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One Sentence News / Sept 29, 2021

Colin Wright
Colin Wright
The news simply summarized / September 29, 2021

Summary: After a fourth day of long lines at gas stations, the UK government has announced that 150 military tanker drivers will help distribute petrol to dry pumps, in an effort to ease what the government is calling a distribution issue, not a fuel shortage.
Context: A shortage of truck drivers to deliver fuel and other staple supplies has caused periodic backups that, in turn, have led to rumors of shortages, which themselves have led to the sort of stockpiling behavior that can sometimes lead to actual shortages; this particular wave of stockpiling has garnered a lot of attention, however, in part because it’s so visible (due to the long lines of cars at pumps), in part because it’s aligning with energy shortages throughout Europe and Asia (due to natural gas stockpiling by manufacturers), and in part because it gives folks who opposed Brexit something to crow about (as a portion of truck-driving jobs in the UK have generally been filled by EU workers who are no longer allowed to enter the country to take these jobs).
—BBC News
Summary: US automobile company Ford Motor has announced that they will invest more than $11 billion in electric vehicle manufacturing and supply infrastructure ($7 billion from Ford and $4 billion from their battery partner, South Korean company SK Innovation) in Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
Context: This is a very large investment—the company’s largest-ever in the company’s 118-year history—and it’ll put two EV battery plants in Kentucky, and a battery plant and electric F-150 pickup truck assembly plant in Tennessee; this will help Ford relocate more of the EV supply chain in the US, and will reportedly create about 10,800 jobs between the two states while allowing the company to produce about a million EV batteries each year by 2026.
—Detroit Free Press
Summary: China’s central bank has announced that all cryptocurrency-related transactions are now illegal, and overseas companies providing crypto-services to Chinese citizens are operating illegally.
Context: This is a followup to a previous statement by the Chinese government a few years back, when they said cryptocurrency exchanges were illegal, but didn’t really crack down on anything or anyone when that statement failed to stop trading in these assets; this new statement, in the context of all the other shakeups China’s government has been orchestrating, of late, seems to be resulting in more of the intended effect (which some speculate is meant to clear the way for China’s digital Yuan, which is a centrally controlled digital currency they’ve been testing out for a few years).
—The Wall Street Journal
Paraguay has been experiencing a severe drought for about two years, which is causing river levels to drop to record lows (a new record was set in 2020 before being surpassed in 2021) which has been devastating to the local economy, as a great deal of their shipping is done via river (vessels along its two main rivers carry 96% of Paraguay’s international exports and imports); this same drought along these rivers has also negatively impacted water supplies in Argentina and energy prices (because of diminished dam capacity) in Brazil.
Amount of CO2, per day, US airlines will pump into the atmosphere with unneeded, extra flights out of the country’s largest and most congested airports.
These flight plans are the consequence of a rule that requires airlines have a certain number of flights (80% of those allotted) at major airports, lest they lose their spots to rival airlines.
This rule was dropped during the height of the pandemic, but is set to come back soon, and it’s estimated that these bonus-flights (with few, if any passengers aboard) will add about 20,000 tons of CO2 (which is about what would be produced by 30,000 cars running for a year) each day.
—Quartz
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Colin Wright
Colin Wright @colinismyname

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