All posts by Roger Straw

Editor, owner, publisher of The Benicia Independent

U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson Cosponsors Green New Deal

Press release from US Rep. Mike Thompson

For Immediate Release:
February 7, 2019
Contact: Alex Macfarlane 202-225-3311

Thompson Cosponsors Green New Deal

Lays out bold statement about how to address climate change

Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that he is an original cosponsor of the Green New Deal, legislation that outlines broad recommendations on how to aggressively address the threat of climate change over the next decade. A statement from Thompson on his support is below.

“Climate change is the most existential threat we face today. I have long said that if we do not act now nothing else we do matters because there won’t be a planet to pass on to our children. That’s why I am a proud, original cosponsor of the Green New Deal, a resolution stating the steps we must take to address climate change. Today the United States Congress is making a bold statement about climate change. We are saying that we must take this threat seriously, that we must take action, and that we must use every tool at our disposal to get this done. This includes strengthening our resiliency against future disasters exacerbated by climate change, modernizing our infrastructure, deepening our renewable energy capacity, and mitigating the negative health and economic impacts we are already experiencing due to climate change. I am proud of our new majority for taking this important step forward and stand willing and ready to continue on this path toward addressing climate change.”

You can click here to read the text of the Green New Deal.

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    The Green New Deal – a primer, and more to come…

    By Roger Straw

    Image result for green new deal
    The Nation: The Green New Deal Is Good for the Planet—and the Democratic Party

    This is the first of many pieces I hope to publish on the Green New Deal.  It turns out there is a LOT of history (going back to 2007) and all kinds of recent activity on this.

    If you want to join me in looking into this important new focus for environmental sustainability and climate change, you might want to review the Wikipedia page. It’s really quite good!   en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_New_Deal

    And here is a good overview on VOX: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/12/21/18144138/green-new-deal-alexandria-ocasio-cortez

      Analysis: 2018 was better for Valero than 2017 (if you don’t count Trump’s billion dollar 2017 tax gift)

      Repost from Seeking Alpha
      [Significant quote: “Valero Energy’s operating income climbed up to $4.7 billion in 2018 from $3.7 billion in 2017. However, due to a $0.9 billion income tax benefit in 2017 versus a $0.9 billion income tax expense in 2018, it appears that the firm’s income generation materially weakened…which isn’t really the case.”  Update: “Valero Keeps Gushing Profits And A 4%+ Dividend Yield.”  For more check out this phone transcript Listening in: Valero on recent earnings, then Q&A with investors.  – R.S.]

      Valero Energy Posts A Tremendous 2018

      By Callum Turcan, Feb. 3, 2019 8:06 AM ET
      Summary

      Image result for valeroValero Energy Corporation performed very well in 2018.

      Management is committed to rewarding shareholders via buybacks and dividend increases.

      Covering the financial and operational performance of Valero Energy’s three main divisions.

      Refining giant Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) just reported its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2018 that won over some love from Wall Street. Both its earnings and revenue generation beat expectations, which is always a good sign. As of this writing, Valero yields 4.2%, as management boosted the firm’s quarterly payout by 13% in January 2019. This is on top of rewarding investors through $1.7 billion in share buybacks and $1.4 billion in dividend payments last year. Let’s dig in.

      Strong refining margins carry the firm higher

      Valero Energy’s operating income climbed up to $4.7 billion in 2018 from $3.7 billion in 2017. However, due to a $0.9 billion income tax benefit in 2017 versus a $0.9 billion income tax expense in 2018, it appears that the firm’s income generation materially weakened last year, which isn’t really the case. From 2017 to 2018, Valero Energy’s net income attributable to stockholders fell from $4.1 billion to $3.1 billion. A 4% reduction in its outstanding diluted share count helped offset some of the pain as its EPS dropped from $9.16 to $7.29 on a fully-diluted basis.

      When comparing the performance of its refining division on a year-over-year basis, it is clear Valero Energy did quite well in 2018. Its average total throughput volumes for the year climbed by 2% to 2,986,000 bpd, which lifted its product yield by 2% to 3,025,000 bpd.

      On top of higher throughput volumes, Valero’s refining margin grew by 10% year-over-year to $10.05 per barrel in 2018. Refining margin means the crack spread Valero received, the difference between its feedstock costs and the price received for its petroleum product production. Strong crack spreads ultimately enabled its refining division’s adjusted operating income per barrel of throughput (the amount of income generated per refined barrel after taking crack spreads and operating expenses into account) to grow by 22% year-over-year to $4.58 per barrel in 2018.