Kassam

Suddenly, Hunter Biden’s hard drive is relevant again. But corporate media outlets refuse to credit our reporting from 2020.

Raheem Kassam

A neo-liberal adulteress who wants to ratchet up Davos’s war in Ukraine.

Raheem Kassam

The leftist freak out over protecting kids against sex offenders is deeply telling.

Raheem Kassam

I took Jen Psaki’s advice, to brunch through the apocalypse.

Raheem Kassam

“Nations do not escape from their past merely by making a revolution.”

Raheem Kassam

https://raheemkassam.substack.com/p/the-full-16bn-list-of-what-biden?s=r&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&utm_source=direct

“Boots on the Ground…Sept. 17th…Prepare like your life depends on it because it just might.”

theconversation.com

Railroads and unions reach deal to avert devastating strike, keeping America’s trains and the economy on track – for now

Jason Miller

Most Americans may not appreciate the central role that private railroads play in supporting the U.S. economy and their everyday lives. Recent fears of a railroad strike may have changed that.

After 20 straight hours of negotiations, brokered by President Joe Biden, U.S. railroads on Sept. 15, 2022, reached a tentative agreement with their unions to avert a devastating strike that had the potential to grind freight rail activity to a halt, worsen already sky-high inflation and drive the economy into a recession.

The costs of a possible work stoppage were already becoming apparent, as some railroads stopped taking certain hazardous goods, such as fertilizer and chlorine destined for water purification plants. And Amtrak said it was canceling all long-distance trains – though the company said it was working to restore service following news of the deal.

The agreement, however, still needs to be approved by workers, and so a strike is still possible once the cooling off period ends in several weeks.

Given how close the U.S. economy was to a strike, the question remains: What would happen if railroad workers did walk off their jobs for an extended period?

I’ve been researching freight transportation operations in the United States for a decade and witnessed many major disruptions, from port strikes to natural disasters.

A prolonged railroad strike has the potential to be far more disruptive, affecting Americans across the country and imperiling the economy at a time when it’s already experiencing the twin threats of decades-high inflation and a Federal Reserve willing to slow growth to rein in the rising cost of living.

Why workers might strike

Rail workers have been without a contract since 2019, as management and unions have failed to agree on wage increases, paid sick leave and other issues.

On Aug. 16, 2022, a government panel drafted a compromise that included a 22% raise over six years and a cap on monthly health care contributions. Initially, 10 of the 12 rail unions tentatively agreed to the deal. But the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the International Association of Sheet Metal Air, Rail and Transportation Workers refused.

The key sticking points concerned working conditions, such as a lack of sick leave and policies that punish workers for taking unscheduled time off for a personal emergency.

The new deal, agreed to in the wee hours of Sept. 15, includes a 24% wage increase over five years effective retroactively to 2020 – meaning workers would get an immediate 14.1% bump. It would also allow workers to get time off for some medical events, which was a key issue for some unions.

The last time U.S. rail workers went on strike was in 1992. The strike lasted 24 hours before Congress intervened, which kept disruptions to a minimum.

Given the political paralysis in Washington, it’s uncertain whether lawmakers would be able to agree on a measure to resolve a strike in the current climate.

a rail worker wearing a safety vest rides a car on the tracks in front of bnsf logo on a train
Railroad workers still need to agree to the deal. AP Photo/LM Otero

Why trains are so important

Railroads play a vital role in keeping the U.S. economy humming, transporting everything from convertibles and french fries to chemicals and coal.

Railroads are involved in 43% of all freight activity in the U.S., the Census Bureau estimates.

Chart shows volumes of carload totals of freight on Class I railroads. USDA Open Ag

In 2021, for example, the major U.S. railroads hauled 16.3 million carloads of all sorts of raw goods, including coal, chemicals, lumber and grain. Placed end to end, the cars would require 187,800 miles of track – enough to circle the Earth’s equator over seven times.

Other than rail cars, the railroads also haul 1.2 million trailers for trucking companies and 15.6 million so-called intermodal containers – think the bright corrugated metal boxes that you have likely seen stacked up at ports and on massive ships. These containers are filled with imported products such as children’s toys, furniture and electronics, and goods produced domestically that need to be shipped a long distance.

Are there any other options?

However you count it, it’s clearly a lot of stuff. A natural question you might have is: Can’t semi trucks pick up some of the slack?

The answer is a resounding “no.”

Take just one product that trains ship – chemicals – which are used to make plastics, processed food, glass products and many other consumer goods. Recently, the five major railroads hauled an average of 47,900 carloads of chemicals a week. Each of these carloads has the capacity of four to five tanker trucks. So to make up for a shortfall, trucks would need over 200,000 spare tankers hauling stuff each week. There isn’t nearly enough capacity.

Even more problematic are the approximately 78,000 carloads of coal the railroads haul each week. Much of this coal is mined in Wyoming and must travel across the country to states like Texas, where it is used to generate electricity for industry and consumers.

There is no feasible way to transport this much coal in trucks.

The costs of a strike

And so the consequences of even a day or two of strikes could be significant – and a strike longer than that could become dire.

Coal, for example, is used to generate about 20% of electricity in the U.S. While utilities maintain roughly a 30-day stockpile of coal, the mines could not operate more than a few days before their limited storage capacity would force them to shut down. The effects for businesses and consumers could be substantial if these utilities needed to curtail power generation.

