American business – Priscillas Friends http://priscillasfriends.org/ Mon, 08 Aug 2022 18:23:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://priscillasfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/cropped-icon-32x32.png American business – Priscillas Friends http://priscillasfriends.org/ 32 32 Gas prices have fallen. Here’s why inflation hasn’t https://priscillasfriends.org/gas-prices-have-fallen-heres-why-inflation-hasnt/ Mon, 08 Aug 2022 17:30:00 +0000 https://priscillasfriends.org/gas-prices-have-fallen-heres-why-inflation-hasnt/ But no one has sipped the champagne yet. Although gasoline prices have played a significant role in the current historic inflation spurt, analysts warn that there are still a number of factors that will keep overall prices from falling anytime soon. “Russia and Ukraine are a factor but … we had tight reserves,” said Rob […]]]>

But no one has sipped the champagne yet. Although gasoline prices have played a significant role in the current historic inflation spurt, analysts warn that there are still a number of factors that will keep overall prices from falling anytime soon.

“Russia and Ukraine are a factor but … we had tight reserves,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at US Bank Wealth Management. “We would like to see an end to the conflict in Russia and Ukraine. But I think we are still facing a global economy that lacks oil in the short term.”

Besides Russia’s war with Ukraine and sanctions that have disrupted its oil exports, the unwillingness – or inability, according to some oil analysts – of members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to significantly increase production limits the amount of additional oil coming to world markets. The oil group and its partners, known as OPEC+, announced last week a small production increase of 100,000 barrels per day for September, less than the market had expected.

Another factor is the reluctance of US producers to invest big money in extracting and, more importantly, refining fossil fuels when long-term political goals suggest diminishing returns from switching to renewables.

“There is a structural problem with the oil and gas industry and it has to do with refining capacity,” said Jeff Klearman, portfolio manager at ETF firm GraniteShares. “Oil companies, not only in the United States but around the world, have not increased their refining capacity. This continues to put pressure on gas prices.”

Peter McNally, global head of the industries, materials and energy sector at investment firm Third Bridge, said there was “misunderstood criticism” of rising refiner profits, pointing to the investments made to convert existing refining facilities to process biofuels. “These companies are investing for the energy transition,” he said.

Housing is getting more and more expensive

Housing is a big part of an average family’s budget, and it’s also a big part of the basket of goods and services that the government uses to calculate inflation. The way the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the cost of housing makes it a very influential component of the consumer price index. Shelter costs include equivalent landlord rent and principal residence rent, which reflects the amount landlords and tenants pay to live in their dwelling. Housing accounts for about a third of the overall CPI and about 40% of the core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices.
“What’s important is housing,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research. “While we’ve seen new and existing home sales start to fall, prices haven’t gone down because there’s still more demand than supply.”
Existing home prices hit a new high of $416,000 in June, up 13.4% from a year ago. a february Realtor.com report found that at the median, renters earning the typical family income in their area pay nearly 30% of their income in rent, a threshold that policymakers consider “rent burdened”.
Moreover, the double whammy of higher prices and high mortgage rates continues to make home ownership out of reach for many, with more and more families forced to stay on the sidelines as the impact of Aggressive rate hikes from the Federal Reserve drives up the cost of buying a home.

“Housing prices will likely stay high and, in a sense, keep inflation high for longer,” Stovall said.

Distorted demand and labor shortages

Since the pandemic, a surge in demand for physical goods has completely disrupted supply chains, hampering logistics and causing huge price distortions.

“Inflation is primarily caused by excess demand for too few goods,” said David Dollar, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

You're not the only one confused about the economy.  Experts are also baffled

This demand has led to factory closures in China, causing cascading maritime traffic jams in Pacific ports. When the ships docked, there were not enough workers to unload the cargo or drive the trucks that would transport it first to warehouses and then to consumers.

“Overall demand for goods has increased quite dramatically, so suddenly we’ve asked our system to handle a lot more stuff,” Dollar said. The result was chaos and a sudden demand for workers – at all costs.

“The lack of truckers reflects [that] we need more workers than we actually have, and that’s solved by higher wages,” Haworth said. In June, there were more than three-quarters of a million more workers in the transportation and warehousing sectors than before the pandemic.

Salaries and raises

Economists expect wage gains, which have hovered just above 5% on an annualized basis, to moderate for the rest of the year. But employers still face a severe labor shortage, forcing companies to offer competitive salaries to attract and retain talent.

There were 10.7 million unfilled jobs in June, the BLS reported last week. Although down from a record high of 11.7 million in April, that still represents nearly two vacancies for every unemployed American worker.

“What we don’t yet clearly know is what is the new post-pandemic normal when it comes to demand? Right now it looks like wage pressures have been there for a while,” Haworth said. .

Indeed, unlike supply chain grunts or even soaring commodity prices, the inflation creeping into wages is not easily undone. Even though companies may pay less for components or raw materials, they are unlikely to implement pay cuts, so inflation persists.

