Sitting in her lawyer's office at South Brooklyn Legal Services, her hands folded calmly in her lap, Sandra Barkley describes how she became the first person in her family to buy a home. The 52-year old single mother begins by speaking in a relaxed southern drawl, but as she comes to recount her experiences more fully, her voice rises, and her cool breaks. In the winter of 2002-2003, an acquaintance of Barkley's put her in touch with United Homes, a New York City-based company that specialized in fixing up and reselling homes purchased at foreclosure auctions and distress sales.
It's been a thin trickle so far, but more details about the energy provisions in Obama's stimulus proposal are finally dribbling out. Remember folks, he's promised to double alternative-energy production over the next three years, and we still don't know quite how he'll do it. But over the weekend, The Washington Post's Steven Mufson reported that the Obama team was considering, among other things, a two-year, $8.6 billion extension of the production tax credit for renewable energy.
The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Russia--long viewed as a likely candidate to pick up the slack in oil production as fields in the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico go into decline--has seen oil production fall for the first time in a decade. The vice president of the Russian petroleum giant Lukoil yesterday told reporters that not in his lifetime would Russian oil production exceed last year's figure. There seem to be two factors at play: on the one hand, existing Russian oil fields, primarily in Siberia, are genuinely drying up.