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Tag: oil

Fossil Fuel Companies Hold Planet Hostage


Sounds sensational, doesn’t it? Click bait. Well, after reading this, you tell me.

It’s not widely known but over the past 100 years, investors have demanded agreements, treaties from the governments of countries they invest in. There are thousands of these treaties, including with the United States. Investors understandably don’t like risk and do everything possible to eliminate risk. Countries, especially poor countries, will jump through hoops, bend over backwards, go to any length to attract foreign investment. They’ll give everything up and sign such agreements in order to attract foreign money.

Petroleum Jack Pump

In the case of fossil fuel companies, such treaties enable them to demand hefty compensation if the government interferes with the business in any way, revokes permits to drill, permits to lay pipelines, restricts extraction, and so forth. We’re talking payouts that can amount to hundreds of billions of dollars if/when these treaties are invoked, far beyond the means of many countries.

And, it’s starting already. The U.S.A. is being sued to the tune of a billion dollars for cancelling the Keystone Pipeline. The governments of Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and others are being sued for four billion dollars over their phasing out of coal power plants, requiring environmental impact assessments, and blocking of extraction projects. Anything that interferes with the business is grounds to sue for damages.

These treaties enable fossil fuel companies to hold us hostage and prevent the implementation of measures to mitigate climate change. Oil companies can make it too expensive to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels, hamstringing the ability of countries to deal with climate change.

It’s an insane situation where the urgent need to act on climate change will be derailed by old treaties from the middle of the last century. But here we are. They have us over a barrel (of oil).

Bush’s Argument in Favor of Drilling is Nonsense

President Bush is pushing Congress to drop the ban on U.S. offshore oil drilling.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/washington/19energy.html?ref=todayspaper

This argument is nonsense. It’s a red herring. First of all, everyone needs to understand that $130 oil is not due to a lack of supply. Most people automatically assume that the price of oil has been driven up by market forces. If the price goes up, it’s because of demand, right?. Normally this would be true but that is not the case right now. There is plenty of oil in the market. There is no shortage. This is why the Saudi’s have come out and said “there’s no reason for prices to be this high” and they pretended to be puzzled. However the President of Iran put his finger on the real cause, which is the revelation of the long-latent inflation in the U.S. dollar. As the dollar is collapsing one of the first places investors run is oil futures. The run on oil futures drove up the price. It had nothing to do with the oil producers setting the price at $130. They didn’t set anything. The $130 price is set in the commodities exchanges of the world.

Inflation in the U.S. dollar, which has previously been masked by massive foreign infusions of investment capital into the U.S., is now being revealed. This is the reason for the rise in the price of oil. And since much of the world’s economy is tied to the U.S. dollar, the pain is being experienced throughout much of the world.

Now, with that in mind, be very clear that if the U.S. resumes offshore drilling and production, and / or if the U.S. develops the ANWR, since there is no shortage of oil, the oil from offshore drilling and the ANWR will be sold at the market price, which will still be $130. You don’t think the oil companies are going to sell the oil for less than the market price do you?

President Bush’s proposal will give the oil companies what they have been wanting for 27 years but it will not bring down the price of oil. Be very clear on that.

KBR (Kellogg Brown & Root) Scandal

It has come to light that KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root) avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicare and Social Security taxes by setting up shell companies in the Cayman Islands. KBR is the nation’s top Iraq war contractor and until last year was a subsidiary of Dick Cheney’s old company, Halliburton. The plot of greed and corruption gets thicker and thicker with this administration doesn’t it? I wonder if the feds will bother to prosecute KBR or maybe the right officials and judges can be bought off to just just sweep it under the rug, along with everything else.

You can read more about it here in this Boston Globe article:

Top Iraq Contractor Skirts US Taxes Offshore

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