Industrial Insight

we slash emissions by burning gas….

May 25, 2012
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shale Gas Boom Helps to Slash CO2 Emissions, As Well as Create Jobs and Save Consumers Billions

1. Residential, commercial, industrial and electricity-generating customers of natural gas have saved $250 billion over the last three years because of abundant, low-cost gas.

2. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created in natural-gas related industries, both directly in the gas drilling activities, and indirectly in the industries supporting natural gas drilling like companies producing steel piping, drilling equipment, fracking sand, etc.

3. Cheap, abundant natural gas has sparked a manufacturing renaissance in energy-intensive industries like chemicals, fertilizers, and steel.

4. In the process of creating thousands of jobs and saving natural gas customers billions of dollars, the shale revolution has also significantly reduced carbon emissions as electricity producers have switched from dirty coal to clean, cheap natural gas.

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21 May, 2012 14:49

May 21, 2012
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We hide what we make…

In Defense of Nothing

We are very good today at hiding where things get made, and so people think that factories don’t exist. We have ordinances on noise, pollution, etc., and most of these entities have moved outside the big cities where the land values are cheaper.

So part of my answer here is that we are still making things here in America. We just don’t notice it.

America is an amazing place. The breadth of resources that can be extracted, the crops that are grown, the amazing division of labor, the level of technological innovation, and the relative degree of freedom to pursue any of these is astounding.

We make a lot of things. We just do it with far fewer people than we used to.

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sloooow recovery….

May 17, 2012
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The 3 economic charts that could crash Obama’s reelection hopes

By James Pethokoukis

May 16, 2012, 11:40 am

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lots of oil

May 16, 2012
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Lots of Oil…

Saturday, May 12, 2012

200 Year Supply of Oil in Green River Formation

“The Green River Formation—an assemblage of over 1,000 feet of sedimentary rocks that lie beneath parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming—contains the world’s largest deposits of oil shale. USGS estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions. The Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, estimates that 30 to 60 percent of the oil shale in the Green River Formation can be recovered. At the midpoint of this estimate, almost half of the 3 trillion barrels of oil would be recoverable. This is an amount about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.”

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May 9, 2012
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U.S. manufacturing’s next phase

Our cities are poised to be the incubators for new American factories.

By Richard M. Daley and Bruce Katz

May 9, 2012

As corporations reevaluate their bottom lines, national leaders must reassess the critical role of manufacturing. Its jobs pay 20% more on average than non-manufacturing work and are more likely to provide benefits. It employs a disproportionately high number of less-educated workers and tends to spark job growth in service-based industries. And, in the words of Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO ofDow Chemical Co.: “Where manufacturing goes, innovation inevitably follows.”

That reality has cost the U.S. dearly. In the electronics sector alone, 90% of R&D now occurs in Asia, in large part because of the steady offshoring of manufacturing by U.S. companies since the 1980s.

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can trees grow to the sky???

May 5, 2012
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Can trees grow to the sky?

April 30, 2012 Release the Kraken

John P. Hussman, Ph.D.

Whether you do this sort of modeling with a spreadsheet or with differential equations, you’ll get essentially the same results. Specifically, growth rates are always a declining function of market penetration. Most strikingly, the growth rates begin to come down hard even at the point that a company hits 20-30% market penetration. Network effects accelerate the early growth, but also cause growth to hit the wall more abruptly. Replacement helps to accelerate the early growth rates too, but ultimately has much more effect on the sustainable level of sales than it has on long-term growth. In fact, if the replacement rate (the percentage of existing users that replace their product each year) is less than the adoption rate (the percentage of untapped prospects that are converted to new users), it’s very hard to keep the growth rate of sales from falling below the rate of economic growth.

The chart below gives the general picture of various growth curves and the effect that different factors can exert. The paths are less important for their actual growth rates as they are for their general profiles (below, I’ve assumed that 15% of the untapped market adopts the product each period). It may seem odd that you could get a growth rate below the adoption rate. But notice that with an adoption rate of 15% and a total potential market of 1000 units, for example, you’ll sell 150 units the first year, but the next year’s sales will only be 15% of the 850 remaining untapped prospects, so growth will actually be negative unless you have other factors contributing, such as discovery, replacement, network effects, and so forth.

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About author

I'm the executive vice president for a steel casting trade association, the Steel Founders' Society of America. I've got a crazy wife, five crazy children, three crazy people that married into the family, and two crazy fun little grandsons.