Jun 30

Before:

EU Gives Russia Three Days to De-Escalate Ukraine Crisis, Threatens Sanctions

Again, it’s Ukraine vs East Ukraine, but Russia is now told to solve the problem the U.S. and the EU have created in the first place???

Reader Marilyn commented:

“The EU receives E120 billion a year from Russia. Any threats are hot air, nothing more. They better shut up before they start sounding like the mendacious cries of the US.”

Reader squodgy commented:

“This is blatant intimidation.

Vlad has used International Law to prove his stance in the past.

Western MSM presstitutes ignore the other’s argument.

His only option is to fight fire with fire & cut off the gas completely.”

And as predicted here comes Putin’s retaliation.

And this, unlike the EU’s empty intimidation talk, IS a real threat.

The EU seems to feel an urgency to go back to the Neolithic Age. (And I am not joking!!!)

And that is what the EU will get if it is not stopping to act like the US puppet that it is.

If  the gas transit will be stopped completely, then prepare for energy prices (and food prices) to skyrocket.


Putin chess

Russia Reveals “Plan B”: Gazprom Says Gas Transit Via Ukraine May Be Stopped Completely (ZeroHedge, June 30, 2014):

A few days ago, when we wrote our “explainer” on the need for Russia to have an alternative pathway for its gas, one which bypasses Ukraine entirely and as the current “South Stream” framework is set up, crosses the Black Sea and enters Bulgaria before passing Serbia and Hungary on the way to the Central European energy hub located in Baumgarten, Austria, we said that “one short month after Putin concluded the Holy Grail deal with Beijing, he not only managed to formalize his conquest of Europe’s energy needs with yet another pipeline, one which completely bypasses Ukraine (for numerous reasons but mostly one: call it a Plan B), but scored a massive political victory by creating a fissure in the heart of the Eurozone, after Austria openly defied its European peers and sided with Putin.”

Major_russian_gas_pipelines_to_europe

Today we find just what said Plan B is.

As Itar-Tass reports, citing Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, “Russia’s gas giant Gazprom does not rule out gas transit via Ukraine may be stopped completely.”

Continue reading »

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Mar 06

Revealed: The figures that show just how badly rising energy bills have ravaged household budgets over the last decade (This Is Money, March 3, 2014):

Households won’t need reminding about the strain of rising energy bills over the past decade but new figures released today reveal the true extent of the rising costs that Britons faced between 2002 and 2012.

Measured in today’s prices, households spent £69 on energy every month in 2002. A decade later this had risen to £106 – an eye-watering 55 per cent rise. Rising bills combined with muted wage growth mean households spent the equivalent of 5.1 per cent of their income on household energy in 2012, up from 3.3 per cent in 2002 – a rise of 54 per cent.

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Nov 05


Energy bills in the UK rise faster than in the EU, figures show. Photo: David Sillitoe

Energy prices in Britain in the past year have risen twice as fast as the European Union average, according to latest figures.

Gas and electricity prices in the UK rose by 29.7% in the last 12 months compared with a 15% increase for the EU.

The figures, released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), show bills are up just 14% in France and 12.2% in Germany.

Ed Mayo, chief executive of government watchdog Consumer Focus, said: “The UK energy consumer is being clobbered faster and harder than those in Europe. Other countries may be doing more to keep their prices down and we should learn from them.

“The UK has a relatively free market, but the freedom to cut prices in the early years now seems to be the freedom to raise prices with impunity.

Continue reading »

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Aug 15

WASHINGTON (AP) – Consumer prices shot up in July at twice the expected rate, pushed higher by surging energy and food costs. The latest surge left inflation running at the fastest pace in 17 years.

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May 31

Analysis: Environment Minister Hilary Benn again rebuffed calls this week for WW2-style energy rationing to return to the UK. He was responding to a Select Committee report urging ministers to issue 45 million Britons with an energy trading “credit card” – a mammoth techno-bureaucratic exercise costing several billions of pounds a year to operate.

What’s interesting is how the normal parliamentary business was turned upside down.

