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This could be a model

May 10, 2013

Industry and environmental groups do not often see eye-to-eye. But a group of companies in the shale oil and gas industry has decided to take its own step toward improved stewardship....

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(27)

Anderson

May-21-13 5:50 PM

You just THINK you're always right, Cranky. Consolidation of intercity into larger systems occurred almost from the start, the most significantly the once-18 RR's into the NY Central just as the feds were getting into the game of deciding routes and subsidizing construction. Not surprisingly, freight rates declined by 95% in the years before the feds got in the game; massive corruption began immediately they did. Chinese were first imported by the govt sanctioned and subsidized CP, but Chinese exclusion laws were already in place before my "exploited" RR worker ancestors arrived in 1881. Then, as w/housing & green energy now, fed involvement in RR's led to panic in 1873, ICC regulation in 1887, and outdated work rules and high wages that, collectively, plagued US RR"s until deregulation began in the 1970's. My wage was just a real-world example of the long, sad tale fed intervention in pvt RR business. BTW,eschewing books AND experience, Cranky, what ARE your sourc

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CrankyGrandma

May-20-13 10:42 AM

Wow, you really ARE old, Andy! We were discussing the cause of the monopolization of the railroads, which occurred at the end of the 19th century! In 1873, when the economy crashed thanks to wall street over speculating on the rails, they DID undercut the pay which caused strikes which caused mass firings which caused bankruptcies which caused the greedy rail barons to hire chinese immigrants to work for nearly nothing which led to the consolidation of these "corporations".

You are talking about 75 years after the fact. If you want to jump to that era and its particular issues, tell a guy, will ya? I can't keep up with your constant twisting and turning to try and make me wrong!

I know what I'm talking about, I'm right, and you can't stand it.

Go pout!

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Anderson

May-19-13 6:07 PM

Yeah, Cranky; those greedy CNW owners ripped off my IMMIGRANT (1881) great grandfather to lay track from Scribner to Lindsay NE, where they made him section chief for the 6 more years he needed to SAVE enough to BUY - yes, BUY - a 160-acre farm; then had the audacity to similarly rip off his 13-year-old IMMIGRANT son, my grandfather, until HE had saved enough to BUY - again, BUY - HIS own 160 acres. THEN me, at 21, a simple gandy dancer, too, on the M&StL at only $1.69/hr when the standard wage for other manual workers was 75 cents/hr. Exploitation, indeed! Guess we three were just lucky we didn't drink everything up, Cranky. Can't imagine why the smaller, pvt RR's couldn't make it with only three redundant crewman and maximum runs of 110 miles for a whole century, especially after govts built and maintained highways for their competitors? Do wake up, Cranky, & stick to what you know!

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CrankyGrandma

May-19-13 11:54 AM

Oh, but I don't want to forget that because the greedy owners and speculator over spent in their zest for more more more more, they forgot all about the people who were enabling their piggish lifestyles. So what did they do? Why they hired IMMIGRANTS who would work for nearly nothing! Aren't you proud?

What caused the demise off the small railroad? Big railroads. What permits big railroads to exist? Lack of regulation.

Too bad you're so invested in selfish greed, Andy. Your life would be so much happier if you thought of the world in terms of US rather than ME.

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CrankyGrandma

May-19-13 11:54 AM

And what you don't know about me would fill libraries, Andy. As you well know, greed and ambition are two very different things. Or maybe you don't know.

You asked me what created the monopolies in the rail system. I told you.

Now you act like I was wrong because I didn't give a three page backstory.

Sigh. Here we go AGAIN.

In the first place, the Civil War was hard on the railroads. Because the north didn't want to use up man power protecting the rail lines, the confederate generals took great advantage and confiscated supplies intended for the union army by the ton. Were you sleeping in 5th grade American History class?

In the second place, over-speculation by GUESS WHO (Wall Street), NOT land grants caused overspending and underearning, which led to bankruptcies and wage cuts, which led to strikes which led to the big economic crash after the war.

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Anderson

May-18-13 10:48 PM

Just your opinion, Cranky, based on more populist nonsense. "Greed," you say? Greed in a market economy breeds competition, innovation and substitution that brings lower prices for all. What you don't know about the effect of federal govt policies on US RR's would fill volumes. Without the feds, RR's blanketed the North by 1860 and helped win the Civil War. Federal land grants and direct subsidies resulted quickly in massive corruption, over-building, unionization, out-dated work rules and, beginning with the ICC in 1887, ever increasing govt regulation of RR rates and operations until the industry was in such critical condition that even Democrats realized deregulation was the only option and Carter signed the Stagger's Act. Since then, rates have fallen, RR's have enjoyed a renaissance, returned to profitability, and - what else - populists are touting re-regulation. Learn from experience, indeed! Do so, Cranky.