“It’s strongly correlated with wage growth. That’s not to say higher wages are a bad thing,” Haworth said. “When people have more money, they can buy more stuff. But if there isn’t more stuff, the prices go up. Ultimately, that translates into some pressure on the prices of everything else.”

Recent wage gains follow fiscal and monetary policies that have contributed to a cash-flooded economy due to stimulus payments to individuals and businesses, as well as quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve.

“They pumped a ton of money into the system,” Klearman said. Like higher wages, all that cash — and too few goods to spend it — is another contributor to the price hikes consumers are experiencing on everything from cars to camping gear to cookies.

The light at the end of the tunnel?

Despite expectations that inflation is likely to hold until 2023, there is some bright spots.

Along with paying less for commuting and shopping, Stovall says high airfares could come down to earth, and supermarket shoppers could see some grocery costs drop slightly if producers or distributors don’t have to. pay as much for transport in order to put their goods on the shelves. “You might start to see some food price competition start to enter the market as the cost of transportation inputs start to come down,” he said.

As supply chain rumblings persist in some sectors – General Motors told investors on its quarterly conference call last month that it had manufactured 95,000 vehicles in the previous quarter that cannot be finished or sold, because the company can’t get the parts it needs to finish them – there is a feeling that the previous stalemate period is easing.
There have also been recent high-profile cases of retail markdowns: Walmart and Target both said they had to cut prices to unload large amounts of unsold inventory that lingered on shelves as Americans redirected their spending to services like restaurants and live events.
There is also renewed, if uncertain, hope that President Joe Biden will reverse one or more tranches of the punitive tariffs Trump has imposed on China in what experts agree is a largely failed attempt to force Beijing to buy more. US agricultural products and other key exports. .
A analysis by the Peterson Institute of International Economics estimated that over time, cutting Trump’s tariffs and other tariffs could reduce inflation by up to 1.3 percentage points, helping the average American household to save nearly $800 a year.

“Certainly it would make sense to remove the tariffs now,” Dollar said. “They’re not hitting any targets and they’re being paid for by American households.”

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How the Afghan War Was Lost, in Five Easy Steps https://priscillasfriends.org/how-the-afghan-war-was-lost-in-five-easy-steps/ Sat, 06 Aug 2022 17:59:12 +0000 https://priscillasfriends.org/how-the-afghan-war-was-lost-in-five-easy-steps/ Comment this story Comment America’s abrupt abandonment of Afghanistan a year ago precipitated a humanitarian crisis and was a debacle for the Joe Biden administration; the president’s approval ratings plunged and did not recover. Seeing Kabul fall to the Taliban was also a difficult experience for the veterans who fought there. Elliot Ackerman’s forthcoming book, […]]]>

Comment

America’s abrupt abandonment of Afghanistan a year ago precipitated a humanitarian crisis and was a debacle for the Joe Biden administration; the president’s approval ratings plunged and did not recover. Seeing Kabul fall to the Taliban was also a difficult experience for the veterans who fought there.

Elliot Ackerman’s forthcoming book, “The Fifth Act: America’s End in Afghanistan,” is a searing condemnation of both the conduct and the abandonment of the war effort. Ackerman, a former Marine Corps and CIA officer who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, is one of the most prolific and powerful figures in the current writing renaissance among American military veterans. (He is also co-author, with Bloomberg Opinion columnist Admiral James Stavridis, of the best-selling “2034: A Novel of the Next World War.”) “The Fifth Act” weaves the languor of his vacation into family in Italy with the urgency of trying to get people out of Afghanistan and the regrettable ruminations about the meaning of his service and the wars he fought in. Below is a slightly edited transcript of a recent conversation with Ackerman about the book:

Kori Schake: I love the opening line of the book: “War has always been there, even if I don’t go there anymore. The idea of ​​deciding to leave, of soldiers in long-running wars having to negotiate their own separate peace, resonates throughout the book. Explain why this is such a heavy emotional burden.

Elliot Ackerman: Because there’s always another deployment to do. Every time I came back from Iraq or Afghanistan, there was the question of the next deployment. Are you going? It’s hard to bow out, no matter how many deployments you’ve already made. Those guys you serve with are your best friends, so it’s hard to tell them you’re done, that they can go on without you, that maybe it’s not the time for them to quit the war, but he is for you. This type of decision can weigh on friendships. It certainly weighed on some of mine.

KS: Why did you call the book “The Fifth Act”?

EA: As Kabul was falling, a friend of mine, Bari Weiss, asked me to contribute a short article on Afghanistan to her Substack. I was, admittedly, feeling short of what to write. I mean, what else was there to say about Afghanistan after 20 years of war?

She said, “Elliot, most people haven’t paid attention to this for years. It’s a tragedy, maybe you can just explain what’s going on. It is this word, tragedy, which marked me. Going back to Horace and the ancients, in classical dramatic structures, the tragedies are told in five acts. I then wrote this short article in Bari which broke down the Afghan war into five acts: Bush, Obama, Trump, Biden and, as a denouement, the Taliban. I realized later that this would be the structure of this book.