A halt would also likely worsen inflation by driving up energy costs.

The food supply is another area of concern. Each year, railroads transport over 3 million carloads or containers of agricultural products, from raw grains such as wheat and corn to finished goods like frozen meats and most other food products.

While some of these shipments could be switched to trucks, I estimate that at most they could cover 5% of what railroads transport based on commodity freight shipment data.

So the result would likely be more shortages and higher prices – bad news for consumers who have seen prices for groceries soar 13.5% from a year ago.

One other sector that would be severely disrupted are makers of cars and trucks, like Ford and General Motors. Auto plants rely extensively on railroads to deliver auto parts – not to mention they transport 75% of all finished vehicles.

A prolonged rail strike would therefore severely curtail auto assembly at a time when the sector is finally starting to dig its way out of assembly issues brought on by a chip shortage.

Finally, passenger trains like Amtrak and commuter rail have already been experiencing disruptions in terms of route cancellations, which would grow much worse if there are actual strikes. The reason is that many passenger trains operate on portions of freight railroads’ tracks. For example, about 70% of the miles that Amtrak trains log each year are on rails owned by the freight railroads.

Congress could intervene

All in all, a strike could severely harm the U.S. economy and drive up inflation. The Association of American Railroads estimated a strike could cost the economy US$2 billion a day.

If there are strikes – which remains a possibility if some railroad workers don’t agree to the new deal – Congress could intervene, as it did in 1992, to impose an agreement on workers. It’s the only solution beyond the negotiating table, thanks to the Railway Labor Act of 1926, which otherwise requires rail workers and management to negotiate their differences.

Fortunately, the two parties – with the help of the Biden administration – were able to reach a deal. Given the consequences, I hope it sticks.

This article was updated on Sept. 15, 2022, to include a new tentative agreement made between unions and railroads.

https://theconversation.com/railroads-and-unions-reach-deal-to-avert-devastating-strike-keeping-americas-trains-and-the-economy-on-track-for-now-190600#:~:text=All%20in%20all%2C%20a%20strike,impose%20a%20deal%20on%20workers

“The US has a serious inflation problem”

As Biden “celebrates” inflation today, even liberal economists are sounding the inflation alarm.

As former Clinton and Obama economist Larry Summers put it: “The US has a serious inflation problem.”

Obama economist Jason Furman similarly warned about the “ugly” inflation picture.

And what that problem means for workers: Real wages have now been negative for 17 months. For context, real wages have been negative for LONGER than during the 2008 recession.

But Biden celebrates? Only a president completely detached from reality would celebrate a bill that raises the tax burden on the middle class while his policies actively make Americans poorer. And every Senate and House Democrat helped him do it.

https://gop.com/rapid-response/the-us-has-a-serious-inflation-problem/

“Boots on the Ground…Sept. 8th…Most people are going backwards financially”

“China, Russia ditch dollar for gas trade”

Massive global shutdowns are now under way for METALS SMELTING operations covering iron, copper, nickel, aluminum, zinc and STEEL

Image: FORCE MAJEURE: Massive global shutdowns are now under way for METALS SMELTING operations covering iron, copper, nickel, aluminum, zinc and STEEL

www.naturalnews.com

Mike Adams

(Natural News) Without metals and industrial elements — steel, copper, aluminum, iron ore, nickel, zinc, titanium, etc. — human civilization cannot exist. Nearly all manufacturing is dependent on metals for industrial processes. Even plastics cannot be made without metals for the injection molding, and aluminum and copper are required for all electrical systems, both commercial and residential.

Yet right now, aluminum, copper and steel plants are shutting down worldwide. We’ve compiled a list (see below) of just some of the shutdowns so far this year.

Some shutdowns are happening under “force majeure” declarations. Others cite sky-high energy prices, and yet others say there’s not enough demand as the global economy implodes (by design).

In today’s podcast (below), I cover the global shut downs of metals smelting and fabrication operations, revealing the shocking global trend of the dismantling of infrastructure that keeps humanity alive. Note that this is happening in parallel with global shutdowns of:

  • Food, fertilizer and agriculture
  • Energy
  • Manufacturing
  • Housing

Thus, billions of human beings are being thrust into a scenario where they face unemployment, bankruptcy, starvation and freezing temperatures, even as their own (western) governments plot against them to maximize suffering and death.

Below, find the full list of metals and steel plants that have so far shut down around the world. But first, here’s the Situation Update podcast that gets into this (and much more), covering the day’s explosive news items with analysis and commentary:

Metals and steel plant closures so far in 2022

Jan 02, 2022, Montenegro

UNIPROM KAP
Aluminum smelter
Shutdown

Montenegro’s Uniprom has shut down the country’s sole aluminium smelter, KAP, with the procedure being completed by December 30, after it failed to reach an agreement on a new electricity price with power company EPCG, public broadcaster RTCG reported.

Uniprom warned earlier that it would close KAP as rising electricity prices make its production uneconomic. Uniprom’s owner, local businessman VeselinPejovic, accused EPCG of being responsible for the decision, while EPCG asked the businessman to hold another round of talks to find a solution.

By the end of 2021, KAP was paying €45 per MWh plus VAT, while on international markets the electricity price is now around €250 per MWh.

