Shippers Balk at Soaring U.S. Rail Shipping Rates

According to the America Chemistry Council (ACC), the average shipping cost per railcar has gone up 93% since 2001. Consequently, the buyer of a custom-order from Diversified gas didn’t want the expense of the huge freight bills, so it brought the manufacturing in-house. The report in Bloomberg News went on to say that shippers such as Diversified and Dow Chemical Co. are asking for U.S. government intervention to help them fight back.


Has the current M&A cycle peaked?

According to Plastics News Senior Staff Reporter Frank Esposito, that may very well be true. Plastics M&A veteran Thomas Blaige, chairman and CEO of the Blaige & Co. financial firm in Chicago said that the six-year investment cycle ends this year. This means that the valuations for plastics businesses have peaked and could be trending down.


Offshore oil auction set to pay U.S. government $110 million

A Fuel Fix article reports that an auction for leases in the western Gulf of Mexico last Wednesday resulted in oil and gas companies set to pay the U.S. government $110 million for 81 blocks spanning 433,823 acres. Until a recent treaty between the U.S. and Mexico, the territory was off limits for development.


Gulf Coast refineries set record for volume of crude last week

According to Platts, Gulf Coast refineries hit a record high for production with 8.74 million b/d, countering analysts expectations. The increase drove regional refinery utilization to a record 96.9% of operable capacity, up by 2.5 percentage points from the previous week according to the data.


The Housing Market appears to be back on track

A New York Times Article reported that the nation’s modest housing recovery appears to be on the rebound. The Commerce Department reported on Tuesday that Home Depot announced a strong quarter, which is a good omen considering their close ties with the housing market. Home construction also increased dramatically during the month of July. Starts were up 16 percent over June and nearly 22 percent from12 months ago.


Oil Industry tells Obama to go big on offshore drilling

The Hill reports that the oil and gas industry along with its allies and affiliates are encouraging the Obama administration to grant offshore drilling permits wherever possible. Offshore producers claim that safety precautions have dramatically improved, making environmental concerns a non-issue according to Shell and Chevron oil companies. Chevron also purports that the current scope of the leasing program is also not sufficient to meet the domestic energy demand.


Business is booming at small K Street lobby shops

According to an article in The Hill, eight of a dozen firms interviewed said that their lobbying revenue was up during the most recent quarter from April to June.Sam Geduldig, a partner at the firm of Geduldig, Cranford & Nielsen and a former senior aide to House Speaker John Boehner said “It’s the realization that the House is going to stay Republican and the Senate could flip.”



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