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Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay Chastised By State AG

Oregon initiated its statewide quarantine orders on March 24, 5 weeks ago. Since, social distancing measures worked to decrease the curve, or intensity of the outbreak’s peak. In fact, one model from the Institute of Disease Modeling suggests Governor Kate Brown’s executive order avoided an additional 70,000 infections. However, the pandemic continues to pose a threat to the general public. Still, many political figures call for governments to ease restrictions, including Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay. In response to his actions, State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum issued a letter of warning to the mayor.

Essentially, the letter boiled down to a reminder of Brown’s higher authority over the Oregon City leader. It also suggested possible further legal action. “I remind you that there are significant legal repercussions for violating the governor’s order,” Rosenblum’s letter read.

In recent days, Holladay signaled a desire to reopen Oregon City in spite of the governor’s orders. He said he spoke with other Oregon mayors interested in taking steps to reopen their cities. “I don’t see the danger that we thought there was four or five weeks ago,” he said.

Oregon City Commissioners Denounce Holladay

In response to their mayor’s comments, Oregon City’s commissioners issued a statement denouncing Holladay’s interest in prematurely reopening their city. They clarified the will of one does not represent the whole.

Despite his disagreement with the state’s extended quarantine, Holladay voted with the commissioners in a unanimous decision to support the governor’s order.

Still, his insistent, divergent opinion mirrors a political divide happening across the country. Protests in many states against quarantine orders flout emergency law to voice opposition. The president tweeted his support for these groups. Other Republican governors fight with local authorities over the implementation weak or nonexistent social distancing measures.

Largely, certain conservative groups and individuals, seemingly bolstered by Trump and other conservative operatives, push to reopen the country.

Meanwhile, health experts warn early removal of restrictions will lead to a resurgence, causing more harm to the economy in addition to more infections, strained healthcare resources, and death.


WTI: Massive Sell-Off And What It Means

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil just made a huge move and sold-ff its oil at an extremely low cost. The impact isn’t sending shock waves around the world, but the company has been a large figurehead for crude oil in America.

WTI Has Massive Sell-Off

Before COVID-19 took the world by storm, the prices for oil were in a weird phase. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia had begun a dual with each other over who could make their gas prices lower. This happened just before everyone across the world stopped driving.

Obviously, the supply and demand for crude oil became crazy as low demand was met with an already low sell-off point. For places like WTI, this was the hardest hit they had ever taken.

WTI delivers their own oil, which comes at a cost to the company, especially now. If they deliver their own oil, that means they need to store it. With the large quantities that they currently have and with no one buying it, they either needed to put it in storage which costs more or sells it for far less than the already staggering low current price.

How Does This Affect Trucking?

Well, it doesn’t really. Where a company like WTI focuses on national distribution, other companies focus on international production, shipping, and storing.

Another company benchmark: Brent has had a much “easier” time dealing with the price. Since they deal with international diesel rather than traditional gasoline. If they were to sell of at low prices then the industry would feel it.

With global fuel price continuously going downward, many often wonder how long this will last and how far it will continue to drop. For the trucking industry, this could create a lesser burden for an already over extended workforce. Gas prices lowering can help ease the pain that all truckers currently face.


US Economy Moving At “Alarming Speed” says Fed Chair Powell

Before the novel coronavirus gripped the nation, the US economy made steady gains. For a period stretching back into the Obama administration, the economy grew year after year, unemployment fell, and jobs gains blossomed. Covid-19 reversed all of that.

In a matter of weeks, the US economy back pedaled. Unemployment, previously at a 50 year low, surged. More than 17 million people filed unemployment claims within the last 4 weeks. 6.6 million filed last week alone. That places the new unemployment rate, once resting below 4 percent, up to 10 percent.

While most of those classify as temporary, the length of their unemployment remains uncertain. Stay at home measures taken in most states hold nebulous end points, most suggesting the outbreak will merit an extension.

To mitigate the effects of the economic downturn, the Federal Reserve took measures to spur economic activity. Previously, in March, they cut interest rates to zero. Additionally, they purchased government loans to infuse lenders with a surplus of cash. The hope was to keep borrowing cheap to help those impacted.

Now, they unveil an additional measure to assist businesses of varying size, as well as states, through the economic crisis.

US Economy Bolstered by Multi-tiered Efforts

Officials at the federal level employed a number of tactics in March to undermine the impact of the pandemic on the US economy. In addition to passing a massive stimulus package dispersing checks directly to citizens, they approved billions in lending to various industries in need.

However, Fed Chair Jay Powell expressed concern over the direction of the economy. “We are moving with alarming speed from 50-year lows in unemployment to what will likely be very high, although temporary, levels,” he said.

The program announced Thursday seeks to add an additional $2 trillion in lending for businesses as well as states and municipalities.

They plan to spend $750 billion buying up loans from large corporations. For medium sized companies with employees up to 10,000, they will invest $600 billion buying loans ranging from $1 million up to $150 million. While greater than the loans offered by the Small Business Administration, they comes with strings. Businesses must operate domestically and be registered in the country. They amortize at 4 years, providing time to pay back.

The Fed also intends to reinforce the SBA’s lending program, which featured some hurdles since its rollout last week. It began as a $350 billion effort, but President Trump requested an additional $250 billion.

The extensive effort to prop up the US economy proceeds with uncertain results. However, Powell offered a bit of optimism. “There is every reason to believe that the economic rebound, when it comes, can be robust,” he said.