Feb 07, 2022, Peru

MMG LTD LAS BAMBAS
Copper Mine
Offline

MMG Ltd (1208.HK) said on Monday that production at its Las Bambas copper mine in Peru may stop by Feb. 20 after a local community blocked again a road used by the miner, causing the company to curtail operations.

The Chinese-owned mine has been a flashpoint of protests and road blockades since it started functioning in 2016, with operations last suspended in December due to a similar blockade.

Mar 03,2022, Ukraine

ARCELORMITTAL SA
Steel Plant
Closure

A giant Ukrainian steel mill owned by ArcelorMittal SA closed on Thursday, shutting one the country’s largest pieces of industry after days of holding out as other foreign companies retreated in the face of Russia’s onslaught.

Ukrainian industry has been hit hard by the Russian invasion, with car-part manufacturers, breweries, an alumina refinery and other foreign companies halting production.

Mar 04, 2022, Spain

MEGASA SIDERÚRGICA NARÓN
Steel Plant
Stop production

According to Europa Press, on March 4 Megasa halted production at its 700,000 mt/yrNaron steel plant near La Coruna, having already shifted much of its production to night shifts to avoid peak prices.

The company did not reply to messages seeking confirmation.

Mar 10, 2022, United Kingdom

LIBERTY STEEL
Steel Plant
Stop production

Elsewhere in Europe, Liberty Steel’s mill at Rotherham in the U.K. has been forced to stop production due to soaring power costs, according to a person familiar with the matter. Liberty declined to comment.

Mar 10, 2022, Germany

SALZGITTER AG
Steel Producer
Reduced production

In Germany, Salzgitter reduced its melting operations at its Peine plant on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the company said.

Mar 10, 2022, Spain

ARCELORMITTAL SA’S SESTAO
Steel Plant
Extended shutdown

ArcelorMittal SA’s Sestao plant in Spain will not resume working as previously planned on March 13 due to high electricity costs, a spokesman told Bloomberg News in response to questions.

Its facility in Olaberria stopped Tuesday and restarted on Wednesday, operating intermittently.

Mar 10, 2022, Spain

CELSA GROUP
Steel Producer
Reduced production

Privately held producer Celsa, whose Barcelona mill has an annual capacity of 2.5 million tons, also cut output, citing unbearable energy costs.

“We are meeting the demands of our customers but our furnaces are operating at different hours to adapt to electricity prices,” a Celsa spokesperson said.

Mar 11, 2022, Spain

ACERINOX
Steel Plant
Offline

Acerinox became the latest steel producer to halt operations in Spain on Thursday due to surging energy prices caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

A union source at the Spanish stainless steel maker told AFP the firm had halted production at its plant in Cadiz in the southern Andalucia region due to soaring electricity prices.

Mar 14, 2022, Peru

SOUTHERN COPPER CORP (SCCO.N)’S CUAJONE MINE
Copper Mine
Offline

Southern Copper Corp (SCCO.N)’s Cuajone mine in Peru has suspended operations since Feb. 28 due to a protest by local communities who cut the company’s water access and blocked a key railroad, Peru’s mining chamber SNMPE said on Monday.

Southern Copper is one of the country’s top copper producer and Cuajone is the company’s second largest mine in the country.

The company has denounced violence by the protesters while the government has denounced violence on both sides.

Apr 02, 2022, USA

RIO TINTO
Copper Cathode
Force Majeure

Rio Tinto has declared force majeure on shipments of copper cathode from its Kennecott operation in Utah after an earthquake in March.

The declaration was made as the Utah facility continues to reopen after being hit by a 5.7 magnitude earthquake on 18 March.

The facility’s mine, concentrator and tailings have resumed operations.

Kennecott accounts for approximately 11pc of copper production in the US, according to Rio Tinto.

Apr 12, 2022, Honduras

AURA MINERALS (TSX: ORA)
Gold
Reduced production

Aura Minerals (TSX: ORA) said today that the company achieved total quarterly production of 61,041 gold equivalent ounces (“GEO”), which is 9% lower compared to Q1 2021 (66,782 GEO).

However, the company noted that its Q1 2022 production was in line with management’s expectations, with another strong quarter at the company’s Aranzazu mine and lower production at the company’s EPP and San Andres mines due mine sequencing and preparation for higher production in the next quarters.

Apr 21, 2022, Australia

BHP GROUP (BHP.AX)
Iron Ore
Reduced production

BHP Group (BHP.AX) on Thursday fell short of estimates for iron ore production for the March quarter, as a pandemic-related labour crunch weighed on the miner’s efforts to boost production in the mineral-rich Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The world’s largest listed miner warned June-quarter production of the steel-making commodity is also expected to be impacted by lingering worker absenteeism, but said it remained on track to meet fiscal 2022 costs and volume forecast.

Apr 21,2022, South Africa
Cameroon
Brazil
Australia

ANGLO AMERICAN PLC
copper, nickel, PGM, iron ore, coal and manganese ore
Reduced production

Anglo American announced today that its copper production decreased by 13% year-over-year to 140 ktonnes in Q1 2022 primarily due to planned lower grades.

Metal in concentrate production from the company’s platinum group metals operations decreased by 6%, primarily due to high rainfall at Mogalakwena, with full year guidance revised to 3.9–4.3 million ounces (previously 4.1-4.5 million ounces).

Iron ore production decreased by 19% to 13.2 Mt as high rainfall and plant issues affected both Kumba and Minas-Rio, with full year guidance revised to 60-64 million tonnes (previously 63-67 million tonnes).

