Skip to main content

Ambivalence in the Oil Industry

Dave McCurdy AAM.jpg

According to a Reuters report posted on October 24, there's been a good deal of ambivalence in the oil patch during the recent Presidential campaign. Yes, more than a week has passed since then, but this gives me a distinctive take for what will be my last pre-election campaign-related posting in this blog, so I'll take it.

One of the Trump campaign's themes -- admittedly a sort of second-tier theme, one assigned to VP candidate Pence -- was that the Obama administration is guilty of a "war on carbon," which the HRC administration will continue, so the coal, oil, and gas industries should all have boarded the TrumpTrain in self defense.

The reasoning would have been more sound if Sanders had been the Democratic Party's nominee, but they did what they could with it.

Anyway, the Reuters story, working from federal campaign finance filings, says that the oil industry's contributions have been about evenly split between the two campaigns.

During an earlier part of the campaign cycle, the industry had a distinct preference for Jeb Bush.

During the general election campaign, their general view has been that, yes, HRC is pro regulation and the industry was unenthusiastic about that, but Trump is both a wild card and anti-trade, and it is definitely unenthusiastic about both of those points.

The story quoted Dave McCurdy, the president of the American Gas Association, portrayed above. He finds Trump's "vision for America on trade" disturbing.

Also, with their war-on-carbon stuff, the Trumpets may have falsely assumed the solidarity of the various "carbon" industries. The natural gas industry in particular is trying to sell itself as party of the solution to global change, as McCurdy also mentioned, so denialism in that respect did the Trumpets no good with them.

Something to think about as the votes come in on Tuesday.


Popular posts from this blog

England as a Raft?

In a lecture delivered in 1880, William James asked rhetorically, "Would England ... be the drifting raft she is now in European affairs if a Frederic the Great had inherited her throne instead of a Victoria, and if Messrs Bentham, Mill, Cobden, and Bright had all been born in Prussia?"

Beneath that, in a collection of such lectures later published under James' direction, was placed the footnote, "The reader will remember when this was written."

The suggestion of the bit about Bentham, Mill, etc. is that the utilitarians as a school helped render England ineffective as a European power, a drifting raft.

The footnote was added in 1897. So either James is suggesting that the baleful influence of Bentham, Mill etc wore off in the meantime or that he had over-estimated it.

Let's unpack this a bit.  What was happening in the period before 1880 that made England seem a drifting raft in European affairs, to a friendly though foreign observer (to the older brother…

Cancer Breakthrough

Hopeful news in recent days about an old and dear desideratum: a cure for cancer. Or at least for a cancer, and a nasty one at that.

The news comes about because investors in GlaxoSmithKline are greedy for profits, and has already inspired a bit of deregulation to boot. 

The FDA has paved the road for a speedy review of a new BCMA drug for multiple myeloma, essentially cancer of the bone marrow. This means that the US govt has removed some of the hurdles that would otherwise (by decision of the same govt) face a company trying to proceed with these trials expeditiously. 

This has been done because the Phase I clinical trial results have been very promising. The report I've seen indicates that details of these results will be shared with the world on Dec. 11 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. 

The European Medicines Agency has also given priority treatment to the drug in question. 

GSK's website identifies the drug at issue as "GSK2857916," althou…

Francesco Orsi

I thought briefly that I had found a contemporary philosopher whose views on ethics and meta-ethics checked all four key boxes. An ally all down the line.

The four, as regular readers of this blog may remember, are: cognitivism, intuitionism, consequentialism, pluralism. These represent the views that, respectively: some ethical judgments constitute knowledge; one important source for this knowledge consists of quasi-sensory non-inferential primary recognitions ("intuitions"); the right is logically dependent upon the good; and there exists an irreducible plurality of good.

Francesco Orsi seemed to believe all of these propositions. Here's his website and a link to one relevant paper:

What was better: Orsi is a young man. Born in 1980. A damned child! Has no memories of the age of disco!

So I emailed him asking if I was right that he believed all of those things. His answer: three out of …