Check Out What Happened #lastweekattheblm: April 13-17, 2015

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Friday, April 17, announced that the BLM will open a public dialogue on potential changes to federal onshore oil and gas regulations. The BLM is issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to seek public comment on potential updates to BLM rules governing oil and gas royalty rates, rental payments, lease sale minimum bids, civil penalty caps and financial assurances. Read the press release.

Last week, the BLM celebrated International Dark Sky Week 2015 with a My Public Lands Tumblr photo collection of night skies over Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument in Arizona and other BLM lands, by BLMer Bob Wick.  The International Dark Sky Association recognized the unspoiled quality of Grand Canyon Parashant’s pristine and breathtaking night skies with an official IDA designation as “Parashant International Night Sky Province,” joining an elite group of other international Night Sky Places around the globe. See the popular photo collection on My Public Lands Tumblr.

On April 15, the National Conservation Lands continued its monthly #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover of the BLM’s national social media accounts, a celebration of the 15th anniversary of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands. The April takeover focused on wildflowers and native plants on public lands.  View all #conservationlands15 posts here: http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/tagged/conservationlands15.

The BLM continued its new #WomeninSTEM Wednesday series on My Public Lands Tumblr with a post about BLM California Botanist Lara Kobelt, from her early work as a chicagobotanicgarden intern to a Botanist on National Conservation Lands. View all #WomeninSTEM Wednesday posts at http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/tagged/WomeninSTEM.

Finally, a recent article by huffingtonpost, These Photos From America’s Public Lands Will Make You Want To Go On An Adventure, included a beautiful sunset over BLM Oregon’s Warner Wetlands.  Read the article about sunrises and sunsets on public lands

Knowing What to Outsource

Knowing what to outsource may seem like common sense to someone on the outside of a business. For those who are in it and have juggled everything from sales, marketing, to accounting, it isn’t quite so simple. It is hard to step away and make the right strategic decision.

We have multiple blog posts about outsourcing business functions you either:

  1. do not have the expertise to perform yourself, or
  2. do not want to incur the direct and indirect costs in maintaining internally.

The infographic below from HowToGetFocused.com is a great, simple tool to walk you through the decision-making process of outsourcing the right functions if you need help. Don’t forget, once you have made the decision you need for force yourself to take the actions needed to implement the outsourced solution if you are to free up time and resources to grow your business.

Although we like this little diagram, it is of course simplified, so keep that in mind. For example, if you own a software company and are doing the accounting because you have “time” and “want” to do it, that does not mean you should. Obviously, your time would be better spent on ensuring you have a quality product and your customers are happy.

The lesson here is to think about your business in its functional parts and run through this decision process now and on a regular basis as you grow.

Design for Future Machines/

“Countries trying to understand what’s next for their export industries often call Ricardo Hausmann. The Harvard economist and onetime planning minister for Venezuela has developed a kind of economic aptitude test for nations. Using complexity theory and trade data, Hausmann looks at what a country is good at making and predicts what types of more valuable items it could produce next…

"The U.S. has very, very high wages compared to other countries. Yet it also has a comparative advantage, which is deep knowledge, high R&D intensity, and the best science and technology base in the world.

The step that makes the most sense for the U.S. is to become the producer of the machinery that will power the next global manufacturing revolution. That is where the most complex and sophisticated products are, and that is the work that can pay higher wages…

My guess is that developments around information technology, 3-D printing, and networks will allow for a redesign of manufacturing. The world will be massively investing in it. The U.S. is well positioned to be the source of those machines. It can only be rivaled by Germany and Japan.”

(via Technology Review)

Green Toys Inc.: Reverse Globalisation

“You can’t be green if you’re shipping from China,” said von Goeben in an interview with the SF Gate, the web-based subdivision of the San Francisco Chronicles.

The article commends Green Toys Inc. for “keeping the business local.” Reverse globalisation is becoming the trend for businesses with the aim to increase their efficiency while reducing their carbon footprints.

Keeping the supply chain local is part of a new trend called onshoring, [or reverse globalisation], a push back against the offshoring and outsourcing that has sent jobs and manufacturing overseas, and gobbled up fossil fuels. 

