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    New York (CNN Business)If you follow markets news, you've probably seen a few hundred headlines this year akin to: "Stocks slide as red-hot inflation weighs on investors."At first glance, it's a perfectly reasonable thesis. Inflation rates are still at 40-year highs and the Fed is serious about raising rates to fight them. Neither is particularly good for business. Plus, it's only natural to seek out a quick and easy-to-digest explanation for big market moves.But, like most things in life, inflation's impact on markets is not that simple.Although investors may have a gut reaction to sell every time new, alarming inflation data gets announced, historically, high inflation alone has not been directly responsible for market downturns.To borrow the words of the late market luminary Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard, "the daily machinations of the stock market are like a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."Read MoreInflation and US markets have a complicated relationship, and like most relationships, long-term stability is key. Investors hate surprises. They can work with elevated inflation but they don't like sudden, sharp increases in those...
    White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended the performance of the U.S. economy Thursday when she was pressed on a new poll showing an overwhelming majority of Americans think the country is on the 'wrong track.' She was asked about a bleak Monmouth University poll that came out Tuesday, showing a stunning 88 per cent of Americans who say the nation is on the 'wrong track' – and just 10 per cent saying it is going in the right direction.     'I don't think it's that our plan is not popular with the American people. We know that the American people are feeling the high cost. We understand what they are feeling,' she told Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy. 'Because when we look at inflation, we look at where we are economically – and we are in a strong, we are stronger economically than we have been in history. You look at the unemployment numbers at 3.6%. When you look at the jobs numbers, more than 8.7 million new jobs created. That is important. But we understand that gas prices are...
    The billionaire Bloomberg propaganda outlet wants us to know that “The Surge in Gas Prices Isn’t as Painful as It Looks.” That’s the actual headline over there. The reasoning? Get this: “Fuel expenditures aren’t taking up a greater share of consumer spending than they normally do.” So what the hell are y’all whining about? You’re spending less of your income on gas! STOP WHINING! JOE BIDEN IS SAVING YOU MONEY, FOOLS! HOW DO YOU LIKE BIG JOEY NOW! This is all they got: It’s time to take a collective breath. Despite all the complaining about the cost to fill up, gasoline is no bigger a portion of household expenditures than it has been historically. The strategists at RBC Capital Markets ran the numbers and found that current fuel expenditures amount to 3.5% of total consumer spending, compared with an average of 3.6% in monthly data going back three decades. Here’s another way to think about this: The previous high in gasoline prices was around $4 a gallon in 2008, or $1 lower than they are now. But back then, gasoline...
    Washington (CNN)Gas prices are too high. Almost everyone agrees on that. How to address it is another story entirely. President Joe Biden waded more forcefully into the debate on Wednesday, pitching a temporary gasoline tax holiday as a prudent step forward. "By suspending the 18-cent gas tax, federal gas tax, for the next 90 days, we can bring down the price of gas and give families just a little bit of relief," Biden said in a speech from the White House.But such a step is a long shot in Congress. Here's what you need to know about the President's proposal and why it's likely to stay just that. Read MoreWhat is a gas tax holiday?A gas tax holiday is exactly what it sounds like. The typical taxes that are applied to purchases of gasoline and diesel are lifted for a period of time, offering a measure of relief to consumers. These tax holidays can come from the federal government, state governments or both. Revenue raised from the federal gas tax helps finance the Highway Trust Fund, which is already short...
    (CNN)Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo conceded Tuesday that there is not much more the White House can do to tackle record high gas prices for Americans, casting blame on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "Unfortunately, that is the brutal reality," Raimondo said in response to CNN's Kate Bolduan saying there's not much action left that President Joe Biden can take. She continued, "You know, this is, in large part, caused by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's aggression. You know, since Putin move troops to the border of Ukraine, gas prices have gone up over $1.40 a gallon, and the President is asking for Congress and others for potential ideas. But as you say, the reality is that there isn't very much more to be done."The bleak assessment from the Commerce secretary comes as prices have been spiking for weeks, causing pain at the pump for Americans heading into the summer and political headaches for the Biden administration amid already-high inflation.The national average price for regular gasoline jumped another five cents on Tuesday to a fresh record of $4.92 a gallon, according to AAA....
