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).
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?