Green Toys Inc. has proven that reverse globalisation is the perfect model, especially for small firms like themselves. If needed, they can easily hop over from the company’s small San Francisco office to the various facilities that participate in the production process. In addition, they can have more flexibility with the production. 

Last Christmas, when one customer sold out of Green Toys products in early December and ordered more ASAP, the company was able to ramp up and churn out the toys in just eight days. Overseas shipping would have added weeks to the turn-around time. 

Green Toys Inc.’s practice of reverse globalisation embraces the idea of sustainable development. In addition to cutting back on the carbon emission and fossil fuel usage, promoting onshoring would promote a healthy growth for the local economy. As for the social equity aspect, Green Toys Inc. contracts with the Work Center, a human services agency based in San Mateo, California, to assemble its toys. The Work Center provides vocational training for individuals who are disabled, have mental illness, or have other challenges that have made it difficult for them to succeed in a traditional work setting. Green Toys Inc. provides them with opportunity to work, which benefits the overall quality of the community. 

Cheers to sustainability! 


Apple is under so much pressure in Washington over its offshore cash that it’s doing things it almost never does. CEO Tim Cook is coming to Washington to testify in front of a panel of senators about stashing more than $100 billion overseas, rather than sending a lower-level executive. He will offer Congress Apple’s ideas for comprehensive…

Liking the new flavor of interaction with the outside world we’re seeing in Apple these days. Tim Cook is making some very positive changes to the company - onshoring mac production being the coolest!

Manufacturing Leaving China?

The Atlantic recently published an article about General Electric moving its appliance manufacturing operations back to the States from China. A great (and lengthy) article, it highlights some of the challenges businesses are facing in China.

For much of the past decade, General Electric’s storied Appliance Park, in Louisville, Kentucky, appeared less like a monument to American manufacturing prowess than a memorial to it. The very scale of the place seemed to underscore its irrelevance. Six factory buildings, each one the size of a large suburban shopping mall, line up neatly in a row. The parking lot in front of them measures a mile long and has its own traffic lights, built to control the chaos that once accompanied shift change. But in 2011, Appliance Park employed not even a tenth of the people it did in its heyday. The vast majority of the lot’s spaces were empty; the traffic lights looked forlorn.

Yet this year, something curious and hopeful has begun to happen, something that cannot be explained merely by the ebbing of the Great Recession, and with it the cyclical return of recently laid-off workers. On February 10, Appliance Park opened an all-new assembly line in Building 2—largely dormant for 14 years—to make cutting-edge, low-energy water heaters. It was the first new assembly line at Appliance Park in 55 years—and the water heaters it began making had previously been made for GE in a Chinese contract factory.

For the rest of the article, click here.

Ronnie Polidoro for NBC’s Rock Center:

In an exclusive interview with Brian Williams airing tonight at 10pm/9c on NBC’s “Rock Center,” Apple CEO Tim Cook announced one of the existing Mac lines will be manufactured exclusively in the United States next year. Mac fans will have to wait to see which Mac line it will be because Apple, widely known for its secrecy, left it vague. Cook’s announcement may or may not confirm recent rumors in the blogosphere sparked by iMacs inscribed in the back with “Assembled in USA.”

“We’ve been working for years on doing more and more in the United States,” Cook told Williams. It was Cook’s first interview since taking over from his visionary former boss, Steve Jobs, who resigned due to health reasons in August 2011. Jobs died on October 5, 2011, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Barring some unforeseen disaster, I would expect to see the manufacturing of just about everything Apple makes get onshored in the next decade. Tim Cook isn’t any happier when preordered devices have to come all the way from China than Apple’s customers are.

Also interesting:

What’s next for Apple? Did Cook leave us with a clue?

“When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years,” Cook told Williams. “It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”

Maybe 2013 will be the Year of Gaming on the Apple TV. (Sooner or later I’m going to be right about this.)

Owen Wright: #ripcurlpro is off for the day! Here is some more of my #Trackswanderlust trip. We woke up with high hopes this day… but as we were driving to our select location the wind went onshore and ruined it! The boys stayed positive and we went around the headland to surf a fun little left with some sick ramps! @tracksmag 📷 @spence_hornby via Instagram on Surftagram.com

Follow the Facebook Page!