    London (CNN Business)Russia's increasingly aggressive actions against its European gas customers are taking a toll. The country's natural gas exports have tumbled by more than a quarter since January. But surging prices have kept Russia's coffers bulging as it continues to cut off deliveries.Moscow's gas exports to countries outside of its Commonwealth of Independent States, which includes 11 countries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, fell nearly 28% in the first five months of 2022, Russian state energy giant Gazprom (GZPFY) said on Wednesday. So far, Gazprom has cut off at least 20 billion cubic meters of its annual gas supplies to customers in six European countries — Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands — because they failed to make payments in rubles, a demand President Vladimir Putin made back in March. That amounts to nearly 13% of the European Union's total annual gas imports from Russia, according to data from the International Energy Agency. But James Huckstepp, head of EMEA gas analytics at S&P Global Commodity Insights, told CNN Business that gas prices have risen to an...
    New York (CNN Business)Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said President Joe Biden is laser-focused on knocking down sky-high gasoline prices, though she concedes that even the most powerful person on the planet has limited influence to do that."He's obsessed with the fact that gas prices are so high and people are hurting," Granholm told CNN on Tuesday following a rare tour of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the nation's emergency oil stockpile. Granholm argued that by unleashing record amounts of emergency oil to ease strains caused by the war in Ukraine, Biden has already used the "biggest tool" at his disposal to address energy crises. "The president doesn't control the price," the former governor of Michigan said during the interview at a General Electric wind turbine facility in New Orleans. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm described the Strategic Petroleum Reserve the "biggest tool" in the president's arsenal to combat high gas prices. Granholm toured Bayou Choctaw, one of the four major oil storage sites in SPR, the nation's emergency stockpile of oil.Granholm was speaking hours after touring Bayou Choctaw, one of the...
    PALO ALTO – One out of every six homes in this leafy birthplace of Silicon Valley has a plug-in car, with more to come. Other homes have heat pumps, induction cook tops and arrays of glistening solar panels that help reduce climate change. Yet yesterday’s electrical grid can’t keep up with tomorrow’s carbon-free ambitions. “We’re in a ‘ramp up’ mode. We won’t hit our goals unless we accelerate,” said Mayor Pat Burt, who drives a plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander. “But we really don’t have the capacity to do it faster than we’ve been doing it. That’s the crunch.” It is a harbinger of what is to come in other California cities. As Berkeley, San Jose and a growing number of other communities commit to an all-electric future, their transformers and distribution lines are being sorely challenged by the need to deliver much more power. Los Angeles is also proposing to study what is needed to modernize its power grid infrastructure. In Palo Alto, the grid of this entire city was built around the electrical needs of the 1950s, ‘60s and...
    Fox News anchor Sandra Smith had to step in and remind Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Monday afternoon that a recently completed Russian gas pipeline to Europe is not actually operational and, therefore, does not provide any current revenue to the Russian government. While interviewing the conservative lawmaker on Fox News’ America Reports, Smith brought up the global uproar over the latest atrocities committed against Ukrainian civilians in Russia’s unprovoked war and wondered if this would increase U.S. involvement in the region. “Do we need to get tougher when it comes to sanctions, senator?” Smith asked. “Oh, yes, indeed,” Blackburn exclaimed. “We need to be tougher with the economic sanctions, there should be sanctions on Nord Stream 2. Sandra, the way that [Russian President Vladmir] Putin is able to finance this war is because you’ve got France and Germany and other EU countries still buying oil and gas from Russia.” Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States slapped sanctions on the company in charge of building and operating Nord Stream 2, a divisive energy project that was designed...
    VIDEO2:3202:32There needs to be an 'honest conversation' about energy prices: Investment bankCapital Connection Consumers have to be ready for a period of higher prices as Russia continues its war in Ukraine and disruptions to the global energy market persist, according to an energy expert. The war in Ukraine following Russia's invasion in late February has thrown energy markets into disarray and driven up the price of wheat. Russia and Ukraine are among the world's top exporters of wheat. "If people believe this is important, if people believe this is a generational security crisis, then we need to think about what sacrifices people are willing to pay in defense of these values," said Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy of RBC Capital Markets. Washington and its allies have imposed punishing sanctions on Russia, including on energy exports, which could lead to inflation. "What is the price consumers in the West are willing to pay for the principle that you cannot invade a sovereign nation [and] rip up the security architecture in Europe?" she asked. "I think consumers simply have to...