Usually, it’s ministers who propose batty and unworkable legislation, and fail to cost it, while select committees are supposed to scrutinize the proposals: picking apart the logic and bogus cost estimates. But in this case the select committee in question – the “Environmental Audit Committee” – is positively evangelical about a return to rationing. Perhaps not surprisingly, ministers are wary of committing electoral suicide, or at least, not in quite such an obvious fashion.

Benn said his department DEFRA had made its own enquiry, which unlike the watchdog’s investigation, included costs. A rationing scheme would cost between £700m and £2bn to set up, he said, and between £1bn and £2bn a year to operate he said.

“In essence it is ahead of its time,” the minister said Tuesday. “The cost of implementing it would be quite high and there are a lot of practical problems to be overcome.” Front bench Tories are equally wary.

So what are the MPs proposing?

The ration, or “personal carbon allowance” or PCA, is a measure of an individual’s energy usage, either at home or traveling. Such usage is capped, and “further emissions rights will simply not be available,” the Committee says. You may choose between a holiday, and turning on the heating. Points win prizes, however, and frugal individuals would be rewarded financially from the creation of an internal market.

“We could not find or imagine analogues in other fields of human activity for individual carbon trading beyond rationing during and after World War 2,” the authors of the DEFRA-commissioned report “A Rough Guide to Individual Carbon Trading” wrote in 2006. Continue reading »

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May 21

The number of Illinois households receiving food stamps has reached a record level, with almost 1.3 million people relying on the program to pay for daily staples such as milk, bread and eggs.

State officials on Thursday said there might be a link between the increase and constantly rising food, gas and energy prices. Aid groups warned there are many more in need.

“Families are running into financial difficulties,” said Marielle Sainvilus with the Illinois Department of Human Services, which administers the food stamp program. “We don’t have hard-core evidence to say it’s directly linked to the economy. But it makes sense because people are paying more for almost everything, but they aren’t being paid more.”

A total of 592,390 households across Illinois received food stamps in March. That’s up from 571,148 during March last year, according to the agency. Continue reading »

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Apr 13

The big problem with inflation is that people get low blood sugar when they are hungry, and soon their moods turn sour. I know this for a fact because if breakfast or brunch or lunch or coffee break or dinner or any snack is five minutes late, I involuntarily turn into a screaming monster from hell demanding to know who stole my food and vowing bloody revenge. I can only imagine the anger when hunger is caused because someone can’t afford to buy food!

This “inability to buy food” is one of the problems with inflation, and that ugliness is now here, as we read from Bloomberg.com that “The World Bank in Washington says 33 nations from Mexico to Yemen may face ‘social unrest’ after food and energy costs increased for six straight years.” Hahaha! No kidding?

World Bank chief Robert Zoellick says, “Thirty-three countries around the world face potential social unrest because of the acute hike in food and energy prices”, and that since 2005, “the prices of staples have jumped 80%”.

Like what? Like corn and wheat, which are making the news by rising like crazy, and the latest food emergency is that “Rice, the staple food for half the world,” is now double the price of a year ago, and a fivefold increase from 2001. Yikes!

100% inflation in the price of rice in one year! And 500% in seven years! Yikes again! No wonder that Jody Clarke at MoneyWeek.com reports that “Since January 2005 the average price of a loaf of bread in the US has risen 32%. Overall, US retail food prices rose 4 % last year, the biggest jump in 17 years, says the US Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile restaurant owners have been even harder hit, with wholesale price increases of 7.4%. That’s the biggest jump in nearly three decades, according to the National Restaurant Association.”

And worse yet for us alcohol-besotted worthless lushes out here, heroically keeping bartenders and comely barmaids gainfully employed year around, the price of hops, an integral ingredient in beer making, has soared from $4 a pound to $40.

The Marketbasket Survey, conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation, says a basket of things like bread, milk, eggs and pork chops will cost you $3.50, or 8.9%, more this year than last. Both a five-pound bag of flour and a dozen eggs are up over 40% since January 2007. Continue reading »

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