Metallurgical coal production decreased by 32% to 2.2 Mt due to the delayed longwall move at Moranbah and the end of production from Grasstree.

Apr 21, 2022, Chile

ANTOFAGASTA (LSE: ANTO)
Copper
Reduced production

Chile-focused miner Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO), the world’s top-10 copper producer, said today that its copper production in Q1 2022 was 138.8 ktonnes, down 24% compared to Q1 2021 (183 ktonnes) and in line with guidance.

The company explained that lower copper production was mainly due to the expected temporary reduction in throughput at Los Pelambres because of the drought and lower grades at Centinela Concentrates.

Apr 27, 2022, Canada

FIRST QUANTUM MINERALS
Copper
Reduced production

Global copper miner First Quantum Minerals has revised down its 2022 production guidance and lifted cost expectations after a soft start to the year while the company’s share price has eased lower.

Total copper production guidance for the year now stands at 790,000-855,000 tonnes, which is down from 810,000-880,000 tonnes.

The revision followed first quarter production falling 10% from Q4 2021 to 182,210 tonnes.

May 04,2022, Malaysia

FORTRESS MINERALS LTD
Iron ore
Reduced production

4Q22 results were below expectations. Revenue and PATMI were at 12%/6% of our FY22e forecasts.

4Q22 sales volume decreased 72.2% YoY due to lower operating capacity caused by the spread of the Omicron variant among workers and unfavourable weather conditions.

Jun 18, 2022, Chile

CODELCO’S VENTANAS
Copper Smelter
Closure

The leading body of Chilean state-possessed Codelco, the world’s biggest copper maker, settled on Friday to begin a cycle to close its disturbed Ventanas smelter, the organization said in a proclamation.

Laborers at Codelco had taken steps to make a move, including a strike, on the off chance that the board didn’t contribute to overhauling the office following an ecological occurrence that nauseated many individuals.

The mining organization halted the smelter to finish upkeep and functional changes requested by the ecological controller after many individuals became sick with side effects of inebriation in the space where the smelter and different ventures work.

Jul 20,2022, Brazil

VALE SA
Iron ore and copper
Reduced production

Brazilian mining giant Vale has trimmed its 2022 iron ore and copper production guidance by about 4% and 19% at the mid-points in a move that sees the company implementing its “value over volume” strategy for the former while shutdowns and poor plant performance weighed on the latter.

Jul 25, 2022, Australia

OZ MINERALS
Copper
Reduced production

Oz Minerals has adjusted its full year copper production expectations to account for a softer start to the year.

Copper production expectations have been lowered from the previous estimate of between 127 000 t and 149 000 t, to between 120 000 t and 135 000 t, reflecting the impact of wet weather conditions and Covid-related absenteeism on operations during the second quarter ended June, as well as materials handling system belt damage at the Carrapateena operation.

In the June quarter, copper production reached 27 423 t, down from the 30 322 t delivered in the previous quarter, while gold production increased from 48 773 oz to 51 184 oz in the same period.

Jul 29, 2022

Bulgaria
Namibia

DUNDEE PRECIOUS METALS (TSX: DPM)
Gold, Copper
Reduced production

Dundee Precious Metals (TSX: DPM) reported Thursday that in Q2 2022, its gold production was 72,904 ounces, 14% lower than the corresponding period in 2021.

The company said that decline in gold production was due primarily to lower expected gold grades at Ada Tepeas a result of mining in lower gold grade zones, partially offset by improved gold recoveries at Chelopech.

Moreover, the company’s copper production in the second quarter of 2022 decreased by 12% to 8.8 million pounds due primarily to lower copper grades and recoveries.

Aug 01, 2022, Italy

ACCIAIERIE D’ITALIA
Steel Mills
Shutdown

The plant with a capacity of 4 million tons of steel per year left only one blast furnace in operation due to weak demand and high production costs

The Italian steel company Acciaieried’Italia has shut down its second blast furnace since August 1, 2022. This was reported by Yeih.corp.

The company has only one blast furnace in operation. The shutdown was caused by low cash flow, weak market demand and high production costs.

Aug 28, 2022, Kazakhstan

GLENCORE PLC
Copper, Cobalt, Zinc
Reduced Production

Glencore PLC on Thursday cut 2022 production guidance for copper, cobalt and zinc, and raised it for nickel and ferrochrome.

The commodity mining and trading giant reduced copper guidance to around 1.11 million metric tons from 1.15 million tons, and cobalt to 45,000 tons from 48,000 tons, reflecting first-quarter performance.

In addition, because of a slower-than-expected ramp-up at the Zhairem project in Kazakhstan, the 2022 outlook for zinc production is cut by 9% to 1.01 million tons, the company said.

Aug 17, 2022, Slovakia

NORSK HYDRO (NHY.OL)
Aluminum Smelter
Shutdown

Europe’s energy crisis has claimed another victim in the power-hungry metals industry, with Norsk Hydro ASA planning to shutter an aluminum smelter in Slovakia at the end of next month.

Aluminum is one of the most energy-intensive metals to produce, and the closure of the Slovalco facility adds to growing signs of stress in Europe’s industrial economy as power prices surge to record highs. The region had already lost about half of its zinc and aluminum smelting capacity during the past year, mainly as producers dialed back output. Hydro and others are now moving to shut down plants entirely.