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CrankyGrandma

May-18-13 11:18 AM

Well, how about that! Government regulation caused the demise of the small railroad company!

How interesting, since in reality the birth of the ICC was a result of big railroads playing politics with shippers and undercutting the rates in order to push the little guys out of business. Just like their descendent greedy pigs, they used Congress to push the little guys around and thwart all efforts at attempting to slow down their unfair practices.

So just like today, the big guys ganged up and shoved the little guy out of the way with the willing help of "conservatives" in office. Is this news to you?

Regulation didn't kill the radio star - GREED did. Unbridled, unregulated GREED. It's deja vu all over again, Andy. You were supposed to learn from the past so you weren't doomed to repeat it, remember? Learn!

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Anderson

May-17-13 9:21 PM

It happened to be something I KNEW about personally, Cranky, as I was a VP of the company, whose biggest jet engine market was, incidentally, NOT the militar. But I might have cited govt subsidization and then regulation of US railroads, which has reduced the world's greatest RR network with hundreds of separate companies to just 7 giants now with 140,000 miles of track vs. 254,000 in 1916; or the XL Pipeline fiasco of immediate notoriety. Do you actually have some experiential or historical basis for your fulminations against big oil or just the same populist agitation that helped create those 7 RR giants as it has the very oil giants you now malign?

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CrankyGrandma

May-17-13 10:10 AM

Oh - one last thing - I find it particularly humorous that you chose war accessories to highlight your disdain for the government's bid letting (thereby causing all corporations to become out of control monopolies) - I suggest you talk to your pals the obstructionists about that. The military is their baby - not "the government" as in anybody else.

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CrankyGrandma

May-17-13 10:08 AM

If you could take a break from trying to discredit me, my education, my economics comprehension and my politics, Andy, you might learn something.

I have never once said free enterprise/capitalism is bad. You would know that if you ever paid attention. I said that unregulated over subsidized monopolies masquerading as capitalism are bad.

You see, those of us who actually DO understand the way things work know that you cannot load one end of the see saw too heavily or you will become unbalanced and unable to teeter or totter.

That's what happens when you read ALL of Adam Smith's works. What you smuggly cite to attempt to prove that capitalism is the greatest in fact proves that it is NOT. Keep reading, Andy.

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Anderson

May-16-13 4:59 PM

...populist idiocy as yours, Cranky, is it any wonder that only the huge, well-financed - and - politically connected - companies survive. God help the little guy or the entrepreneur; even Mobil didn't want to become Exxon-Mobil, but that's what it takes to survive in a global economy that DC CANNOT control. Again: WAKE UP!

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Anderson

May-16-13 4:49 PM

You'd best start with Adam Smith,then, Cranky, and learn what markets are and how capitalism works, which made Americans - collectively & individually - the most prosperous in the world. That's the macro-economic side; the micro-economic side, i.e. mgnt of a particular businesses, is quite different. I don't speak for big oil companies that have resulted from govt tax and regulatory policies coupled with increasing technical and regulatory costs attendant exploration, production & distribution, but I can testify to the laying off of 15,000 high-skilled, high-paid machinists for a full year when lawyer-legislators as ignorant of business and economics as you decided DOD should bid contracts annually for jet engines that take 10 yrs & $1 billion to develop; then bid; then 1 yr & $1 billion more to ramp up production - with return on investment (i.e. profit) still several more years away. This lasted just 1 yr, until reality of market economics set in. Given such populis

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CrankyGrandma

May-14-13 5:18 PM

One more thing, Andy. You can stop advocating for the queens of supply side economics, Hazlitt and his ugly step sister Sowell any time. Those two wouldn't be able to calculate their way out of a simple soduko puzzle and should be treated as such. I might have a shred of respect for your opinion if you EVER showed signs of actual acumen, but, alas, you're just an angry old misogynist with a thesaurus. Sigh.

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CrankyGrandma

May-14-13 8:54 AM

Oh, Andy. Even YOU don't believe this tripe. In this day of instant information and data at our fingertips, it doesn't take a genius who used to live in Europe to know that.

As much as you'd like us to think you know something we don't know, the fact is we DO know that fracking is dangerous, drilling everywhere without concern for the groundwater is insane and big oil isn't regulated nearly enough.

It doesn't come as any surprise to me that you would side with greed, but I am a little surprised you're so willing to lie like this. You're not ignorant of the facts, you're lying.

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Anderson

May-13-13 8:16 PM

It may be a waste of time to reply further to someone as ignorant of business and economics as you, Cranky,but let's try. It takes a decade or more from discovery to development of the rare major oil deposit. and ever more costly. Then, another decade or so before profitability, i.e. beyond costs of exploration, drilling and delivery of refined petroleum products to consumers. DOE and EPA regulations and approval processes have increased costs, delays and false starts and done absolutely nothing to develop the fracking or offshore technology that is now revolutionizing global petroleum production and markets. Rome was not built in a day, either, Cranky; wise up.

