The Guest Blog

Schork Oil Outlook: Green Shoots vs. Steel Tubes

"Shovel-ready was not as … uh … shovel-ready as we expected…"

-President Barack Obama
Council on Jobs and Competitiveness,
June 21, 2011

The president’s quip might have been funnier if had it not cost the American people three quarters of a trillion dollars for him to make it.

On this note, the White House confirmed that President Obama is preparing a “jobs proposal? which he intends to introduce to the public as soon as gets back from his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard (he’s waited 31 months, what’s another couple of weeks?).

Given the headlines referenced below, the sentiment expressed in is hope that the White House’s proposal focuses less on “green? (green as in tax $) jobs and more on actual “shovel ready? jobs.

Seattle's 'green jobs' program a bust
Last year, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced the city had won a coveted $20 million federal grant to invest [sic] in weatherization.
It had heady goals: creating 2,000 living-wage jobs in Seattle… But more than a year later… just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program.
August 16, 2011

Evergreen Files for Chapter 11
Seven months after it fired 800 employees, Evergreen Solar is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief. The company, which has received tens of millions of dollars in grants and incentives from the state of Massachusetts…

August 17, 2011

On the other hand, while the so-called ‘green economy’ continues to syphon money from the productive side of the economy, the smokestack economy picks up the slack.

$650 million plant to transform Youngstown
Steel mill, expected to bring 350 jobs, atop natural-gas fields

Early in 2010, V&M Star announced it would build a $650 million rolling mill… It was the biggest private investment announced in all of Ohio that year, … and the biggest in Youngstown in half a century, if not ever.

Proximity to V&M's existing plant — and to Youngstown's work force and "center of competency” — was the main driver behind the company's decision to build in Youngstown, said Vince Bevacqua, spokesman for V&M Star. Proximity to the shale fields was the next reason on the list, and might turn out to be the most important one.
April 19, 2011


Stephen Schork is the Editor of and has more than 17 years experience in physical commodity and derivatives trading, risk systems modeling and structured commodity finance.

Related Tags