KS: You write that “never before has America engaged in protracted conflict with an all-volunteer army funded by deficit spending.” How did this change the American mode of warfare?

EA: Successive Republican and Democratic administrations have deliberately numb Americans to wars fought in their name. Our political class has done this by the way they structure our wars – we don’t pay war taxes because we put the cost in our deficit; an ever-shrinking band of Americans, that 1% of us manning our all-volunteer force shoulder the burden.

The result is that war has become easy to wage because only a small segment of society feels the pain. Wars were existential events in American society and defined generations. Not anymore, and not for my generation. I have often wondered if it would not be better to be part of a “lost generation” than to be “the lost part of a generation”.

KS: You write that the choice to build in plywood explains the American failures in Afghanistan. Please explain.

EA: If you travel to Afghanistan, one thing you will notice in most major US military bases, in places like Bagram or Kandahar, is that even after 20 years of war, much of the construction of our neighborhood general was made of plywood, as though our occupation was temporary and at any moment we were going to leave. This decision to build with plywood rather than more durable materials speaks to the passing psychology of the American effort in Afghanistan.

We fought a 20-year war, but at any time during those 20 years we had one foot out, with a planned withdrawal in a few months. In his book on Vietnam, “A Bright Shining Lie”, journalist Neil Sheehan quotes John Paul Vann, a legendary army and foreign service officer, who said: “The problem with Vietnam was not that we fought a seven-year war, but that we fought seven one-year wars. The same could be said of Afghanistan, and if you want a physical reminder of that truth, it’s our decision to build in plywood.

KS: You write: “Every year we couldn’t even agree on what winning looked like. And so we lost. Please explain your thoughts on what it takes to win a war.

EA: A coherent strategic objective is what is needed.

We never had that in Afghanistan. Were we there to rebuild Afghanistan? To kill Osama bin Laden? Denying Afghanistan as a haven for terrorists? All the foregoing? None of these answers? Four presidents, Democrat and Republican, could never answer what it meant to win.

If you look at the wars we have won, there has been a clear strategic objective: To preserve the Union; the unconditional surrender of the Axis powers; pushing Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. The wars we lose, there is always a vague strategic objective.

It also requires strategic patience, a conviction on the part of your enemy that your will is greater than his. A truism in Afghanistan was that the Americans had the watches but the Taliban had the time. We never convinced the Taliban or the Afghans that we had both the clocks and the time. And so we lost.

KS: You’re thinking about American war memorials and how you would design one memorial for all of our wars. Talk about it, please.

EA: Planning for a memorial to the Global War on Terror has been going on for several years. The Global War on Terror technically isn’t over, and it doesn’t look like the clearances behind it will be revoked anytime soon. This creates an interesting puzzle: how do you create a memorial for an ongoing war?

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, established in 1982, ushered in an era of building war memorials on the National Mall. Before that, the National Mall was a place where we commemorated individuals – Washington, Lincoln, Grant – not wars. But that’s changed over the past 40 years, and with real estate on the National Mall dwindling, there’s often a lot of controversy about whether certain disputes deserve a memorial.

I think we should abolish all these individual war memorials. Instead, we should have one National War Memorial. I imagine it’s a black trench like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, but it winds underground like something out of Dante. A war memorial built into the earth rather than above it seems appropriate; If there’s one thing you learn to do in the military, it’s dig.

This spiral trench would have all the names of the American war dead, more than a million, starting with Crispus Attucks, a free man of African and Native descent who is considered the first death of the American Revolution. Every time we went to war, we dug a little deeper to add the names. Bottom to bottom we were going. We wouldn’t have to debate real estate on the mall, we would just keep digging.

Additionally, I would propose that Congress pass a law that whenever the president signs a troop deployment order, he or she can only do so with a special pen kept under surveillance on a special desk next to the name family on the American War Memorial. .

KS: Much of your fiction is about war, and you explore it from so many different angles – the sympathetic portrayal of an Afghan who kills American soldiers in “Green on Blue”; the desperate refugees in “Dark at the Crossing”. What is your favorite book about war?

EA: It’s difficult. There are so many books that on the surface are about war but have a much broader subject than war. There are also many books that don’t seem to be about war at all, but are actually very related to the subject. I guess I’ll choose a favorite from the latter category: “The Catcher in the Rye”. JD Salinger landed on D-Day, fought in Huertgen Forest, and helped liberate Dachau. But he never wrote much about the war, or at least not from the front. He treated the subject obliquely.

“The Catcher in the Rye” is the greatest novel about World War II and its long shadow. The voice of Holden Caufield, for which the novel is renowned, is the voice of a veteran, for whom everyone is “an impostor” and who wants to visit the ducks of Central Park, to find an innocence that will never return. never and perhaps never was. The last line of the novel — “Never tell anyone. If you do, everyone misses you” – is one that I have often referred to.

More from Bloomberg Opinion:

• All wars are culture wars: Kori Schake

• Biden’s Afghan withdrawal ended in disaster: Hal Brands

• In the end, the Afghan army was always doomed: James Stavridis

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board or of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Kori Schake leads the Foreign and Defense Policy team at the American Enterprise Institute.

