Supremes Rule on Land-Use as Oil Rig Count Continues to Climb
June 26, 2017
An appropriations bill in the House would raise military spending above the President’s budget proposal. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of government regulators when it comes to certain environmental regulations. Finally, oil rig counts are up for the 23rd week in a row.
- Appropriations draft in the House details plans for Defense spending. The bill would increase spending for the Department of Defense by $18.4 billion more than the increase laid out in President Trump’s budget plan. The increased total stands at $658.1 billion, of which $584.2 billion is discretionary spending. The bill also provides for $73.9 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations, which is used for the continuing conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and beyond. Base requirements would receive $133 billion and salaries, including a 2.4% raise, for the 1.3 million DOD personnel amount to $5.3 billion. The bill further funds cancer research, traumatic brain injury, and psychological health research with $282 million, $125 million, and $277 million, respectively. [The Hill]
- Supreme Court rules in favor of government regulations in land-use case. A Wisconsin family argued that regulation of their waterfront property, which was intended to mitigate development for environmental reasons, removed all of their economic value and should result in compensation. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority, referencing one of his 1992 rulings heavily, in arguing that environmental regulations cannot simply be seen as “removing” value from a property, as they are also the reason for that property’s inherent value. The Justice laid out how the determination for whether or not a regulation goes too far is a complicated matter that should consider, “the treatment of the land under state and local law; the physical characteristics of the land; and the prospective value of the regulated land.” He was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the dissent, which was joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas. Justice Neil Gorsuch was not yet confirmed when the case was heard. [WSJ]
Economic Indicators & News
- U.S. oil rig count up again. For the 23rd week in a row, the number of rigs pumping oil in the United States has increased. The number rose by 11 and now stands at 758. The gas rig count is down by 3 to 183. Including miscellaneous rigs, the total number of rigs now stands at 941. The number of rigs is still far lower than its peak in 2014, where it crested around 1600, but has been rapidly rising nonetheless. [Business Insider]