Week in brief (6-10 April)

Oil discovery near Gatwick Airport

The exploration firm UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) claims to have found 100 billion barrels of oil onshore beneath the South of England.

The company drilled a well at Horse Hill, near Gatwick Airport and claims that the local area could hold 158 million barrels of oil per square mile, though only a fraction of the 100 billion total would be recovered. UKOG’s license covers 55 square miles of the Weald Basin, spanning Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire.

Stephen Sanderson, UKOG’s Chief Executive says, ‘We believe we can recover between 5% and 15% of the oil in the ground, which by 2030 could mean that we produce 10–30% of the UK’s oil demand from within the Weald area.’

To find out more about the oil discovery visit, http://bit.ly/1y7xkJD

In other news:

·      Large Hadron Collider restarts after two-year rebuild

·      Aluminium battery offers 60-second charging

·      Energy storage plant could improve renewable sector

·      Flexible armour design inspired by protective fish scales

To find out more on materials science, packaging and engineering news, visit our website IOM3 or follow us on Twitter @MaterialsWorld for regular news updates.

By Natalie Daniels – Digital & Editorial Assistant


so my parents are at the coast right now and there are millions of velella velella’s washing onshore.
here’s why: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/13791/20140822/draft-why-are-these-jellyfish-like-creatures-washing-up-on-west-coast-shores.htm
please remember that where you buy your food from can effect everything. huge inorganic food companies support GMO corn which is one of the primary causes of agriculture runoff. agriculture runoff causes the growth of plankton which creates a lack of oxygen in the water, killing of all sorts of sea life (like velella velella’s).

the point is, there is a huge cycle of problems, and where you decide to purchase your food effects the environment, try to buy non-GMO and local businesses.

little actions can create a bigger difference than you realize.

China’s Stock Market and The ETFs That Track It: Our Q&A With An Expert

The stock market in China has caught the World’s attention. Just look at a chart of the Shanghai Composite and you’ll see how fast it’s been rising. This swing inspired us to talk with an expert. What follows is our conversation with Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas. We talked about about China and exchange traded funds:

1. The most important thing to understand about markets in China is the share classes. These messages help break that topic down

@StockTwits unlike other areas of ETFs, there’s another layer of allocation to look at due to the types of China shares (A,H,N, P Chips).

— Eric Balchunas (@ebalchunas)

Apr. 10 at 02:28 PM

@StockTwits Sure I tend to divide China shares into two groups: Onshore (A-shares) and Offshore (H shares, P chips, N Shares)

— Eric Balchunas (@ebalchunas)

Apr. 10 at 02:39 PM

@StockTwits Onshore (a-share) tracking ETFs are new and use other peoples’ quotes, e.g. $ASHR, $CNXT $PEK $KBA

— Eric Balchunas (@ebalchunas)

Apr. 10 at 02:40 PM

@StockTwits While Offshore China trackers have been around. EG $FXI tracks Hong-Kong Listed china cos (so, H + Pchips + Red chips)

— Eric Balchunas (@ebalchunas)

Apr. 10 at 02:41 PM

@StockTwits FYI: P Chips are china co’s that incorporate offshore and list in HK. Red chips are state-owned that inc offsh and list in HK

— Eric Balchunas (@ebalchunas)

Apr. 10 at 02:42 PM

@StockTwits Then, N Shares are what $BABA is, a Chinese co that incorporates offshore (e.g cayman) and lists in U.S. $PGJ is N share ETF

— Eric Balchunas (@ebalchunas)

Apr. 10 at 02:43 PM

2. These comments show how fast ETFs growing around China’s financial market

@macrochartfreak @StockTwits Yes, there are now 42 China ETFs. There were 13 just 2 yrs ago. AUM has been light, only $2b inflows in 3yrs.

— Eric Balchunas (@ebalchunas)

Apr. 10 at 02:46 PM

3. The Chinese government has been changing ownership restrictions and that’s something to watch

@savvytradermom @StockTwits Yes H shares playing catch up but rally was sparked by China govt saying mainland mut fds can buy H shares.

— Eric Balchunas (@ebalchunas)

Apr. 10 at 03:15 PM

@savvytradermom @StockTwits The chinese govt loosening ownership restrictions is a huuuge part of A and H share story. Stay tuned..

