Wednesday, May 03, 2006
the oil companies and nonesense
i'm a little confused. according to the full-page ads taken out by america's oil & natural gas industry. it claims that your gasoline dollar is consumed by the following factors:
1. 55% the price of crude oil.
2 26% refining, distribution & service stations
1. so each dollar you spend at the pump is the direct result of the price of crude oil. on the world markets, yes. in america, i find that a little rich. the price of crude oil is determined by OPEC. the members of this nice little cartel are:
Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
the united states is not a member of opec. there is, however, a very strong incentive (profits) for oil producers to keep their prices in line with OPEC. since OPEC has freedom to raise or lower the production of crude, and the price of crude oil, exactly why, if exxon/mobil, et al, are producing and selling crude to america, why is it doing nothing to ease the current situation? if OPEC can change their prices, so can american producers to american buyers (you).
2. refining, distribution, and service stations are all controlled by the respective oil companies. in economic terms, this is known as vertical integration. this means that for an oil company extracting oil from the ground, they also own the businesses that take that raw product and deliver it to the point of sale (service stations). the same company does the lot. thus, it doesn't pay anybody else's costs or profits.
3. taxes. i would love to see a breakdown of just how these taxes are spent by the government. to make things really fair, perhaps they should have included a figure on all the subsidies and tax breaks received.
i love the sentence on the ad that goes: "to learn more about fuel prices, what the oil and gas industry is doing and what you can do, visit www.api.org." org?! why is this an org?
well, i think we know what the industry is doing. what we can do? is this a joke? i tell you what we can do. we can elect officials that will put an end to this cosy little club. we can elect officials that make it law that this country is entitled to national referendums on critical choices facing its future. we can force changes that will forever prevent the oil and gas industry from deciding on this country's energy policies, no matter which political party is in power.
hopefully, there is someone amongst the 'we' that has the courage to stand up for what's right, and run on that platform for office, and not what just sounds right. having a senate comprised of individuals that require substantial sums to run for office in order to be elected would be a good place to take the broom and sweep through changes, making it possible for ordinary citizens to have a chance at higher office, and not be automatically limited because of wealth, to 'just' reside at local politics.
there are 260 million people in this country. being in touch with some of their lives, and not just the wealthiest, wouldn't go amiss. who wouldn't vote for that?
oh, by the way, how's bush's $350 billion dollar tax cut working out for everyone?