More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com/opinion

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Kevin Plank on Under Armor CEO Search, New Footwear Franchise – Footwear News https://priscillasfriends.org/kevin-plank-on-under-armor-ceo-search-new-footwear-franchise-footwear-news/ Wed, 03 Aug 2022 16:59:44 +0000 https://priscillasfriends.org/kevin-plank-on-under-armor-ceo-search-new-footwear-franchise-footwear-news/ Under Armor Inc. is looking to the future, Executive Chairman and Chief Brand Officer Kevin Plank said in a call today with investors – which includes actively searching for a new CEO and preparing for the unveiling of a major new footwear platform. The Baltimore, Maryland-based sports company released its fiscal first quarter results on […]]]>

Under Armor Inc. is looking to the future, Executive Chairman and Chief Brand Officer Kevin Plank said in a call today with investors – which includes actively searching for a new CEO and preparing for the unveiling of a major new footwear platform.

The Baltimore, Maryland-based sports company released its fiscal first quarter results on Wednesday, reporting revenue of $1.3 billion, which was flat from last year’s results and in line with expectations. . On a currency-neutral basis, revenue increased by 2%.

Net income totaled $8 million, or $0.02 of diluted earnings per share, in the quarter. Adjusted net income was $15 million, or $0.03.

Chief Financial Officer David Bergman noted that the company’s results included “a 10 point headwind from proactive order cancellations due to supply constraints.” Under Armor was also negatively impacted by the latest COVID-19 lockdowns in China, resulting in an 8% decline in revenue in the Asia-Pacific region.

Its North American business, meanwhile, was flat in the first quarter (or up 1% on a currency-neutral basis), and EMEA sales were down 1% in the period (or up 6% on a currency-neutral basis).

After a series of lackluster quarters and the unexpected departure of former president and CEO Patrik Frisk in May, Plank acknowledged on the call that Under Armor was in a transitional phase, but stressed that he did not seek to recreate past successes. “We have no illusions of ‘returning’ to a previous chapter in our past. We are both looking to move forward,” he said.

To that end, he said the board was conducting a formal search for its new CEO, led by industry veteran Karen Katz. “The pool we have to choose from is comprehensive and robust, including [interim CEO] Hake [Browne]. And we’ll be making a terrific choice for the next CEO of Under Armor before the end of the year,” Plank said.

He added that the board’s marching orders for the next chief executive are to “take care of the brand, optimize the assets we already have – because there are so many, from partnerships to relationships with athletes – to be opportunistic when it makes sense, to generate love for the UA brand, and the rest will follow.

In the meantime, however, Plank said the company isn’t standing still. This fall, Under Armor is set to launch new performance footwear technology that will bolster its already estimated $1.5 billion footwear business. The franchise will launch with a training shoe before expanding to other categories where Under Armor competes.

Plank said the technology was discovered through an athlete’s insight and had the potential to “change the landscape of athletic footwear.”

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American Water Achieves Drone Program Milestone and Obtains FAA BVLOS Waiver https://priscillasfriends.org/american-water-achieves-drone-program-milestone-and-obtains-faa-bvlos-waiver/ Mon, 01 Aug 2022 18:00:00 +0000 https://priscillasfriends.org/american-water-achieves-drone-program-milestone-and-obtains-faa-bvlos-waiver/ CAMDEN, NJ–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American water (NYSE: AWK), the largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company in the United States, is proud to announce a milestone for its Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) program. American Water has obtained a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). This waiver will […]]]>

CAMDEN, NJ–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American water (NYSE: AWK), the largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company in the United States, is proud to announce a milestone for its Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) program. American Water has obtained a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). This waiver will allow American Water to fly 4 miles from the UAS pilot, providing the company with the opportunity to improve its monitoring of source water and potential environmental threats to the water supply.

“This waiver is a significant and exceptionally rare achievement for American Water and our UAS program,” said Christopher Kahn, Director of UAS, American Water. “American Water captures more than 500,000 aerial images and maps of its assets each year through our drone program. These images help us monitor our systems and continue to provide our customers with safe and reliable water and wastewater service. »

American Water also places great importance on aviation safety. The company uses an aviation safety management system (SMS) and its pilots receive up to 250 hours of initial training, depending on the complexity of the airframe and the mission. Beyond training, SMS provides a structured means of decision-making in security risk management.

In addition to water source monitoring, American Water intends to use BVLOS for emergency response activities. “As a water utility, many of our critical facilities are located at low elevations and may be inaccessible for extended periods during flooding,” Kahn says. “Our long-range mapping and inspection cells, the Censys Technologies Sentaero BVLOS V2, provide the ability to safely inspect facilities miles away, while remaining in the air for over an hour.

“Receiving this FAA approval for American Water is significant for the integration of drones into the national airspace, as it is an example of standardizing enterprise operations across multiple applications,” says Trevor Perrott, CEO and co-founder of Censys Technologies. “Thanks to the leadership of American Water, our country is one step closer to making safe BVLOS drone missions commonplace. What is exciting is that the story does not end there.