Aug 23, 2022, Garpenberg, Sweden

BOLIDEN (BOL.ST)
Zinc
Force Majeure

Swedish miner Boliden (BOL.ST) has declared force majeure on zinc deliveries to Europe due to a strike among Norwegian electrochemical industry workers, although some production is still running, a company spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The strike, which started on Monday, is targeting several electrochemical plants, including Boliden’s zinc smelter in Odda and Glencore’s (GLEN.L) nickel refinery in Kristiansand as well as aluminium output at Norsk Hydro (NHY.OL) and Alcoa (AA.N).

Aug 25, 2022, Oregon, USA

COLUMBIA STEEL CASTING CO.
Steel Plant
Shutdown

Columbia Steel Casting Co., a Portland metal casting company that dates back more than a century, told state regulators Wednesday it plans to shut down operations at its North Portland foundry and lay off most of its workforce.

The company said 225 employees, many represented by two different unions, would be laid off beginning in October. The filing indicated the closure would be permanent. A letter to employees indicated that the company had sought a buyer to take over the foundry and maintain operations, but those efforts had failed so far.

Aug 25, 2022, Slovenia

Talum TLBR.LJ
Aluminum smelter
Reduced production

Slovenia’s Talum TLBR.LJ has cut production of primary aluminium to around 20% of its smelter capacity, a spokesperson said, joining other European firms forced to reduce output by sky-high energy costs.

Smelting aluminium is extremely energy intensive and power prices in Europe have increased up to tenfold since the start of 2021, making production at some sites unviable. TRDEBMc1, TRFRBMc1, FVBMc1

Stay informed about metals at Metals.news. Hear more daily Situation Update podcasts, interviews, gear reviews and analysis at:

https://www.naturalnews.com/2022-09-07-force-majeure-massive-global-shutdowns-are-now-under-way-for-metals-smelting-operations.html

Another business bites the dust…

Biden’s “plan” delivers hardship

gop.com

According to a new Gallup poll, 56% of Americans say they are experiencing financial hardship because of Bidenflation, up from 49% in January.

It’s a pain most acutely felt by Americans who can afford it the least. 74% of Americans making under $48,000 and 63% of Americans making between $48,000 and $90,000 say inflation is causing hardship. To make matters worse, 56% of Americans say their financial situation is getting worse according to a Harvard-Harris poll.

The pain is obvious at food banks across the country. According to CBS News, demand for aid is up from during the pandemic and an additional 13 million Americans are seeking help compared to before the pandemic.

Biden claims his “economic plan is working.” Working for who? Because it is not working for the American people.

https://gop.com/rapid-response/bidens-plan-delivers-hardship/

Report: Biden’s student loan vote buying scheme could cost taxpayers $1 trillion

WINTERY KNIGHT

If anyone asked me which school was the best to do an MBA, I would say the Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania. Well, they just released an assessment of Biden’s massive pre-election vote buying scheme. You might have heard that the total cost of this scheme would be around 400-500 billion dollars. But that’s not what Wharton says.

Here’s an article about it from Business Insider:

President Joe Biden’s plans to forgive student loans could cost more than $1 trillion, according to estimates by the Penn Wharton Budget Model.

Biden’s plan to cancel up to $10,000 in debt for people earning less than $125,000 a year, rising to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients, would cost between $469 billion and $519 billion over the 10-year budget window, depending on whether it covers future students who haven’t started their studies yet, according to the model.

This is higher than its previous estimates.

Here’s where…

View original post 162 more words

Happy Tax Day

“The Biden administration’s summer of flops”

“Heating oil states prepare to pay ‘$5 per gallon or more’ this winter”

Mexico’s Imports From Russia Up 20% in First Half of 2022 – Bank of Mexico

Cities of Russia. Vladivostok - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.08.2022

© Sputnik / Vitaliy Ankov

MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – Mexico imported goods from Russia worth $1.193 billion in January-June of this year, according to the latest figures from the Bank of Mexico.

In June, the volume of imports from Russia exceeded $275 million, which is the second highest figure in Mexico’s history (the country purchased more from Russia only in May 2021: $283.9 million).

In the first half of 2022, Mexico’s volume of imports from Russia amounted to $1.193 billion, according to the Bank of Mexico. This is 20.85% more than last year’s figure ($987.6 million).

Russia is the main international supplier of fertilizers to Mexico with a share of about a quarter of all imports of nitrogen and mixed nitrogen, phosphorus and potash fertilizers. Other important imports from Russia include rolled steel, aluminum and synthetic rubber.

https://sputniknews.com/20220827/mexicos-imports-from-russia-up-20-in-first-half-of-2022—bank-of-mexico-1100049042.html

“The Five: Biden under fire for taxpayer-funded handout to white-collar debtors”

“Boots on the Ground…Aug. 22nd…Not getting better in the logistical supply chain getting WORSE.”

“Unbelievable news on Walmart”

“Walmart CEO Issues Warning That EVERY American Needs To Hear – Don’t Ignore This”

“BUYING VOTES? Biden To Cancel $3.9 Billion In Student Loan Debt – What This Means For You”

“Joe Biden ‘doesn’t even know’ how to pronounce ‘economy'”

“Boots on the Ground…Aug. 6th…Price increases on top of more price increases for the same item.”

