Boom: United States Wresting The Title Of Top Energy Producer From Russia
United States hold narrow lead in Presidents Cup
energy output has been surging in recent years, a comeback fueled by shale-rock formations of oil and natural gas that was unimaginable a decade ago. A Wall Street Journal analysis of global data shows that the U.S. is on track to pass Russia as the worlds largest producer of oil and gas combined this yearif it hasnt already. The U.S. produced the equivalent of about 22 million barrels a day of oil, natural gas and related fuels in July, according to figures from the EIA and the International Energy Agency. Neither agency has data for Russias gas output this year, but Moscows forecast for 2013 oil-and-gas production works out to about 21.8 million barrels a day. U.S. imports of natural gas and crude oil have fallen 32% and 15%, respectively, in the past five years, narrowing the U.S. trade deficit. And since the U.S. is such a big consumer of energy, the shift to producing more of its own oil and gas has left substantial fuel supplies available for other buyers. Nations that rely on peddling petroleum for their economic strength and political clout face dwindling market power as a result. Oil prices so far remain high, however, closing Wednesday at $104.10 a barrel, up 18% from a year ago. Whenever companies and countries freely compete in an open global market, consumers the world over win but that is a bit of an inconvenience for the powers that be in Moscow, because its going to take a significant bite out of the regional energy dominance on which they largely rely for their geopolitical power and economic growth.
United States to fly long-range drones from Japanese base
United States Steel Corporation : Workers and employers face off at Supreme Court
“These are cases that go to the heart of the legal regimes that are necessary to enable unionization.” In one of the union cases, Harris v. Quinn, Pamela Harris, a home-based healthcare worker, sued Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn over a state statute that requires public-sector employees to pay the portion of union dues that do not go to political activities. Illinois, like many states, considers such workers state employees because their payments are administered by the state and covered by Medicaid, the federal health program for lower-income people that is administered by the states. Attorneys say the questions presented in the case are nearly identical to those in the 1977 Supreme Court case that set that standard, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. The justices hinted in 2012 in the last union case the court heard, Knox v. SEIU, that they may be willing to reconsider whether the compelled payment of union dues infringes on free speech. “Knox put into serious question whether Abood is still good law,” said Marquette University law professor Paul Secunda. “Harris might be the vehicle for overruling Abood, making it more difficult for public unions to raise dues.” The second union case, Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall, questions whether agreements between unions and private-sector employers that set conditions for unionizing a workplace violate the anti-corruption provisions in federal labor laws. It is illegal for an employer to provide “things of value” to a union. The case contends that some of the terms in these now ubiquitous agreements are essentially bribes. If the court agrees, employers and unions that enter into agreements with such terms would be committing felonies, legal experts say.
They fly at altitudes above 60,000 feet, placing them out of range of most air defences. Without pilots in the cockpit, they can fly for more than 28 hours at a time, giving them an unmatched range of nearly 9000 nautical miles. The presence of Global Hawks in East Asia is sure to irritate China, which has increasingly pushed back against the US military presence in the region. Officials in Beijing had criticised Tokyo in recent days over reports that the Japanese military was considering acquiring its own Global Hawks, saying the move could escalate tensions. China is also engaged in a bitter territorial dispute with Japan over the Senkaku Islands, an uninhabited group of outcroppings in the East China Sea that Japan nationalised last year, sparking confrontations between the two countries ships deployed in the area. Besides flying missions over North Korea, the Global Hawks would presumably give the United States and Japan better information about the movements of Chinese ships in the vicinity of Senkaku. The same goes for Chinese ships elsewhere in the region, such as the South China Sea, where China is mired in territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and other countries. The US military has flown drones over Japan in the past on a temporary basis, including after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, but next year will mark the first time it will base them in that country, according to US officials. They said the drones would be deployed on a rotational basis, meaning they could be moved elsewhere, such as Guam, for months at a time. In addition to the Global Hawks, P-8 maritime surveillance patrol aircraft will also start to be deployed in Japan in December, US and Japanese officials announced. It would be the first time the aircraft will be stationed outside the United States. The cutting-edge capabilities of the P-8, which I saw demonstrated last summer, will greatly enhance the allies ability to conduct surveillance, particularly over the open seas, Hagel said at a joint news conference with Kerry, Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. US President Barack Obama’s administration has made a point of stressing its ties to the Pacific region and showing up for Asian events as part of its pivot to Asia policy.