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Greed

Date: 02 September, 2005

By: Chief

Imagehe impact of Hurricane Katrina into the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama has caused utter grief and misery not just for the residents of those states but for the entire country as well.

The oil companies and oil traders, on the other hand, could not be more pleased.

In a mere 48 hours, since the departure of Hurricane Katrina, gasoline prices increased by .40 cents per gallon on average. Prices, purportedly, may continue to rise over the course of the next couple of months.

Forty cents in forty eight hours. Why? Because they can. That is why.

Oil companies, oil traders (gamblers), politicians and, yes, the environmental wacko groups have worked long and hard to place We the People in the untenable position we find ourselves in today.

Refinery Capacity

We all know, or at the very least should know, that the main culprit in this sordid affair of currently outrageously high fuel prices is due to a lack of refinery capacity. The oil industry intends, I suspect, to do their very best to keep it that-a-way for as long as they are able.

Due Diligence

The oil industry is guilty as sin for its failure to perform due diligence. Our own population is and has been increasing. So has the rest of the world's population. As such, it is sheer folly to even suggest, let alone seriously contend, that the demand for oil and the numerous products provided by oil will decrease while populations increase. It just does not wash.

Had the oil industry modernized existing refineries and expanded existing refineries, instead of closing them down, and built new refineries to meet the projected increase in demand for fuel and other oil based products due to increased world populations We the People would not be in the sorry fix that we are currently in.

But then oil industry profit margins would not be setting record levels as they have been for the last couple of years. Furthermore, We the People would not be paying record stratospheric prices for fuel either.

Political Gamesmanship

Politicians and the environmental wacko groups like the Sierra Club and similar ilk are just as guilty as the oil industry. Politicians have, depending which side of the aisle they are on, either taken money from the oil industry or the environmental wackos and subsequently sponsored legislation which in turn either helped the oil industry get what they wanted or hindered the oil industry. Either way it was and remains We the People who get stuck.

For example, King George the Bush wants to open up Alaskan wilderness to oil companies for oil exploration, drilling and subsequent pumping. The wackos on the other hand are fighting tooth and nail to prevent the wilderness from being opened up. The same holds true off the California coast. What the end result will be is wide open to speculation.

Another example is the latest energy bill which was recently signed into law by the King. Contained within this new law is approximately $2.7 billion dollars worth of tax give-aways and credits to the oil and energy industries in the hopes that those industries will do something — for once — worthy. Don't hold your breath.

Meanwhile We the People are paying over $3.00 dollars for a gallon of the lowest octane rated gasoline we can find. Screwed with non-skid.

Futures Market

The oil traders, gamblers by any other name, who play the futures market are doing their ever loving best to continue to push oil prices out to Pluto. They do not give one good hoot in Hades about We the People or how their greed is crippling our national economy. The only thing they do give a good hoot in Hades about is how much more money they can squeeze out of us. The thieves.

Fillin' Stations

Privately owned gas stations are nowhere close to being lily white and pure. They too are taking advantage of a very bad situation. They have jacked up the retail cost of fuel as far as they possibly can without risking, too much, being lynched. Stick it to your fellow citizen appears to be the gasoline retailers current motto.

Here is an example of what I am talking about: Old Joe, the owner of a fillin' station, had his tanks filled a couple of days before Katrina rolled over the Gulf Coast like a steam roller. The fuel (non-retail) cost to Joe was, let's say, $2.00 per gallon. Joe, in turn, charged customers, oh, $2.50 per gallon for low octane (regular) gas. Katrina then roared through the Gulf Coast upending just about everything in her path and split. Joe decides to cash in on the deal and raises his prices.

Joe had not purchased any more fuel since the hurricane. Therefore his cost for fuel had not increased. Joe just got greedy. The 'I've got you over a barrel and there is nothing you can do about it' syndrome. Scurvy dog.

It is called raping your neighbor.

Corporate Responsibility

Within the oil industry I do not see any corporate responsibility anywhere other than racking up heinously high profits. Where is the corporate responsibility for ensuring due diligence? Where is the corporate responsibility for ensuring adequate refinery capacity to meet current and future demand?

Obviously they are nowhere to be found.

A National Asset

Our entire economy revolves around, or more accurately stated is lubricated by, oil. Indeed our entire way of life does as well. Hence oil and its refined products are, without doubt, national assets. We cannot function without oil, fuels and other petroleum based products. Doing without oil and fuels would drop kick our economy into such a depression as to make the 'great depression' look like a Sunday school picnic.

No group, politician, gambler or company should have the power to control or restrict the amount of oil and fuels that would be available to We the People. In other words we cannot afford to be held for ransom. But that is exactly what is happening.

The oil industry does not care about the state of our national economy, let alone the citizenry. To be sure the oil industry is not about to police itself, its pricing or ensure an adequate supply of petroleum products at a reasonable price are available while still remaining profitable. If they did I would not be writing this story.

Gamblers have no allegiance to anyone or anything except their own personal bank account. It is abundantly clear — by their very conduct — that futures market gamblers have absolutely no intention of policing themselves.

The environmental wacko groups have a political agenda which certainly seems to be the destruction of our economy in order to force us to change our life style into a life style which they approve of (green). 'Save a tree — destroy the economy'.

Our politicians have but one goal — power. To that end whoever provides the most cash is who the politicians will hook up with. That and whatever seems to be the popular 'thing' at the time. They will sell their mother's soul to the devil herself for pennies on the dollar if it keeps them in power.

We the People have but one card up our sleeve and we need to play that card very, very carefully if we intend to get ourselves and our country out of the quagmire that the gamblers, politicians, oil industry and environmental wackos have ever so conveniently placed us in. That card is the vote.

Use it — wisely.

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