    White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday grew short fending off questions about why President Biden isn't doing more to increase domestic oil production as she insisted that Vladimir Putin was to blame for sky-high gas prices. The press secretary also said that the White House has not yet reached a decision on whether to ban Russian oil and gas, which accounted for about 8 percent of US petroleum imports in 2021.   'We're asking other countries to think about maybe pumping more oil. Why not just do it here?' Fox News' Peter Doocy asked the press secretary.  'To be very clear federal policies are not limiting the supplies of oil and gas,' Psaki said. Doocy then noted that Biden had signed an executive order that put a pause on new oil and gas leases on federal land.  'Let me give you the facts here and I know they can be inconvenient but I think they're important in this moment,' Psaki replied.  'We have been clear that the short term supply must keep up with the demand here and around...
    Faster justice HAMMERING UK-based Russian oligarchs is an urgent weapon against Putin. Why isn’t the Government acting with the pace it needs? 3The Government must act with pace to hammer UK-based Russian oligarchsCredit: AFP The EU has sanctioned 25 already. It is way ahead of us. We know Downing Street is hamstrung by the prospect of legal cases in London courts — and grasping lawyers still willing to represent Putin’s cronies. But unless Whitehall’s sluggish legal teams pull their finger out these tycoons will have fled with their billions before we’ve had a chance to seize them. Granted, they will have to live out their years in an economic wasteland cut off from the world. But still. Boris Johnson deserves credit for his handling of the Ukraine catastrophe, for championing the crippling sanctions on the Kremlin regime and for the aid he has poured in to the resistance to it. His Government has still been far too slow to go after the madman’s mates. Most read in NewsHELPING HAND Russian soldier 'in tears as Ukrainian locals feed him...
    by Stephanie Catarino Wissman   Within hours of taking office on January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order cancelling the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL pipeline as part of a plan to phase out natural gas and oil, eliminating thousands of family-sustaining jobs. At the same time, the Biden administration promised plenty of “good-paying” positions would be available in the renewable energy sector. But the reality is that natural gas and oil jobs don’t easily transfer to the renewables sector, as a new analysis by Cicero, in coordination with North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) and American Petroleum Institute (API), shows. Careers in the natural gas and oil industry pay seven times the federal minimum wage and over 70 percent more than the average U.S. job, one of the factors making transferability both unreasonable and economically unsustainable for families. The analysis found that only two of the 18 most common natural gas and oil jobs are reasonably transferable to the 18 most in-demand renewable energy jobs. Painting industry jobs with a broad brush fails to consider how skills, education,...
    The high price of gasoline is displayed at a Los Angeles gas station on November 24, 2021.Chris Delmas | AFP | Getty Images A popular trick at gas stations this fall is to slap a sticker featuring President Joe Biden pointing to the price per gallon and saying, "I did that."  But the real answer has more to with Wall Street than Pennsylvania Avenue. The root cause of today's high gas prices isn't politics: It's financial pressure on oil companies from a decade of cash-flow losses that have made them change financial tactics. Investment in new wells has dropped more than 60%, causing U.S. crude oil production to plummet by more than 3 million barrels a day, or nearly 25%, just as the Covid virus hit, and then fail to recover with the economy. For an oil-drilling sector that lost 90% of its stock value from 2012 through early last year, it hasn't been the toughest call in the world. Oil company chief executives and finance chiefs have faced years of rising demand from markets for more disciplined capital spending...
    (CNN)West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin -- a Democrat -- appears to be intent on ripping the heart out of President Joe Biden's climate change agenda.With his all-powerful 50th vote as leverage, Manchin's reported opposition to Biden's plan for a $150 billion plan to pay power generators to further cut reliance on fossil fuels, kills the plan.It wouldn't be the first time he's committed violence on legislation to address climate change. Back in 2010, when he won as a Democrat in a red state in a very red year, Manchin did it by running an ad in which he literally fired a bullet into climate change legislation. That legislation, the last major attempt to enact climate change legislation, did fail.Eleven years later, the effects of the climate crisis are all the more apparent and frightening but Manchin is still out to get climate change legislation he thinks will hurt his state. It could also hurt him. His family's wealth is directly tied to coal.Read MoreRELATED: Gas prices are high. That could mess with Biden's climate agendaYears later, he's a man specifically...
