A World Awash in Oil

executives from the oil industry are expected to stand their ground when
they testify on Wednesday before Congress on the politically charged
issue of high energy prices.

The hearing, called to investigate whether oil majors are "profiteering"
at the expense of consumers, offers the unusual prospect of a public falling-out
between Republicans and their allies in the energy sector.

Although there were suggestions on Tuesday that one of the big companies
might offer to hold emergency reserves of petroleum products, such as petrol,
the mood of the executives headed to Washington was said to be unapologetic

from the Financial

Talk about political theater! As show trials, these
hearings would rival the great Soviet-era political purge trials, except
that they are infinitely more boring (so that no one who doesn’t have to
would actually watch them), and because at the conclusion of the proceedings,
the subjects of the inquest will not be led out to a pock-marked cement wall behind
the Senate chambers and summarily executed.  More’s the pity.

As we wrote at the height of the latest petro-frenzy,
there is no way to honestly account for the tremendous windfall flowing
to an already oil-profit engorged nexus of Big Oil companies and the
complicit governments of the major oil-producing states. They blame the
price of gasoline on the price of oil, and they blame the price of oil
on market factors. What they leave unsaid is that they dominate, design
and control the market, and have jimmied the system so that seeming random
but reliably inevitable factors like the weather and wars in oil-rich
regions set off price rises and profit boosts.

As a result we are in the midst of the biggest capital
siphoning scam since the Chinese came up with the idea of money in the
first place, and that includes some pretty sophisticated market manipulation
over the centuries. Sure, they have turned the heat down a bit (current
pump price on the corner $2.58)
but that’s just to protect both the execs and the pols, and to make it
seem that the hearings are having some effect. Besides, the boondoggle’s
beneficiaries haven’t even collected the best plum of all – the profits
from all the billions of gallons of heating oil they’re going to sell
in the US and Europe over the next 5 months.

So, other than lining the pockets of corrupt politicians,
propping up dictatorial regimes from Hugo Chavez to Abd Allah ibn Abd
al-Aziz and ensuring that Oil Industry executives can send their descendents
to Harvard for generations without end, where is this unprecedented cash
stash going?

On one point we agree with Mark Boudreaux, spokesman
for ExxonMobil, who hinted at the executives’ line of defense, saying:
"Washington operates in terms of two, four and six-year cycles. We operate
on decades."

This, folks, is what is really going on. The oil cartel,
which has dominated world geo-politics since the middle of the past century
and which has finally taken direct control of the most powerful mega-state
on the planet via the Bush-Cheney team, has come to the farsighted conclusion
that we are coming to the end of the era of oil. Not this year, or next,
or in 2008 or 2012.  But in decades, not centuries.

In order to protect their power, prolong their dominance
and preserve their prerogatives, they had two possible strategies. They
could try to preserve supplies, slow consumption, increase efficiency
and make the world’s oil supplies, which they control, last as long as
possible.  Or, they can go for broke, pump the oil as fast as they
can suck it out, and pump up the price while the dollar is still worth
something and the world economy is still robust enough to absorb all
the oil it can find. Take the quick hit, and then use the money to create,
impose and lock-up the next era in energy technology in the history of
human development.

Will it be nuclear? Geo-thermal? Tidal? Fission? Giant
mirrors in space collecting solar energy for wireless transfer to centralized
earth stations? Whatever emerges as the dominant next-epoch technology,
the dudes who control the oil industry want to control it, and the betting
here is that they will favor a centralized model, probably nuclear or
space-based, putting the generation and distribution firmly in the hands
of a disciplined, white-coated scientific priesthood which they can buy
and sell and absolutely control, forever and ever. Stay tuned…


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2 Responses to A World Awash in Oil

  1. mikevotes says:

    Look. Despite any passionate rhetoric they throw towards the public with oil executives in the hearing room, how seriously can I take these senators who are still accepting campaign money, sometimes in the mid 5 digits, from these same petroleum exploration, production, and refining companies and executives?

    I mean, just how serious are you about helping cut your constituents’ heating bills, Mr. Senator, when you are taking $10-20K a year from the oil companies?

    Sorry, just got under my skin a little.

  2. Kristopher Pike says:

    None of the politicians (Liberal or Conservative) seem able or willing to take action against oil companies. It would seem that wholesale price regulation similar to the way utility companies are regulated is in order. Very few have suggested this approach! It seems the problem of getting Representatives to actually represent the voters is where the issue begins.

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