A Geographic view of voting patterns in the recent US Presidential Election season

Much has been made recently in regarding the demographics of the contested 2016 US Presidential Election. Many studies have thrown up graphics that claimed that the Great Democrat ‘Blue Wall’ had been breached by the successful Republican candidate Donald Trump’s candidature. Swathes of Statewide Blue voting patterns were regularly used by both sides to reflect either the electoral ‘security’ of the Democratic North East and the West Coast Democrat heartlands or the task ahead for the Republicans. The Republican candidate claimed a landslide win within the electoral college, whereas the Democrat contender claims the raw demographic majority by some 2 million votes. Both a correct to some degree in their claims but the most electorally significant position has to be measured at the County sized electoral map. The ‘local ‘ county political landscape tells a very sober tale for the Democrat Party.

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The Electoral College was a mechanism that prevented high density urban areas exercising overarching political control, over the more sparsely populated areas of the US, thus ensuring national geographic unity. Looking at the electoral map through the lens of all of the counties within the US, a very interesting picture emerges. Though the Democrats claim the raw numbers by a margin of 2 million votes, the US counties map shows that Democrat support is extremely patchy and restricted to about half a dozen or so small, highly urbanised, geographic regions across the nation.

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The New Economy in Liquid Fuels and Low Pollution Gas Fired Electricity Production

Hydraulic fracturing generated $3.5 trillion in new wealth between 2012 and 2014 in spite of falling oil prices, according to a new study, but today’s rising prices could be even better for the U.S. economy.
From 2012 to 2014, the shale oil industry generated 4.6 million new jobs due to an energy boom and the resulting low gas prices, according to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) <http://marcelluscoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/NBER-paper.pdf> . Expensive energy could be a huge net positive for the U.S. fracking economy because rising oil prices mean more drilling.

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Oil prices fell to a record low of $30 a barrel <http://www.macrotrends.net/1369/crude-oil-price-history-chart>  during the previous year, sharply reducing the industry’s profit margins, which are now rising again and have seemed to have stabilised at around the $50 a barrel  ‘sweet spot'<http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/15/oil-prices-edge-up-as-kuwait-cuts-supplies-by-more-than-expected.html> . Researchers estimate that new economic activity from fracking technology created around 4.6 million net new jobs, but only about 1.6 million of these new jobs were directly linked to the oil industry, while many of the rest were due to lower gas prices and the positive effect that had on the US economy.

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Inconveniently, there no changes here

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Scientists were shocked by what they found while pouring over accounts by famous South Pole explorers from about a century ago — findings that could change the way experts think about Antarctica and global warming.

Researchers found that Antarctic sea ice extent has barely changed since Ernest Shackleton’s botched expedition to map out the South Pole in 1917.

Using logs compiled by Shackleton, in addition to data from other noteworthy Antarctic forays during the early 20th Century, Antarctic sea ice conditions in Shackleton’s day mirrored those of today.

Lead researcher Dr. Jonathan Day and his team were the first to calculate Antarctic sea ice conditions prior to the 1930s. Day estimates sea ice extent ranged from 3.3 and 4.3 million square miles and continued to grow into the 1950s.

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EPA fracking wrong….again

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The one item the “keep it in the ground” crowd can celebrate as good news for them (and bad for the rest of us) is the Obama administration’s arbitrary and disgraceful Arctic offshore drilling ban.

As Jazz Shaw at Hot Air wrote: “Barack Obama seems determined to leave some unpleasant going away presents for his successor on the domestic energy front.” Given that he didn’t think there would be any need to handicap his successor, it seems likely that Obama and his outgoing administration are just warming up.

The EPA has a lot of nerve imposing anything new between now and President-Elect Trump’s inauguration, given its egregious five-year mishandling of the Pavillion, Wyoming fracking groundwater controversy.

The Associated Press published a barely noticed November 10 story about its resolution (the Wyoming “Pavillion Groundwater Report Fact Sheet” is here; bolds are mine throughout this post):

WYOMING STUDY: FRACKING LIKELY NOT BEHIND WELL WATER PROBLEM

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Black Gold….Texas Tea

 

wolfcampshale2016Since Donald Trump’s election, environmental zealots have mostly had a very rough two weeks — and Donald Trump has had nothing to do with any of it.

Two developments they consider really bad (meaning good for the rest of us) far outweigh the single item they’re celebrating. First, in Wyoming, just two days after the election, their “fracking is bad” Exhibit A in Pavillion, Wyoming was completely discredited. Second, in Texas this week, a huge oil discovery was reported — so big and unprecedented that the only commenter at the Associated Press’s coverage of the story at the Washington Post wrote: “This … should be front-page news given its economic and geopolitical impact” — but of course it’s not.

Neither good-for-us, bad-for-them story is getting adequate press attention.

That’s just the start:

The Wolfcamp Shale geologic formation in the Midland area also contains an estimated 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, the agency said in a release.

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