— Eric Balchunas (@ebalchunas)

Apr. 10 at 03:16 PM

4. There are now a ton of China related ETFs. But remember, they’re complex. Know what they’re tracking

@StockTwits @hola $YINN & $YANG use swaps to give daily 3x or -3x exposure to the index $FXI tracks. They track well daily, but not longterm

— Eric Balchunas (@ebalchunas)

Apr. 10 at 02:53 PM

@macrochartfreak @StockTwits The newer China ETFs give access to onshore stocks and bonds which have prev been restricted to us ppl

— Eric Balchunas (@ebalchunas)

Apr. 10 at 02:47 PM

@hola @StockTwits Sure, leverage ETFs are complex, but just use $FXI as your benchmark. You get 3x $FXI each day. Then reset.

— Eric Balchunas (@ebalchunas)

Apr. 10 at 03:11 PM

@savvytradermom No, $YINN and $YANG track the FTSE China 50 Index, same exact index tracked by $FXI. Which is only H shares.

— Eric Balchunas (@ebalchunas)

Apr. 10 at 03:23 PM

@macrochartfreak @StockTwits There is one ETF that covers EVERYTHING in one shot and that is $CN (58% A, 20% H, 16% P & red chips, 6% N)

— Eric Balchunas (@ebalchunas)

Apr. 10 at 02:50 PM

If you enjoyed this Q&A please let us know in the comments below. We also want to hear what topics you want discussed or who you want to hear from.
As US-Cuba relations thaw, oil and gas hopes languish

Otmane El Rhazi from The Barrel Blog.

The historic meeting Saturday between President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro during the Summit of the Americas in Panama may be a strong signal that over 50 years of trade restrictions will soon be eased, but don’t expect US oil and gas operators on or offshore the island nation anytime soon.

Limited success by foreign oil firms in the past and state control rule that Cuba’s government is likely to keep in place even after the longstanding trade embargo might be dropped will likely stop any US investment in Cuba’s oil and gas sector before it starts.

According to a recent US Geological Survey report, unsuccessful deepwater drilling efforts, limited foreign investments and a lack of progress in oil and gas infrastructure projects have long stymied Cuba’s energy sector.

The report, which tracks trends in Cuba’s mining and petroleum industries, claims that Cuba’s current crude oil and associated natural gas production from onshore and shallow water coastal reservoirs is about 50,000 b/d of liquids and about 20,000 b/d of oil equivalent of natural gas.

Cuba has total undiscovered technically recoverable reserves of 4.6 billion barrels of crude oil, 9.8 Tcf of natural gas and 900 million barrels of natural gas liquids, according to 2004 estimates released by USGS.

In November, Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment offered up joint ventures in petroleum extraction from both onshore and offshore blocks, but has stressed that Cuba will remain a state-driven economy and that most foreign ventures will have majority Cuban ownership.

Blog post continues below…

Roughly one-third of Cuba’s domestic petroleum is met by onshore and near-offshore production of extra heavy crude oil, which takes place mainly east of Havana at three facilities operated by Canada’s Sherritt International, according to the report.

Venezuelan imports have accounted for the other two-thirds of Cuba’s petroleum demand since 2007, but overall foreign investment in Cuba’s oil and gas sector has been limited, the report states.

Deepwater drilling efforts by Repsol of Spain and JSC Zarubezhneft of Russia resulted in no discoveries of commercial quantities of oil and gas.

In addition, a bid China won in 2010 to build a refinery and upgrade a crude oil import terminal has yet to progress, while another pipeline connecting the Cienfuegos refinery to Matanzas production fields has not been operational since initial performance tests took place in 1991, the USGS report states.

In December, Obama announced that the US will begin discussions to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba and move to normalize relations over the longer term. But the embargo remains in place and private and public investment in mineral production remains prohibited, USGS noted.

“We’ll continue to work toward reestablishing diplomatic relations, reopening embassies in Havana and Washington, and encouraging greater contacts and commerce and exchanges between our citizens,” Obama said Saturday during a news conference at the Summit of the Americas in Panama.

The US is expected to first decide whether to remove Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism before moving on other efforts.