American Water is currently working closely with several government agencies and partner organizations to enable BVLOS UAS missions during Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs), which are typically in place after natural disasters.

About US Water

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is America’s largest and most geographically diverse water and wastewater utility company. The company employs approximately 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and similar drinking water and sanitation services to approximately 14 million people in 24 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to help them get on with their lives. For more information, visit amwater.com and diversityataw.com. Follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Censys Technologies

Censys Technologies Corporation builds remote sensing hardware and software solutions for UAS service providers, enterprises, and government entities. This includes the Sentaero product family, which is the leader in drone performance and value for agriculture, infrastructure monitoring, disaster relief and public safety. Founded by three Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University alumni in 2017, Censys Technologies’ priorities are centered on understanding customer needs and providing technologies and products that will work and grow their business – bringing business intelligence beyond the horizon.

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American High’s Anniversary Postponed Due to Filming Schedule – Eagle News Online https://priscillasfriends.org/american-highs-anniversary-postponed-due-to-filming-schedule-eagle-news-online/ Sat, 30 Jul 2022 02:35:24 +0000 https://priscillasfriends.org/american-highs-anniversary-postponed-due-to-filming-schedule-eagle-news-online/ LIVERPOOL – After putting its summer film festival on hold, US film company High is now postponing the fifth anniversary celebration which was scheduled in Liverpool for August 20. Heath Cottingem – director of operations for American High’s Academy at Syracuse Studios – appeared before the Liverpool Village Planning Committee on July 25 and announced […]]]>

LIVERPOOL – After putting its summer film festival on hold, US film company High is now postponing the fifth anniversary celebration which was scheduled in Liverpool for August 20.

Heath Cottingem – director of operations for American High’s Academy at Syracuse Studios – appeared before the Liverpool Village Planning Committee on July 25 and announced that the anniversary celebration was postponed until the fall, possibly in October.

In a telephone interview, Axelle Azoulay, co-director of the all-day outdoor anniversary, said she was disappointed but understood the reasons for the postponement.

“We have a major film shoot here this summer,” she pointed out.

Last week, Cottingem presented the planning committee with a 13-day shooting schedule for a comedy horror film, from July 29 to August 26. Cameras will roll August 1, 2, and 3 at 412 Cypress St., and all subsequent scenes. will be filmed at the American High building at 800 Fourth St.

This property, which American High CEO Jeremy Garelick bought in 2017, includes over 6 acres of land as well as the former Liverpool High School building, built in 1929.

According to this summer’s filming schedule, the planned scenes involve special effects, pyrotechnics, stunts, props and child actors. During filming on August 25 at 800 Fourth St., an animal trainer will oversee the performance of a goat.

Azoulay declined to name the film’s title or stars at this time.

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Hixson Utility Will Increase Water Bills Next Month; Tennessee American can follow suit https://priscillasfriends.org/hixson-utility-will-increase-water-bills-next-month-tennessee-american-can-follow-suit/ Wed, 27 Jul 2022 22:51:46 +0000 https://priscillasfriends.org/hixson-utility-will-increase-water-bills-next-month-tennessee-american-can-follow-suit/ Water bills will rise for nearly 28,000 homes and businesses in Hixson next week and could rise next week for more than 78,000 Tennessee American Water customers in Chattanooga. The Hixson Utility District will increase monthly water bills by 81.5 cents per month for the typical residential water user, starting August 1, by adjusting the […]]]>

Water bills will rise for nearly 28,000 homes and businesses in Hixson next week and could rise next week for more than 78,000 Tennessee American Water customers in Chattanooga.

The Hixson Utility District will increase monthly water bills by 81.5 cents per month for the typical residential water user, starting August 1, by adjusting the minimum monthly fee consumers pay for residential connections. The typical residential water charge for the semi-monthly bill in Hixson will increase by about $1.63 to cover inflationary cost increases since the last rate adjustment five years ago.

Chattanooga water users could see their monthly bills rise even more if regulators agree to allow Tennessee American Water to pass through $20.4 million in annual utility expenses for upgrades and expansions. drinking water system over the past year. Tennessee American has applied to the state Utilities Commission for approval to raise water rates, effective Aug. 8, while the commission continues to review the company’s annual filing to recover its capital costs.

(READ MORE: New industrial park planned at former Dupont site in Hixson)

Daphne Kirksey, spokeswoman for Tennessee American Water, said the company proposed to increase Chattanooga’s average residential customer by $1.30 per month, based on 4,154 gallons of usage. Tennessee utilities are permitted to pass on the cost of approved capital investments necessary to maintain and meet water quality and delivery requirements, subject to regulatory review by the Tennessee Public Utilities Commission.

“Tennessee American Water has asked TPUC to allow the tariffs to take effect August 8 while TPUC determines a hearing date,” Kirksey said in an emailed statement.

The Hixson Utilities District Board has already approved its water rate increase, which will be added to August bills and begin to appear with the next billing cycle. Greg Butler, executive director of Hixson Water Utility, said in a phone interview Wednesday that chemical costs have risen more than 60% and other material expenses have jumped more than 35% in the past year. .