Biden economic policy: raise taxes, increase inflation, go further into debt

United States Inflation Biden Stagflation

winteryknight.com

I decided to do a round-up of articles from a variety of conservative news sources showing the effects of Biden economic policy. I hope everyone is making plans to deal with the coming catastrophe. It is a mistake to elect people who are focused on global warming, same-sex marriage, and gr00ming children for the benefit of their pedo constituents.  We really need to vote them out in 2022.

First, Daily Wire reports on a study that shows the likely effects of Biden’s Increase Inflation Act:

The Democrat-supported “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” could lead to a slight increase in inflation over the next two years if it’s passed and signed into law, according to a Penn Wharton study released Friday.

[…]The Democrat spending package… would be the largest legislative climate investment the U.S. has ever made at $369 billion. The bill would also raise taxes on billion-dollar businesses and extend Affordable Care Act subsidies.

The bill has the support of Democrat senator Joe Manchin, who has suddenly become supportive of global warming alarmism and raising taxes.

The American Spectator has more about the tax increases:

The act would raise an estimated $739 billion through tax increases and heightened IRS scrutiny to then invest $306 billion in “deficit reduction” and $369 billion in “energy security and climate change” to “reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030.” If ever there were a proposal that failed out the gate, this is one.

The Biden administration seeded this inflation with massive spending premised on COVID-19 relief that was filled with political pork.

They created the inflation crisis with C0VID stimulus spending, so that they could pass a bill to get what they really wanted: global warming regulations and taxes. That will just raise the price of electricity and gas even more.

More:

…those inflationary policies that even funded social justice art projects take food off the American table. Fertilizer prices have tripled in less than two years, drought threatens both global and local food supplies, and disruptions in supply chains threaten scarcity for much more than baby formula. Ground beef increased 36 percent in price in one year…

All this at a time when more and more Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck.

The Daily Caller reports:

The number of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck was up 5.5% in June from a year prior as fully 61% of Americans now devote nearly all of their salaries to expenses with little or nothing left over at the end of the month, according to LendingClub’s report. Americans’ purchasing power has declined in recent months as inflation has outpaced wage increases, making it more difficult to afford normal budgets, the report concluded.

What are the long-run consequences of more federal spending? A ballooning national debt.

The Federalist explains:

This budget bill, even if enacted and implemented as Democrats claim, would reduce the cumulative deficits over the next three decades to “only” $114.1 trillion. In other words, it would allegedly reduce our collective deficit by a currently estimated 0.3 percent.

[…]The $114 trillion figure comes from a new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) regarding the nation’s long-term budget outlook.

[…]CBO estimates deficits will go from 3.9 percent of GDP in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 to 11.1 percent of GDP by 2052. Multiplying CBO’s estimated annual deficits as a percentage of the economy by their estimates of GDP in each year provides the $114 trillion figure for our cumulative deficits from now through 2052.

Most ominously, CBO believes that net interest costs will rise sharply, from 1.6 percent of GDP in the current fiscal year to 6.2 percent by 2052. Like a snowball rolling down the proverbial hill, or someone who keeps paying the minimum on his credit card, the debt we have accumulated will require more and more resources to fund every year. Moreover, this near quadrupling of federal interest costs as a percentage of our economy means paying down government debt will squeeze out private investment—making our economy permanently less productive and poorer.

That last part is the most alarming, especially to people with wives and children.

We have elections in November. It won’t be enough for you to vote against the Democrats. You should be sending everyone you know evidence of what is coming, so they can vote against Democrats, too. We are getting a taste of global warming socialism now. We can’t afford more of this.

https://winteryknight.com/2022/08/04/biden-economic-policy-raise-taxes-increase-inflation-go-further-into-debt/

“Boots on the Ground…Aug. 3rd…Chicken meat being rationed in some areas.”

Fed announces another big interest rate hike to thwart inflation. When will it stop? – Los Angeles Times

www.latimes.com

Don Lee

WASHINGTON — 

In the most aggressive back-to-back interest rate increases since the early 1980s economic crisis, the Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced another three-quarters of a percentage point hike and signaled that it wasn’t done in its effort to beat back inflation despite rising risks of triggering a recession.

The Fed’s hefty increase in its benchmark rate, which forms the basis for borrowing costs on credit cards, home loans and other products, is aimed at further cooling the economy to help curb pricing pressures.

In its statement announcing the rate change, the Fed noted the slowing economy. “Recent indicators of spending and production have softened,” it said, adding that the Fed expects to make “ongoing increases” in its key interest rate as it strives to return inflation to its 2% target.

The central bank’s efforts have profound implications not just for the U.S. and global economies. As the Fed tries to steer between a rock and a hard place, it has raised the political stakes, especially for Democrats, because voters in the upcoming congressional elections are not going to like either a continued rise in prices or a downturn that would cost jobs and other unwelcome consequences.

If there are bright spots for President Biden and his party, it’s that gas prices have come off their highs in June and there’s positive news in an economic indicator that most Americans don’t usually pay much attention to: the value of the dollar against foreign currencies.

One offshoot of the Fed’s rate-hike campaign has been a surge in the dollar in recent months, which is making products from Europe, Asia and other parts of the world cheaper for American buyers.

Since the U.S. purchases trillions of dollars in imported products each year — including a wide array of things such as clothing, electronics, flowers and fresh vegetables — the stronger dollar is starting to make it a little easier for shoppers to deal with inflation for some goods.

