Oil Company Theater: Keystone Pipeline Blocked and Gas Prices Go Up … Again.

by on March 12, 2012 · 4 comments

in American Empire, Economy, Energy, Environment, Popular

Hey Gang, for the fourth time in as many months (or at least it seems like it), the Keystone XL Pipeline has been blocked. The Republicans needed 60 votes to pass S.B. 1813, in which they inserted the rider to allow the pipeline. The bill, sponsored by Senator Boxer, was to increase the Federal Transportation Commission’s budget to build roads and increase highway safety. The bill was ostensibly a public works act to help increase employment recovery at the state and local level.

So the good news is, again, no pipeline through Middle America discouraging the Canadians to engage in the most environmentally egregious form of oil drilling/mining. The bad news, no jobs for highway improvement or increased highway safety. The roads will remain shitty and perhaps 50,000 to 100,000 jobs will not be created. The scary part of the vote is 10 Democratic Senators broke ranks to vote with the Republicans. Here are their names in case you feel like writing them a quick note: Sens. Baucus (MT), Begich (AK), Conrad (ND), Hagan (NC), Landrieu (LA), Manchin (WV), McCaskill (MO), Pryor (AR), Tester (MT), and Webb (VA).

Now get ready to be punished.

I have kept informal tabs on the gas prices every time this abomination gets voted down or vetoed. Not surprisingly, the gas prices go up. The last time with President Obama’s veto, prices went up about $.50 – $.65 per gallon. The oil companies came out with their typical bullshit: We have to close down a refinery because they its too old… Really? You guys didn’t notice it getting old? I have driven through Long Beach lately, and its running full tilt up there. And does BP, Conoco, Shell and all the other oil Barons, Baronesses, Lord, Dukes and lesser royalty use the same one refinery?

The other explanation was the oil companies covering potential loses if Iran blocks the Strait of Hormuz. I guess the oil companies are deathly afraid of Iranians in Zodiacs and have no faith in the US Navy.

Color me jaded, but on its face, the simultaneous, across the board increases of gas prices has the appearance of collusion; particularly in conjunction with the blocking of Keystone XL. And if it is collusion, it is what we in legal circles refer to as a violation of the Sherman Act. You might remember that one from a U.S. History class, or H.S. Civics. Also known as the act which makes it a FELONY for corporations to conspire to fix prices…hmmmmm.

I would really like to see the U.S. Attorney’s office, of its own volition, investigate this. He might just be surprised to find there has been a violation. It would probably be a complex and expensive case to litigate, but just once, just maybe the energy royalty might take it on the chin hard enough to re-think how they exploit everyone and everything with which they come in contact. But why investigate oil companies, when you can shut to medicinal marijuana clinics at will.

I remain jaded, but those are my thoughts….yours?

Peace, Jack

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Charlie March 12, 2012 at 8:42 pm

More nonsense from the Left.

Just because the US might not take the oil from Canada does not mean that it will stop oil production there. It only means that the oil will probably go to China instead. Thus we will still get oil from unstable parts of the world and will be all the more susceptible to wild price gyrations. You think that is a good idea? A pipeline will be built to Canada’s west coast and there it will be put on ships. That has the possibility of much greater environmental damage in the long run. And by the way, if we are buying it we will have at least a modicum of influence on the drilling itself not to mention that it will help our national security and if not then we have no say at all. But hey, you really showed those oil companies a thing or two didn’t you? Gosh that is a real victory.

As for collusion amongst the oil companies; They, in large part, do not set the price of crude. The world market does and with China and India buying more and more as their economies are enlarged there will be more demand. Have you heard of “supply and demand”? The Oil Companies have been investigated practically every time that the price goes up by the don’t blame us congress and found not guilty time after time. Why don’t we just drill here out of self preservation? Not to mention the jobs and taxes that would bring back to us as well as help our trade deficit.

Are you aware that there are now and have been for many decades tens of thousands of miles of pipelines in America? My grandfather was building them in the 1920’s and some of them are still being used. Gasoline and other oil products move thru them by the millions of gallons every day. If you are honest with yourself you would have to admit that they have an extremely good safety and environmental record. Do they ever mess up? Of course they do but it is very rare and they are getting better at it.

As for the Iranians; If they start attacking tankers the price of insurance on shipping will go thru the roof and that cost will be passed on to the consumer. They need only be perceived as a threat in order for this to happen as is apparent even now.

You might also consider the intentional devaluation of the dollar by our present government. Of course prices are going to go up if the value of dollar goes down. Worse yet, if this continues then the dollar will not be the worlds reserve currency for much longer. Do you “truly” understand what that would mean to all of us? Our treasuries and bonds will be as popular as the Greek’s thus no more borrowing. Interest rates will skyrocket, home sales will get worse, and everything else that we take for granted may become out of reach for the average citizen. Is that what you want?? I am in International Financing and we worry about this every minute of every day. It scares the crap out of us and it should scare every American as we are all in the same boat!

Wake up and smell the coffee dude. We will be using oil products well into the future. The only question is, will we produce it here where we can control it or somewhere else where we can’t? All the wind farms, solar cells, or any other technology can’t replace it at this point. We all hope that some day we will be able to but for now oil and coal are the only answer. We just need to keep working on making it safer and cleaner and I believe we can. After all, this is America and we have a history of innovation and believe it or not, we all want a clean environment.


avatar Kim March 14, 2012 at 7:03 am

I pretty much agree with you except the pipeline is mostly a connection to the gulf so Canada can export more efficiently. There’s plenty of bitumen lying around to pave roads with if we decide to, those jobs have nothing to do with the pipeline.
What if we allowed the pipeline but made a deal that would assure us a fixed price on a barrel of oil? Regulate refineries make them keep a minimum capacity online at all times. We could even fix the price of gas we’ve done it at times with other commodities what makes this different.
As far as cleaning up goes you are absolutely right we’re making a mess of the place, and someday we’re going to have to pick up our dirty shorts! Why not now?


avatar Jack March 16, 2012 at 10:44 am

Just for your education Charlie…this video might give you an idea of why the Pipeline is such a horrible idea.


In 2005, the Cheney administration submitted and had signed into law the 2005 Energy Act which for the most part removed the controls on gas and oil companies with regard to environmental concerns. You would probably be prosecuted for pooring your 0ld 30 weight down a storm drain, but Shell would be exempt if they pollute an entire river and impact the surrounding communities.

So if a concern for our environmental health and the hap-hazard, willy-nilly manner in which we treat offending corporations when they do foul OUR world, the color me an nonsensical lefty…and proud of it.

In Peace, Jack


avatar Jack March 16, 2012 at 10:45 am

Excuse me….pouring…this site needs a spell check…


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