“We continue to see higher costs for materials, chemicals, energy and equipment, but we are in a very good financial position to be able to absorb some of these increases,” Butler said.

In January, utility Hixson contracted utility consulting firm Jackson Thornton Utilities to conduct a cost-of-service study. The consultants determined that water production expenses have grown at a faster rate than revenues, “and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future,” Butler said.

“Periodic rate studies are recommended for the utility industry, and the last rate study was nearly 10 years ago,” Hixson Utility Board commissioners said in a statement to customers. “The rate structure was changed as a result of the previous study, but the district has not increased rates since the mid-1980s.”

Although the minimum charge has increased, the rate per gallon of water has not changed in decades.

In 2014, Hixson Water Utility voted to raise the minimum rate by about 30% over the next three years after going nearly two decades without any rate changes.

While water rates have not changed, sewer rates have increased to double digit levels in recent years. Hixson Utility District also charges sewer fees for the City of Chattanooga and the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Authority, which more than doubles the effective bill for most consumers.

Despite rising water rates, Hixson Water Utility still has the cheapest municipal water in Tennessee. The Hixson Utility District is the only local water utility capable of sourcing water from springs and wells. The utility treats the water with a few chemicals, but there is no need to filter and treat the water like most utilities that draw from surface water like the Tennessee River.

(LEARN MORE: The Brand: Tennessee American Water is the largest private water utility in Tennessee)

Hixson Utility District is the largest of Hamilton County’s six water utility districts, but most of the county is still served by Tennessee American Water, which is owned by American Water Works.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6340. Follow him on Twitter at @dflessner1

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Farmers are forced to sell their cows as drought conditions worsen in the United States https://priscillasfriends.org/farmers-are-forced-to-sell-their-cows-as-drought-conditions-worsen-in-the-united-states/ Mon, 25 Jul 2022 07:40:00 +0000 https://priscillasfriends.org/farmers-are-forced-to-sell-their-cows-as-drought-conditions-worsen-in-the-united-states/ Nearly 80% of the western region of the United States is experiencing extreme drought conditions — and has been for nearly a year, according to the America Farm Bureau Federation. But the most recent week-long heat wave, affecting nearly 80 million people across the country, has brought things to a boil for farmers and ranchers. […]]]>

Nearly 80% of the western region of the United States is experiencing extreme drought conditions — and has been for nearly a year, according to the America Farm Bureau Federation. But the most recent week-long heat wave, affecting nearly 80 million people across the country, has brought things to a boil for farmers and ranchers.

Temperatures in Texas have hovered around 100 degrees for weeks, depleting water and scorching grass – both vital to feeding and sustaining herds of cows. Some breeders say their only option is to sell.

“We haven’t had this kind of movement of cows to market in a decade, since 2011, which was our last really bad drought,” said David Anderson, professor of agricultural economics at Texas A&M.

Last year, a severe drought in the West forced 40% of farmers to sell part of their herds, according to a AFBF survey. Now inflationary costs for things like feed, fertilizer and fuel are only making the situation worse. Many cows are auctioned off.

The small sale barn in Elk City, Oklahoma, which serves four small counties, normally sees 200 to 300 cows on sale day. This week, they’ve seen 1,000, according to Oklahoma Farm Bureau board member Monte Tucker.

Tucker, a fifth-generation cattle rancher, says himself that he waits to sell his cows until there is no more grass to eat. He supplements his herd’s food with seeds, but this turns out to be very expensive.

“It’s twice as much as two years ago. We were buying this feed for $200 a ton and today it’s over $400. So the feed has doubled – it’s a another problem,” Tucker said.

Although ranchers are reluctant sellers, they are at least getting a good price in the market, according to Anderson. This could eventually mean lower prices for consumers. The price of ground beef to U.S. consumers in June was up 9.7% over the past year.
But the concern is the prices in the future. With smaller herds and fewer breeding cows, the next two years could mean higher beef prices for consumers. The United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, provides a 7% drop in beef production Next year.

Farmers and ranchers may be eligible for financial assistance through the USDA Livestock, Honey Bee, and Hatchery Fish Emergency Relief Program. The program covers additional costs that herders may incur to haul water or move livestock to better pastures.

There is a caveat – ranchers must live in a county with a severe drought rating level for an extended period of time, as measured by the US Drought Watch.
In Missouri, Governor Mike Parson signed a executive order thursday offering aid to 53 counties in his state affected by extreme drought.

“I know that on my farm, conditions have deteriorated rapidly, and we are hearing the same reports from countless other farming families and ranches across the state,” Governor Parson said in a news release.

The ordinance directs the Departments of Natural Resources and Conservation to allow farmers access to water in state parks and other conservation areas. Additionally, Parsons ordered the Missouri Department of Transportation to roll back fees and restrictions on farmers and ranchers hauling hay.