“That’s one of the very few forces working against food price inflation,” said Ricky Volpe, an agribusiness professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, noting persistent food-supply challenges involving labor, weather, transportation and energy.

Reimagining Homeownership in LA County

Reimagining Homeownership in LA County

The housing crisis in Southern California is getting worse. Today, Southern California has the fewest homes available per capita of any metro area in the country.

In June the cost to U.S. consumers for food produced at home was 12.2% more than a year earlier. That helped push up overall inflation to 9.1%, a four-decade high. Cereals and breads, eggs and milk, as well as poultry products have been rising even faster in recent months. By comparison, prices for imported foods including vegetables and fish have been trending down lately.

Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust, said cheaper imports should provide a relatively small but notable help in lowering the rate of U.S. inflation as more companies pass on those savings to consumers.

The downside for American multinational corporations is that their exports and sales overseas will take a hit.

And the rapid and sharp gain in the dollar, Tannenbaum said, is inflicting real pain on some developing countries as they face bigger dollar payments for debt and commodities. The recent political turmoil in Sri Lanka reflected a severe economic crisis that included a shortage of dollars and a national currency that has now plunged more than 80% against the greenback.

Still, for American voters, a decline in import prices, along with companies like Walmart now starting to mark down merchandise due to excess inventory and slowing demand, could provide some relief from the decades-high inflation.

Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital, said he thinks inflation may have peaked in June and July. Gas prices nationally averaged $4.30 a gallon Wednesday, down from $4.90 a month earlier.

“There’s growing evidence that consumers’ willingness and ability to spend is getting tired,” he said in a note to clients. “Moreover, households appear to have spent through their pandemic-supported cash hoard, as evidenced by a recent run-up in credit card debt and AT&T’s acknowledgement that an increasing number of their customers’ bills are past due.”

On Thursday, the government is expected to release data showing the U.S. economy declined in the second quarter, after earlier reports of shrinking activity in the first three months of the year. Republicans are likely to jump all over the news, as consecutive quarters of falling real gross domestic product, or economic output, is commonly seen as evidence of a recession.

An official determination of a recession is based on an array of data, and most economists say that while two negative quarters of GDP might constitute a “technical recession,” the U.S. doesn’t appear to be in an outright downturn at the present moment. Employment thus far has held up well and the picture of consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of economic activity, is still mixed.

GDP in the current third quarter, for now, looks lackluster. And what happens over the rest of the summer and beyond will depend at least in part on what the Fed does and how people react to its efforts to get inflation under control.

The Fed’s rate move Wednesday is the fourth increase this year and lifts its benchmark rate to nearly 2.5%, a level that’s considered neutral — that is, neither stimulative nor restrictive to the economy.

The question now is, how much more will the central bank do? In their June forecast, Fed officials projected their main rate to end the year at nearly 3.5%. And Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell could provide more guidance at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

But there are a number of factors that will influence inflation and growth, which remain highly uncertain and are largely beyond the Fed’s control, including the war in Ukraine, the global economic situation and pandemic lockdowns in China.

Supply chain problems at ports and in other parts of the logistics system have eased somewhat in recent weeks, but there’s still a shortage of parts and goods, particularly for new autos.

And it will take time before the backlog of orders is cleared and companies adjust to shifting supply chains, said Shawn DuBravac, an economist and president of Avrio Institute, a consulting firm. But, he said, with demand slowing and inventories of things like apparel relatively high, many more businesses don’t have the pricing power they had at the start of the year.

In recent days, some of the biggest companies, including Microsoft, General Motors, Alphabet and Walmart, have reported lower profits. And companies in finance, housing and some other sectors have cut their outlook and are shedding jobs.

https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-07-27/fed-battling-to-tamp-down-inflation-gears-up-to-make-another-big-interest-rate-hike

“Boots on the Ground…July 25th…I am tracking 25% inflation…Do not believe Biden’s numbers.”

“Boots on the Ground…July 21st…Medical problems are increasing.”

“Saudi Arabia and Russia Are Taking Biden for a Ride”

Higher gas prices hurt pockets, make small dent in emissions

local21news.com

SETH BORENSTEIN and TOM KRISHER Associated Press

As Congress and now the Supreme Court stymie the Biden administration’s efforts to curb climate change, one thing the president doesn’t want – sky high gas prices – actually is nibbling away at emissions of heat-trapping gas.

Gas prices in much of the United States shot past the $5 a gallon mark last month before a slight drop, and Americans have responded by driving a bit less, two sets of data show. June gas sales are about 5% below pre-pandemic 2019 levels and 2.6% below a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Americans in April, the last month data was available, drove 6% fewer miles than the same month in 2019, according to transportation analyst Michael Sivak, a former University of Michigan professor who is a long-time tracker of driving and car-buying habits. That 6% drop is tiny compared to the 40% plunge in driving miles in April 2020 as the pandemic kicked in.

Yet, a 6% drop in driving roughly translates to only a 1% drop in overall U.S. carbon emissions, Sivak said. The U.S. climate goal is to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

“High fuel prices are a really difficult thing because they’re a double-edged sword,” said Samantha Gross, director of the energy security and climate initiative at the centrist Brookings Institution. “So prices that are high and expected to stay that way have more of a longer term ability to cut demand and my guess is the administration wouldn’t mind seeing that, but the problem is that people hate it.”