    New York (CNN Business)The Colonial Pipeline is back in action after a six-day shutdown, but widespread gas station outages in the Southeast could linger for days.Industry executives and government officials warned it will take time to refill gasoline supplies depleted by panic-buying, a truck driver shortage and the ransomware attack on the pipeline.As of 7 a.m. ET Thursday, a staggering 71% of the gas stations in North Carolina and 55% in Virginia were without gasoline, according to GasBuddy, a platform that tracks fuel demand, prices and outages. And 49% of the stations in Georgia are without gas.That means all three states only saw "limited overnight improvement" in the availability of gas, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. Colonial Pipeline launches restart after six-day shutdownGasBuddy reported major outages in Washington DC (47%), South Carolina (54%), Florida (31%), Tennessee (34%) and Maryland (34%).Read MoreMajor cities including Atlanta, Charlotte, Myrtle Beach and Raleigh are seeing "some" improvement in outages, De Haan wrote on Twitter.Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the Colonial Pipeline indicated Thursday morning that the restart of...
    (CNN)On Wednesday, BMW unveiled the i4, the latest addition to its line of electric cars. And while the luxury automaker plans to add more electric vehicles to its lineup, it made clear that it will still make cars with gas engines for the foreseeable future.BMW chairman Oliver Zipse said in an online press conference, the company will keep developing, building and selling cars with internal combustion engines, including plug-in hybrids."If there are no customers [for these vehicles] in our 140 markets, we will stop producing them," he said. The BMW i4 is an all-electric sedan and the latest addition to the automaker's EV lineup.This is a departure from some of the other major automakers. While not firmly committing itself, General Motors has said it plans to sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2035. Volvo announced recently it will become a fully electric car brand by 2030. BMW, however, is not putting any timeline on when, or if, it will become an all-electric carmaker.But at some point, it may have very little choice. Some countries and states have said they plan to...
    New York (CNN Business)President Joe Biden is cracking down on the oil-and-gas industry, but he is not taking the extreme steps the Trump campaign claimed he would last fall.Last week, the Biden administration imposed a 60-day suspension of new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits on federal lands unless the Interior Department's leaders approved them.Biden is expected to go a step further Wednesday, by ordering a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal land and water areas. However, this is a far cry from the more dramatic step climate activists are calling for (and that the oil industry fears): a full-blown federal ban on fracking. From Keystone XL to Paris Agreement, Joe Biden signals a shift away from fossil fuelsDuring the campaign, Biden explicitly opposed a nationwide ban on the controversial oil-and-gas technique, although the Trump campaign repeatedly suggested otherwise. And it's not even clear that a president has the legal power to ban fracking on private lands -- that would likely take an act of Congress.Read MoreRather, Biden's moratorium on oil and gas leases applies only...
    Solar panel array in Irwindale, California.Ringo Chiu/Zuma For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.This piece was originally published in Slate and appears here as part of our Climate Desk Partnership. The recent “heat storm” in California has pushed grid operators to impose rolling blackouts for the first time since 2001. A combination of heavy air conditioning usage, the unplanned unavailability of some power plants, limited options for importing power from neighboring states, and insufficient solar and wind generation have led to an imbalance of electricity generation and consumption. As Stephen Berberich, president of the California Independent System Operator, or CAISO, which oversees operation of the state’s electric grid, told Sammy Roth of the Los Angeles Times, “We thought there would be adequate power to supply the demand…We were wrong.” The blackouts are designed to affect customers for no more than an hour or two. Some may find that little more than mildly inconvenient. Others more prone to heat stress or in possession of medicines that require refrigeration might be more worried, with good reason. The aggregate...
    Sarah Trad and Christina Lower were both caught by the edge of a cloud of tear gas when they attended a protest against police brutality early this month. They weren’t in the direct line of fire, but they both felt the effects of the gas, like tingling skin and watering eyes. Trad started her period early, a few days later, and experienced more cramping than usual. After seeing social media posts about a possible link between early periods and tear gas, she texted Lower to ask if her period had come early, too. It had — the night that Lower had been exposed to the gas. In fact, her period was about five days early, which was unusual. “I said, wow, that just seems like too much of a coincidence,” Lower says. On social media, other people said they’ve had similar changes to their menstrual cycle after being exposed to tear gas. The abortion rights advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio warned on Twitter that these chemicals are “known to cause miscarriages.” But scientists know very little about the effects...
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