China Manufacturing Slips


Bloomberg News reports that China’s manufacturing conditions “slipped to the weakest level in more than three years as sluggishness in the nation’s old growth drivers add to risks facing the government’s growth target.” The official purchasing managers’ index for the sector dropped to 49.6 in November, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. That was the “lowest level since August 2012,” and compared with a “median estimate of 49.8 in a Bloomberg survey of economists.” The piece adds that China’s non-manufacturing PMI “rose to 53.6 from 53.1 a month earlier.”

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Time for “Deniers” to Embrace Scientific Evidence

Hydraulic fracturing, when done correctly, is safe and saves Americans money. The science says so.

EPA looked at scientific studies, government, NGO, and industry data and concluded that hydraulic fracturing has not had “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water.”

For those of us closely involved in the debate over shale energy, this report simply reaffirms what previous science has shown, as Katie Brown explains at Energy In Depth:

EPA’s study actually builds upon a long list of studies that show the fracking process poses an exceedingly low risk of impacting underground sources of drinking water.  It corroborates a “landmark study” by the U.S. Department of Energy in which the researchers injected tracers into hydraulic fracturing fluid and found no groundwater contamination after twelve months of monitoring. It is also in line with reports by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Government Accountability Office, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Groundwater Protection Council, to name just a few.

“The results of EPA’s exhaustive new analysis of hydraulic fracturing should not come as a surprise,” Christopher Guith, senior vice president for policy at the Institute for 21st Century Energy, said. “As the scope of America’s shale oil and gas opportunities have become understood, states and industry have developed regulatory environments and practices that ensure that hydraulic fracturing is done safely.” 

This study shows that states are successfully regulating hydraulic fracturing and duplicative federal rules aren’t needed. “Shale energy development continues to be a major economic driver of our economy, and it is critical that the federal government does not layer on duplicative and unnecessary regulations,” said Guith.

As for hydraulic fracturing opponents, they need to stop denying the science.

Sean Hackbarth blogs on behalf of the US Chamber of Commerce.

Loss of Entry-level Jobs a Tragedy for American Workforce

DECLINING: The number of hourly workers making minimum wage, with the exception of a few upticks, has been on a downward trend since 1979.

By Steve Wilson, Mississippi Watchdog

A whole generation isn't learning the value of a dollar.

Entry-level jobs represent opportunities for young workers to learn basic skills as they climb the employment ladder, and it's an opportunity that fewer are getting.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the youth employment rate — workers ages 16-24 — is in a state of serious decline. In the mid to late 1980s, the percentage of employed youths ranged from 81 percent to 86 percent. In July, the month considered the peak for youth employment, only 51.9 percent had a job.

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Iran Oil Production will Impact US Oil Market

Lifting sanctions on Iran will have impacts on oil in the US. Sanctions are expected to be lifted by an agreement reached by President Obama by the end of November.
The country is expected to increase petrochemical output by 500,000 barrels a day within a week after sanctions end and by 1 million barrels a day within a month after that.

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US Chamber State of America Address -- Govern from the Center, Break the Gridlock

US Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue gave his annual State of American Business Address last week, providing an economic outlook and detailing the business community's top policy priorities for 2015. Donohue called for a governing center that breaks through the gridlock, restores competency and leadership, and rallies around a "common bipartisan cause - and that cause is stronger and deeper economic growth in order to create jobs and expand opportunities for all Americans."

Some of the key highlights from his speech:

Read more: US Chamber State of America Address -- Govern from the Center, Break the Gridlock

Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner Rises, Still Under $50 for 10

The cost of Thanksgiving dinner was about 37 cents higher this year than last. The American Farm Bureau Federation's price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year's feast for 10 is $49.41 compared to $49.04 last year. A 16-pound turkey – came in at $21.65 this year, roughly $1.35 per pound, a decrease of less than 1 cent per pound compared to 2013.

Read more: Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner Rises, Still Under $50 for 10

Geosynthetic Technology Comes to Rescue Of Road Building & Maintenance Costs


At a time when transportation budgets are getting tighter and costs are escalating, there has emerged a technology that allows those budgets to go further – a geosynthetic textile that can save millions of dollars in future maintenance and rebuilding costs of roads. It might even save in the upfront cost of building a new road or street because it reduces the amount of gravel that has to be used, but over 50 years, it will save as much as $1 million a mile in maintenance. It virtually eliminates pot holes.

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Will Bakken Survive?

Oil prices could dip as low as $27 a barrel by mid-summer predicts Eric Sharpe.

The declining prices are already having profound impacts in the US, including the Bakken. It is hitting the service businesses especially hard, many will not survive. The low prices are triggering a consolidation of companies; a weeding out of the weaker companies, while others lay-off and cut back in order to survive the economic siege, according to Sharpe.

Read more: Will Bakken Survive?

Holland & Hart Ranked As One of Best Law Firms

Holland & Hart LLP has been ranked in the 2015 "Best Law Firms" list by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers. The firm has been recognized as National Tier 1 in the practice areas of Environmental Law; Litigation – Environmental; and Technology Law. Holland & Hart also received 25 national Tier 2 and Tier 3 designations. Holland & Hart received 93 metropolitan Tier 1 rankings across the Mountain West and Washington, D.C. In total, 354 of the firm's practice areas were recognized. Firms included in the 2015 "Best Law Firms" list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

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