High gas prices are “unequivocally” good for fighting climate change because people use less fossil fuel and emissions go down, but the poorest people, who don’t have other options also “suffer the most,” said climate economist Solomon Hsiang, director of the Climate Impact Lab at the University of California, Berkeley. Carbon emissions are causing harm, especially to future generations, but for decades cheap gas has meant “no one is paying for that harm,” he said.

Now people are paying more when they hit the gas station and some are changing their habits.

Richard Gowan, 56, of Brighton, Michigan, used to commute 26 miles to his Ann Arbor workplace twice per week in a 2021 Ford F-150 pickup. But with gas close to $5 per gallon, he’s cut one-quarter of the truck trips. “That one doesn’t come out of the driveway near as much as it used to,” he said while pumping gas near work.

To save money, he has subbed a small Jeep Renegade SUV, which gets substantially better fuel economy than the 24 miles per gallon he gets with the pickup, which he bought to tow a travel trailer. The towing still takes place because he doesn’t want to give up family vacations, Gowan said.

A gas price is displayed at a filling station ahead of the Independence Day holiday weekend in Philadelphia, Friday, July 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

He blamed the high gasoline prices on President Joe Biden’s policies. He wants Biden to open up more drilling and predicts that engineering will eventually solve climate change.

In San Diego, where gasoline runs more than $6 per gallon, Simmi Paul said her family also has reduced driving. Her daughter, a college student, now walks 10 minutes to work and takes public transportation to school rather than driving.

Even though the July 4th holiday weekend saw record number of people on the road, they were not driving as far “because they can’t afford the cost of gas,” said American Automobile Association spokesperson Devin Gladden. People who must drive, he said, “are trying to find ways they can combine some of their errands or perhaps if they are able to carpool for work they’re finding ways to reduce the amount of gas they have to buy and put in their vehicles.”

Biden has frequently said he doesn’t want high gas prices, attacked oil companies ‘ multi-billion dollar profits, proposed new offshore oil and gas drilling despite campaign promises and proposed a gas tax holiday, which congressional leaders said won’t fly. Asked whether conservation should play a greater role in adjusting to high prices, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said: “Americans are going to do what they feel is right for themselves and for their family. That’s not something for us to make a judgment on.”

Biden confidants know high gas prices hurt people and the president politically.

“The fact is there’s been a lot of studies on this — it’s just psychologically that how people tend to view the economy is through inflation,” said John Anzalone, a Democratic pollster who has worked for Biden. “People tend to focus on the pain points.”

Look at the pump for the pain point.

It’s about $200 a week for Pat Blevins, 42, a carpenter from Waterville, Ohio, who was filling the tank of his 2016 Chevrolet Silverado at a gas station west of Toledo, Ohio, on Tuesday. “It likes to eat gas,” he said of his truck, which he said gets around 15 miles per gallon.

When gasoline went past $4 per gallon in the summer of 2008, American auto buyers quickly switched away from pickup trucks and large SUVs to smaller, more efficient vehicles. But when it hit that level again in early March, there was little impact on new-vehicle sales in the U.S., where about three-quarters of vehicles sold are SUVs and trucks.

“Even at $5 per gallon, it’s hard to find evidence of changing habits” and buying smaller gas-efficient cars, said Jeff Schuster, president of global forecasting for the LMC Automotive consulting firm.

It’s partly because of the global computer chip shortage. Automakers have been sending the chips they get to factories that build larger, more profitable vehicles, Schuster said.

Still, if smaller cars and SUVs were more readily available, Schuster says he is confident that people would buy them.

Blevins said he will look at the new electric Silverado to replace his gasoline model “if it’s worth the expense and if it can perform like a gas (truck) can.”

Sivak thinks $5 a gallon gasoline is for the moment the price that changes Americans’ car habits, still much lower than the price paid in Europe and much of the rest of the world.

“When you talk about the real outcomes of the energy transition (to less carbon pollution) some of this does mean that things will get more expensive and we need to come up with better solutions on how we finance and ensure that everybody can participate in the energy transition and it’s not just for the wealthy or privileged few,” AAA’s Gladden said.

Some economists, such as Hsiang, have called for a carbon tax of 25 cents to 50 cents a gallon above market price “to address the harm from climate change” and reduce carbon pollution by cutting demand, but with proceeds partly returned to people and partly used for green energy projects. But at the same time, he said, “higher gas prices hurt poorer families more,” so the government should send them financial help but not subsidize cheap gas.

Biden’s proposed gas tax holiday “is a subsidy, it’s paying people to pollute,” Hsiang said.

Brookings’ Gross said Republicans are falsely blaming Biden for the gas shortage because he cancelled a pipeline that has little to do with gas prices. She said the worldwide spike in gas prices is mostly due to pent-up post pandemic demand and supply issues and the Ukrainian war.

“I really feel for Biden because he’s in this situation where he wants to do climate stuff and his base is like ‘yeah we want climate stuff’ and he ran on it and he feels strongly about it personally I think,” Gross said. “But he’s in this situation where he’s getting hammered on high gas prices.”

https://local21news.com/news/nation-world/higher-gas-prices-hurt-pockets-make-small-dent-in-emissions-us-energy-information-administration-pain-at-the-pump-oil-barrels-strategic-reserves-driving-car-buying-habits-president-joe-biden