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Live Updates: Airbnb Hires Former White House Press Secretary Carney From Amazon https://priscillasfriends.org/live-updates-airbnb-hires-former-white-house-press-secretary-carney-from-amazon/ Fri, 22 Jul 2022 18:02:42 +0000 https://priscillasfriends.org/live-updates-airbnb-hires-former-white-house-press-secretary-carney-from-amazon/ The number of people paying for elective surgery and similar treatments in the UK has risen by 39% from pre-pandemic levels, driving a growth in private healthcare, figures released on Friday showed. Private healthcare providers admitted 198,000 patients in the October-December quarter of 2021, returning to the level reached during the same three-month period in […]]]>

The number of people paying for elective surgery and similar treatments in the UK has risen by 39% from pre-pandemic levels, driving a growth in private healthcare, figures released on Friday showed.

Private healthcare providers admitted 198,000 patients in the October-December quarter of 2021, returning to the level reached during the same three-month period in 2019, according to a statement from the Private Healthcare Information Network.

Of these, 69,000 were self-paid entries, compared to 50,000 in the same period of 2019. For the full year, self-payment increased by 29% compared to 2019.

Meanwhile, the number of patients choosing to receive treatment through insurance in the fourth quarter of last year was 13% lower than 2019 levels, the government-mandated independent organization said.

Wales saw the biggest jump, with 90 per cent more people – 3,575 – paying out of their own pockets. Scotland saw an 84% increase. London was the biggest market with 13,875 self-funded people, up a fifth from the last quarter of 2019.

Self-funded hip and knee replacements more than doubled, while cataract surgeries increased by 56%.

Many chose to go the self-funding route in the UK as NHS waiting lists soared to over 6 minutes, exacerbated by the pandemic. Payment options also helped spread the cost.

The latest figures for May show a record 6.6 million people waiting for NHS treatment, with 2.4 million waiting longer than 18 weeks. The median wait time is significantly higher than in pre-Covid times.

At the end of 2019, healthcare consultancy LaingBuisson valued the UK self-pay market, which includes diagnostic and elective surgeries such as hip and knee replacement, at £1.1 billion. sterling, or around 21% of the private healthcare market.

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US to seek talks with Mexico on sources of energy policy https://priscillasfriends.org/us-to-seek-talks-with-mexico-on-sources-of-energy-policy/ Wed, 20 Jul 2022 01:20:00 +0000 https://priscillasfriends.org/us-to-seek-talks-with-mexico-on-sources-of-energy-policy/ Excess natural gas is flared or flared from Mexican state-owned Pemex’s Tula oil refinery, located next to the Tula power station owned by the national utility Comision Federal de Electricidad , or CFE, in Tula de Allende, north of Mexico City, Mexico June 22, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo Join now for FREE unlimited access to […]]]>

Excess natural gas is flared or flared from Mexican state-owned Pemex’s Tula oil refinery, located next to the Tula power station owned by the national utility Comision Federal de Electricidad , or CFE, in Tula de Allende, north of Mexico City, Mexico June 22, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo

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MEXICO CITY, July 19 (Reuters) – The United States will seek dispute settlement consultations with Mexico under a regional trade deal over what it sees as discriminatory Mexican energy policies, according to two Mexican sources and a draft announcement seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

The consultations focus on Mexico’s actions that the U.S. Trade Representative says undermine U.S. businesses in Mexico and U.S.-generated energy in favor of Mexico’s state-owned utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE ) and oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

The USTR did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the announcement, which was shared by the Mexican sources and was to be released Wednesday.

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Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a left-wing energy nationalist, has pledged to revive Pemex and CFE, which he said his predecessors deliberately ‘destroyed’ to leave the market in foreign hands .

The United States now argues that its efforts to bolster state-owned enterprises appear to contravene Mexico’s commitments under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade pact.

“We have repeatedly expressed serious concerns about a series of changes in Mexico’s energy policies and their consistency with Mexico’s commitments under the USMCA,” U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement. the draft declaration.

The U.S. decision is a blow to Mexico and comes just a week after Lopez Obrador met his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden in Washington and announced that U.S. companies planned to pump billions into Mexico’s energy sector.

Tai argued that the policy changes being undertaken by Mexico affect U.S. economic interests in multiple sectors and “discourage investment” from clean energy providers and companies looking to buy clean, reliable energy.

In April, Mexico’s Supreme Court upheld controversial electricity legislation passed in 2021 that says CFE must have priority over private electricity providers when shipping or when plants come online. Read more

Lopez Obrador says his measures will benefit consumers and make Mexico more self-sufficient. The opposition says it will raise electricity costs, undermine investor confidence and violate Mexico’s clean energy commitments. Read more

The USTR said it is challenging amendments to Mexican law that prioritize the distribution of electricity produced by CFEs over cleaner energy sources provided by private sector suppliers, such as l wind and solar.

“We have tried to work constructively with the Mexican government to address these concerns, but, unfortunately, American businesses continue to experience unfair treatment in Mexico,” Tai said in the draft announcement.

Mexico’s actions also include “delays, denials and revocations” of U.S. companies’ abilities to operate in Mexico’s energy sector, including renewable energy projects, the USTR said, echoing complaints from business lobbies at the Mexico.