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CrankyGrandma

May-12-13 10:50 AM

I see! First you ramble on and on crafting a set of beliefs for me and deciding on my level of understanding/education, then proceed to tell me to close my mouth!

Oddly enough, missing from your rant is one shred of proof that I am wrong on my original assessment of this ridiculous editorial. You realize that you DID merely type up a love poem for big oil and now you're embarrassed.

Well, old man, that's what you get. Now you have to deflect and squirm to try and get the onus off YOU, the fool in this drama.

"What a waste it is to lose one's mind" - Dan Quayle.

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gssmms

May-11-13 8:46 PM

Thank you both, CG and Anderson, for your replies!

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Anderson

May-11-13 7:11 PM

...might if combined with a highly graduated inheritance tax that prevents creation of an aristocracy of wealth and maintains an economic meritocracy that rewards innovators and risk takers rather than punishing or strangling them with red tape as is increasingly the case.

Cranky, you are bent ideologically and ignorant of business an economics. Read Hazlitt and Sowell; facts are sterile, making sense of them is everything. As Chesterton said, "The purpose of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to close it again on something solid." Try it.

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Anderson

May-11-13 6:36 PM

I don't basically disagree with you, gssmms, but it is govt tax policy that, instead of encouraging the widget maker do what he knows best and keep making widgets PROFITABLY, PURPORTS to tax the widget maker's business profits in such a way that sale of his widget-making business to a competitor, some conglomerate or hedge fund, nets him more after-tax dollars and, thus, freedom to pursue other interests, all while relieving the widget maker of the headaches of complying with evermore vexing govt regulation and other interference in his business. Statists, like Cranky, cheer as it is then easier to rail against some gigantic corporation, to tax and regulate it, and eventually to nationalize it in pursuit of their POLITICAL interest in "passing the wealth around" (to quote Obama). More taxes, regulation and other, direct govt interference will not restore the free market that created the world's most prosperous and egalitarian nation; not taxing undivided business profits...

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CrankyGrandma

May-11-13 12:49 PM

gssm - absolutely spot on!

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CrankyGrandma

May-11-13 12:47 PM

So... Andy... you respond with an Enron commercial? Are you kidding? And entire paragraph of nothing - no facts, no viable data to back up your love of "private" (meaning taxpayer subsidized) industry. Just vague "getting better" crap.

Just like you, big oil is dishonest and hypocritical. So yes, I was right.

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gssmms

May-11-13 10:07 AM

The irony is that the people aware of the naked truth of industry bought politics are also increasingly aware that THEY are the ones being stripped!

"Private Industry" is a great idea!!

We should try it again... and soon!!

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gssmms

May-11-13 10:06 AM

I would agree that Private Industry is generally a better approach than Government to most human issues.

The idea that Private Industry and Government have any degree of separation, though, is a fairy tail at best, but often an intentional obfuscation to the “Revolving Doors” between Big Energy, Big Ag, Big Pharma, Big Banking, Big ______... and the Government.

The Corporatocracy behind these sectors is NOT private industry riding in on a ‘white horse’ to save the day.

It just facilitates their mutually favored outcome: Privatize the profits, socialize the risks.

We do have some (basically) private industry left in this nation, with small scale farmers like Joel Salatin.

Thinking that T. Boone Pickens, GE, Monsanto, Goldman Sachs & the like are “private industry” is a veiled deception… and that veil is wearing so thin that more and more people are realizing that the “emperors” are, indeed, naked.

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Anderson

May-10-13 9:06 PM

You right, Cranky? Hardly. While the federal govt was LOOKING & SPENDING WILDLY trying to develop competitive substitutes for fossil fuels - the price of which was effectively set by another market-distorting govt-controlled entity, OPEC - and putting every possible obstacle in the way of pvt oil companies' exploitation of our known on-shore and off-shore domestic petroleum resources, those same PRIVATE oil companies responded to the same OPEC-distorted petoleum markets with wiser pvt investments in technological innovation, exploration and drilling that is not only ending our dependence on OPEC's oil but but pushing energy prices downward and revolutionizing energy markets generally to the further embarrassment of advocates of green energy promotion and its federal promotion and subsidization. As always, markets and private sector reactions thereto prevails; govt directed investment fails.

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CrankyGrandma

May-10-13 2:31 PM

Then why aren't we independent, Andy? If "private" enterprise has spent zillions trying ever so hard to make us that way for the last FORTY YEARS, why aren't we??

Oh, because they AREN'T trying to develop ways to make us independent? They're just getting fatter from our taxpayer handouts and snuggling up with foreign oil at night. Talk about drinking the Kool-Aid!

HAHAHAHAHAHA! I guess I was right the first time!

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