Under USMCA rules, the United States and Mexico would begin consultations within 30 days of the United States’ request, unless the parties decide otherwise, the draft announcement said.

If it does not resolve the matter through consultations within 75 days of the United States’ request, the United States may request the establishment of a dispute settlement panel.

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Reporting by Dave Graham and Anthony Esposito; additional reporting by Steve Holland in Washington DC; edited by Richard Pullin

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Egypt sees Biden’s visit to the Middle East as a chance to attract more US investment https://priscillasfriends.org/egypt-sees-bidens-visit-to-the-middle-east-as-a-chance-to-attract-more-us-investment/ Fri, 15 Jul 2022 22:07:28 +0000 https://priscillasfriends.org/egypt-sees-bidens-visit-to-the-middle-east-as-a-chance-to-attract-more-us-investment/ DHAHRAN: Saudi Aramco has become synonymous with the longstanding partnership between the Kingdom and the United States, and is arguably one of the most successful financial collaborations in the world. The name “Aramco” is an acronym for Arabian-American Company. The pact between the two countries is like sand, made up of individual particles brought together […]]]>

DHAHRAN: Saudi Aramco has become synonymous with the longstanding partnership between the Kingdom and the United States, and is arguably one of the most successful financial collaborations in the world.

The name “Aramco” is an acronym for Arabian-American Company. The pact between the two countries is like sand, made up of individual particles brought together in a vast integrated collective.

To understand the current alliance between countries across Aramco, one must look back.

Ali Al-Naimi, who served as chairman and CEO of Aramco, served as Saudi minister of petroleum and mineral resources from 1995 to 2016. (Supplied)

It all started in 1933 when Standard Oil of California established a new overseas exploration unit after signing a concession agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A subsidiary, the California Arabian Standard Oil Company, was created to manage this agreement.

Ambitious and optimistic, but with no known history, drilling began in the Saudi desert in 1935. Geologists had a hunch they would find something there.

Back then, they used to spot areas in the sweltering heat of Dammam and use their observations, and often simple guesses, to determine where to drill. They did it on six different occasions, finding nothing but a costly disappointment.

Then, in 1938, American geologist Max Steineke told his team to “keep drilling.” He found liquid gold on lucky number seven. This first viable oil well was affectionately named Dammam-7, or “Prosperity Well”. It’s a name that is often still used with affection in Dhahran, where Saudi Aramco’s headquarters are located.

American geologist Max Steineke. (Provided)

Fast forward to this century, as the search for oil and gas became more difficult, the company turned to technology and the 2D seismic exploration program in the 1960s. With the advent of computing power from IBM and Cray in the 1990s and early 2000s, Aramco was able to deploy 3D seismic technology.

This allowed geoscientists to more accurately determine drill locations from 3D images to create more complex and detailed views of the subsurface at depths of several kilometres. This has led to an ever-increasing need for massive amounts of data such as High Channel Count seismic surveys, and the development of advanced and complex computing power to process it all.

In the 1970s, the Saudi government gradually began to buy additional shares of the company, first 25%, then 60%, until it took full ownership of the company in 1980. In 1988, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, or Aramco, was born and Ali Al-Naimi became the first Saudi Chairman and CEO. Before that, all presidents were American men. Many American expats still call Aramco home and call its camp “Mini America.”

The company went public and was officially listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in late 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

With increased productivity and world-class technology, the company has maintained a foothold in America, through its subsidiary, Aramco Americas, located in another hot climate in Houston, Texas. Its official website says it has several basic services.

This first viable oil well was affectionately named Dammam-7, or “Prosperity Well”. It’s a name that is often still used with affection in Dhahran, where Saudi Aramco’s headquarters are located. (Provided)

This includes managing a network of three US research centers and technology offices in Houston, Boston and Detroit. Additionally, he is responsible for identifying upstream and downstream technologies, best practices and potential technology partners for Saudi Aramco; and the procurement of goods and services, including engineering services. Another task is recruiting and training Saudi Aramco-sponsored students and employees in North America.

Today, Aramco Americas wears many helmets. In this complex, they publish one of the oldest US-based magazines for English readers about the Arab and Muslim world.

Their award-winning bimonthly print magazine focuses on creating cross-cultural understanding between East and West. Their first issue was published in November 1949 with publishers in different parts of the world.

The magazine was renamed Saudi Aramco World in 2000 and renamed AramcoWorld in 2015. The editorial office moved to Houston in 1987, where it still produces stories today. Their glossy printed pages deliver to interested US addresses and those Aramcons in Dhahran six times a year.

Constantly evolving, they now have a dedicated smartphone application, and an exhaustive photo archive in which 50,000 images can be searched. The print edition of AramcoWorld’s website says it has some 35,000 subscribers in more than 125 countries.

Aramco Americas has sought to diversify away from oil and gas and focus on vital areas such as sustainability and the environment. Recently, he started a project funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Coral Reef Conservation, in which efforts are being made to help save and rebuild important reefs in the United States and other coastal areas.

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